A Look Back at the Construction of Liverpool John Moores University Social Zone


Over the years we’ve worked with a number of universities in the North West, helping them to modernise their often ageing facilities and bring that value added extra which attracts top quality students not only from the region but from across the world.

Liverpool John Moores University is one of the most popular higher education establishments in the country and has a brilliant heritage. We were proud and privileged to help with the build of their new Social Zone, a two storey building on the Byrom Street Campus.

This project is a perfect example of how we work closely with stakeholders involved in any build, including administrators and staff at university level. That collaboration includes making sure we have the right designs and processes in place and also that the materials we source and the construction methods we use are sustainable and fit for purpose. This is important for universities in particular who are doing their best to lower their carbon footprints and provide an environment for students that gels with a greener ideology.

The purpose of the space we recently completed is to provide a comfortable area where students can gather, get a coffee or some food and relax before they go to their next lecture. This was quite a large new build with the need for significant ground works and a stable foundation. We included cedar cladding on the outside to give the building a modern look but also included some high tech solar PV that can be used to power the site and reduce those all-important utility bills.

Our eco-friendly approach didn’t stop there either. With water management becoming key for large organisations, we installed a water harvesting system that can be used for non-potable needs such as flushing toilets. Essentially, rain water is collected from the roof, cleaned and delivered to a separate indoor piping system to the rest of the water supply.

While building the social zone we had to, of course, be aware that at any one time there could be as many as 700 students wondering around the area, on their way to lectures or the nearby Starbucks. That meant having strong health and safety processes in place which kept everyone protected, ensuring that our building contractors were all on board with the notion of working safely and keeping disturbance down to the minimum. That involved liaising closely with the university stakeholders and even sometimes altering our schedule when needed.

Delivered on time and to budget, the Social Zone is now open to students and is doing great business. With comfortable seating and plenty of food and drink available, as well as access to Wi-Fi, it’s the perfect place for people to sit and talk and discuss their courses. All through the process of building the Zone, we kept in mind what the final outcome was going to look and feel like. The university now has an area that not only sells their campus to prospective students but a carbon friendly space that does their credentials no harm at all.

If you would like to discuss a potential new build or refurbishment project for your campus, please get in touch and a member of the team will be happy to discuss.