The Aletta Jacobshal examination and lecture facility at the University of Groningen has been doubled in size. Construction company BAM Bouw en Techniek completed work on the large new wing of the building at the Zernike Campus on Friday 8 May 2020. The unique project, to which end construction nuisance for students and staff had to be kept at a minimum, has now been completed on a deathly quiet campus as a result of the measures taken against the coronavirus. Since the construction work has been completed, further installation has been taking place, so that the new building can be put into use as from the next academic year.
Behind the orangey brown ceramic cladding on the outside of the new wing are two new lecture halls (with 200 and 450 seats), an examination hall (with 590 digital exam stations), an extra lobby and study facilities. The whole building has also been made more sustainable thanks to a geothermal energy system and over 500 solar panels. The indoor climate has been improved through the installation of a better climate control system and, last but not least, the bike shed has been enlarged.
‘We are proud and happy that we have been able to make this impressive extension come to life in one and a half years, according to schedule’, says Hans Biemans, member of the Board of the University of Groningen. ‘Of course, we hope that we can put these great new facilities to use in the next academic year and – in accordance with the regulations that are applicable then. The goal of the project has not changed: to fulfil the wishes of faculties and lecturers to be able to administer more examinations, and especially more digital examinations, during exam periods.’
The new building, designed by architecture firm Onix NL from Groningen, was constructed against the south-east side of the existing examination hall and partly in the pond. With 5,400 m2 of extra (gross) floor surface, the existing building has been doubled in size. The pond was filled in for the most part to serve as a temporary construction site but will be excavated again. The new wing will soon be used as the main entrance to the building, with the former entrance being used as the exit.
Over the coming period, the UG will furnish the new rooms with exam desks, chairs and suitable study spots that fit with the study environment.
‘We began construction on a busy campus, of course’, reflects Bart Perton from BAM. ‘It was a big challenge to limit the construction nuisance, which we thoroughly addressed by using screw piles instead of concrete piles, for instance, as well as through the careful planning of heavy transport and by only carrying out quiet tasks during exam periods. We had clear agreements about the reporting of tips and complaints. To our delight, barely any complaints were made during construction, and we were able to resolve the complaints that we did receive immediately. Over the last few weeks, we took measures to allow construction to continue in an adjusted manner during the coronavirus situation. We are proud of the end result and hope that the new facilities ensure the optimal performance of activities carried out there.’
For more information about the project, visit www.rug.nl/groundbreakingwork.
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