The Technology Entrepreneurship Centre

The Technology Entrepreneurship CentreThe Technology Entrepreneurship CentreThe Technology Entrepreneurship CentreThe Technology Entrepreneurship CentreThe Technology Entrepreneurship CentreThe Technology Entrepreneurship Centre


The Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (TEC) is a new 2,000m² BREEAM Excellent 3-storey office building based at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park. As the focal-point of the University Enterprise Zone, it will provide office-based accommodation for up to 50 technology-driven start-up businesses and early-stage SMEs, from the local business community and from within the University.

Woodhead are delivering the project under a Design and Build contract. The works comprise of the design, construction and commissioning of the new circa 2200m² GIFA three storey high profile circular building, providing reception space, café area, lettable workspace and associated ancillary facilities together with external works and services.

Challenges and Solutions

Budget Requirements – Value Engineering

The project was significantly over budget, a post tender interview took place with the client team to discuss options to take the project forward. Following this meeting Woodhead met with the client to value engineer and develop the design

Woodhead held a number of workshops with the Design Team, Project Manager, Senior Cost Managers, Construction Director, M&E Consultant, Structural Engineer and supply chain to form a team under a design and build basis to deliver the best solution. It was imperative to the client that the original design principles, floor area and same overall design flair, renewable energy solutions and systems were maintained. In the region of £2.2m was engineered out of the project whilst still giving the University an iconic structure that met their original brief.

One of the key alternatives Woodhead suggested was a move away from concrete frame to a steel frame solution. Woodhead also worked with key suppliers to engineer the following work packages:

• Brise Soleil

• Structural steel frame and floor deck

• Piling (CFA Piling)

Woodhead saved in the region of £300,000 on Bries Soleil by choosing an alternative aero foil fin product keeping the same appearance desired by the client.

Complex Piling in close proximity to the River Leen

Due to the presence of contaminated ground, close proximity to other buildings, a watercourse (River Leen) a manmade pond adjacent to the building, underground aquafer, ground water challenges, a railway line within 20 meters of the site and a large underground sewer, piling was reviewed with the team. Woodhead looked at driven, steel tube and encased piling solutions we worked collaboratively as a team to design out any risk.

Due to the contaminated land and cost associated of excavating and removing the contaminated soil Woodhead reduced the size of the service voids in the ceilings. This enabled Woodhead to raise the floor level but keep the overall height within planning permissions this design development saved the client circa £80,000

Working in correlation with other active sites

Woodhead are working adjacent to another active site on a University of Nottingham campus. While Woodhead are completing the TEC building project, there are works being carried out to deliver a GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory.

A lot of understanding and communication enables working collaboratively with the other active site. Woodhead will be connecting onto the district heating system that they have installed as part of their works. A strategy is in place to hold regular weekly meetings with their site and office team to plan, manage, and monitor the works. This includes giving their site team access when required to the Woodhead site and co-ordinating at a site level to ensure the process is smooth.

Key Achievements

• £2.2m was engineered out of the project

• Saved the client in the region of £300,000 with an innovative Bries Soleil Solution.

• Design development of the service voids in the ceilings saved the client circa £80,000

• £2.0m local spend to-date

• Local Spend 81% within 40 miles

• 1 Graduate Trainee on site to-date


“The University of Nottingham’s new Technology Entrepreneurship Centre will be a huge boost to Nottingham and will help make the Midlands the engine for growth I know it can be”.

Business Minister, Anna Soubry

“The new Technology Entrepreneurship Centre, which will be the heart of our University Enterprise Zone, will enable us to significantly accelerate the work we are already doing locally to foster business innovation and growth”.

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham

Image provided by Bond Bryan Architects