The faculties and lecturers at the UG have a clear wish: to be able to hold more examinations, written or digital, during examination weeks. The Aletta Jacobs Hall at Zernike Campus currently has insufficient capacity. So the University of Groningen (UG), together with Onix NL architects in Groningen, has drawn up a plan to expand it with more lecture and examination halls. An additional foyer/waiting area, a study environment and more bicycle sheds are included in the plans. The project will be realized by BAM Construction and Engineering.
The building will be linked to a geothermal energy storage system (WKO; Warmte Koude Opslag) for sustainable heating and cooling. The project also includes 576 solar panels on the roof of the complex and climate control will be improved in the foyer. Construction is expected to start in late 2018 and be completed by early 2020.
The Aletta Jacobs Hall will gain two new lecture halls, one with 200 seats and one with 450 seats, as well as a hall with 590 written or digital exam places. The expansion will generate 5,400 m2 in extra floor space, nearly doubling the current area. The new part of the complex will be built against the south-east side of the existing hall, partly in the lake. The capacity of the bicycle sheds at the back of the building will be expanded from 1,060 to about 1550 spaces.
There will also be significantly more waiting space for students due to an additional foyer. The current entrance will then be used more as an exit. A better climate control system will also significantly improve the indoor climate in the existing foyer. Finally, the plan includes space for work stations.
The biggest challenge of this project will be limiting the nuisance from the construction work. An important selection criterion regarding the contractor during the tender process was clever planning of construction work around examination weeks. More details about the plans and the measures will follow at a later date.
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