Swansea University

One of the biggest knowledge economy projects in Europe has just opened its doors to students after a decade of planning and just over 2 years of construction. Swansea University’s Bay Campus has the distinction of being one of the few global universities with direct access onto a beach and its own seafront promenade.

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Developed by St Modwen, the 775,000 sq ft campus is built on a 65-acre former BP site. The largest campus development in the UK, it will be home to almost 5,000 students and 1,000 staff. The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies said: “We have effectively doubled in size overnight and Swansea has become a dual campus University.”

The new campus has two new research institutions helping to build links with major companies, Tata and Rolls Royce already being involved in the project. A state-of-the-art library is big enough to accommodate 650 students who will enjoy views across the bay from glass frontages.  The sheer scale of the project is impressive and Swanmac is proud to have been the sole blind supplier to the project. Working together with a local specialist blinds  manufacturer, three separate contracts were secured with Vinci Construction and Bouygues UK covering seven separate academic and administrative buildings and eleven residential blocks.

Swanmac installed more than 1,600 window blinds for the project, all delivered against tight timescales to fit in with the contractors’ programmes.

The products supplied were:

  • SiriosTM sunscreen roller blinds that attenuate solar glare whilst maintaining the stunning views across Swansea Bay and beyond.
  • SiriosTM dim-out roller blinds for shading and privacy in student bedrooms.
  • KuroTM fully framed blackout blinds for room darkening for audio visual presentations. The aluminium frames were powder coated to blend with the window frames.
  • HeliosTM heavy duty sunscreen roller blinds with coupled controls and extended crank handles to shade the enormous curtain walling area in the state-of-the-art Library.
  • Helios RLTM tensioned rooflight blinds to maintain comfortable light levels in the Executive Board Room.

All the buildings were either BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding rated and the solar shading played an important role in achieving this.

Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, who has led on the Bay Campus development, said: “The Bay Campus has been recognised as among the most ambitious projects in the UK higher education sector for decades and its realisation heralds a new era and a new status for Swansea University. We are delighted to see the first phase in the realisation of our strategic vision come to fruition, with this significant investment to transform and expand the University’s estate into a fit for purpose, research-driven global exemplar of a 21st century university, which fully promotes and champions the student experience.”

Tim Swanson, managing director of Swanmac commented: “We are very proud here, at Swanmac, to be part of such a large programme to demonstrate and put into action our work and skillfulness to bring our very cutting-edge modern products to Swansea.”