OVER the summer, the University invested a great deal on several projects and improvements for staff and students.
Last week we brought you exciting news of the stunning 'IQ Building' planned for Hope Park, which will enhance the student learning experience and could be in place by the end of next year.
And here we bring you some of the other developments designed to both improve Hope's carbon footprint and to also contribute to life on campus:
Decarbonisation of St Julie’s Hall, Aigburth Park campus.
Around £2.7m has been invested at Hope’s Aigburth Park campus.
A major part of that work saw the replacing of existing, inefficient gas boilers with new heating while also replacing single glazed windows for better-insulated double glazing.
The 234-room St Julie’s Hall was also treated to improved building insulation, the installation of ‘photovoltaic’ solar electricity panels on the roof, the fitting of low-flow shower restrictors and also new ‘non concussive’ push taps to reduce water consumption.
James Ellison, Director of Estates at Hope, says: “This is our response to the Government’s climate agenda, and to the ongoing global environmental emergency.
“In addition to all of the improvements at St Julie’s, we’ve also redecorated the whole building, replacing all of the kitchens and showers.
“The improved heating system means that when students aren’t in, the heating is off - whereas in previous years if just one student was in St Julie’s, the heating for the whole building had to be on. It was previously a very inefficient system - and original to the building.”
Pre-Covid, St Julie’s Hall alone accounted for 15 per cent of Hope’s entire gas consumption - a figure James hopes will reduce radically with the new heating system.
Part of the cost of the refurbishment has come from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) with the University successfully being awarded £883,000 in grant monies.
The Trinity building has also been treated to a new roof, paving the way for the installation of solar panels.
The Hermitage and Cloisters buildings, Aigburth Park
At Aigburth Park there’s been a full refurbishment of the Hermitage and Cloisters buildings, which are both Grade II listed heritage assets.
James adds: “They’ve been vacant for more than a decade and they were in a really poor, dilapidated condition. The refurbishment will restore the buildings to their former glory.”
Cloisters will be finished imminently and will become self-contained apartments for guests of the university, such as visiting academics and their families.
Meanwhile, the Hermitage has been converted to student residential accommodation. That will be finished in November this year.
Elsewhere at Aigburth Park, the kitchens and communal areas in Josephine Butler Hall have been completely redecorated.
The Creative Campus
More than £500,000 has been invested at the Creative Campus to purchase a substantial amount of equipment for broadcasting studios and to enhance the drama studios so that film and TV production - which was previously hosted at Hope Park - can move fully to the Everton site.
James adds: “We’ve created additional editing suites, additional broadcasting studios and we’ve expanded the Fine Art studios, as student numbers there have increased.
“And we’ve also made a number of the drama studios multi-use, so they can be utilised by more than just drama students.”
Hope has also purchased - at significant expense - two buildings in Islington Square that sit in the footprint of the Creative Campus, as part of plans to increase capacity. One of those is the Grade II listed former ‘Kelly & Sons Cabinet Makers’ building, the other is a former GP practice, also Grade II listed, both of which are currently vacant.
James adds: “Subject to planning consent, the Cabinet Makers will be converted into additional performance space to develop the School, with three new studios for film and TV production, a motion capture facility, and an ‘extended reality’ studio. It’s going to benefit the entire campus when it’s up and running.”
A new home for Geography and Environmental Science
Hope is refurbishing the Green Lane Building at Hope Park so that the Department of Geography and Environmental Science will be given its own departmental space in that building and have appropriate laboratory facilities.
Significant investment has been made to allow the Department of Geography and Environmental Science to purchase new equipment for its new laboratories.
Hilda Constance Allen (HCA) East Wing, Hope Park
There’s been a major refurbishment of the Halls of Residence in HCA’s East Wing, with the fitting of larger kitchens, dining and lounge facilities for residential students, as well as an overhaul of the bedrooms.
Overall, the work is designed to bring the East Wing in line with the residential offering in the West Wing of the HCA.
James says: “These are really popular halls - lovingly nicknamed the ‘Harry Potter Halls’ by students - so it’s great that we can enhance their appeal.”
Water consumption and LED lighting
Across all sites, Hope is trying to reduce its water consumption. Waterless urinals and non-concussive push taps have been fitted across all teaching and residential buildings, saving a ‘significant amount of water consumption’, says James.
He adds: “It’s not just the water, it’s the electricity it costs to pump that water around the system, and the gas it costs to heat the hot water. Energy saving lights are now fitted across the campus. These updates help the University in its commitment to sustainable targets.