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Decision on continued planning

LiU is moving ahead and signing a project construction agreement with Akademiska hus regarding construction as part of the Campus LiU 2015 project. This was decided by the University Board at their last meeting.

The decision is formulated in a number of bullet points which, in short, means that LiU will sign a project construction agreement with Akademiska hus covering the new building of Origo2, the renovation of D Building and certain changes to Zenit Building. LiU will also try some alternative forms of financing, and the benchmark will be that the costs for the premises shall not exceed 15% of the university’s total costs.

Sketch of Origo2, Zenit Building and D Building. Image: FOJAB arkiteter“The project construction agreement means that consultants from Akademiska Hus will now continue to design, calculate and plan for the projected construction work,” says University Architect Karolina Ganhammar. “The aim is to present a proposal for a preliminary leasing agreement to the Board in November 2014. Only then will the Board make a final decision on whether the project will go ahead.”

The background for LiU wanting to make these changes is, in the final analysis, all about the students. The number of young people in the appropriate age group is getting smaller, competition from other universities is getting stronger and if Linköping University wants to be the best choice in the country for university education then significant investment in the student environment is needed. This is particularly the case for Campus Valla, despite the many measures implemented in recent years.

“It is important when we consider that students nowadays spend an increasing amount of their time on campus,” says Ms Ganhammar. “It is also important to adapt the premises so that they are suitable for the development and application of new educational models that are part of the pedagogical leap.”

The proposal that the Board has adopted means that a new building would go up where the Origo administrative building presently stands. The building, which may be seven storeys tall, has the working name Origo2.

This building should be seen as a meeting place which primarily fulfils the students’ need for information and which would house most of the service functions needed by the students plus a modern library.

“This way of building is something that is happening in many universities the world over, and in Sweden as well. What would be unique to LiU is the integration of a modern library into this type of building,” says Ms Ganhammar.

If Origo2 is built this will free up the current library space in D Building. This in turn would create the opportunity to bring together all the university administration and faculty offices, which are currently spread across seven different locations on Campus Valla and Mjärdevi.

Space would also be freed up in Zenit Building. This would also provide the opportunity for those working with the university's cooperation initiatives to be brought together. A centrally located “cooperation building” would highlight the university’s mission to collaborate with the surrounding community. (The picture at top right shows what the three buildings Origo2, Zenit Building and D Building might look like. Click on the picture for a larger image.)

University Architecht Karolina GanhammarThe library space in D Building would house work space for up to 300 administrative and faculty office staff. Analyses show that it is most financially advantageous to have a careful renovation where large parts of the present structure and offices are kept. Work places would then be a mixture of individual offices, shared rooms and open plan solutions.

The work places in Origo2 would be exclusively open plan solutions, since during new construction this a significantly cheaper and more flexible solution with a view to possible changes in the future. Analyses show that at least seven square meters is saved per staff member when using an open plan solution, compared with individual offices.

“We have to think flexibly,” Ms Ganhammar says. “Currently we spend huge amounts of time, money and energy altering premises to meet the needs of restructuring, the amalgamation and separation of departments.”

“The Board views the proposal positively,” Ms Ganhammar continues. “Some of them have even expressed concern that we are almost too late with this, that other universities are overtaking us.”

If we keep to the schedule created for the project, then the leasing agreement would be signed in November 2014 after the Board’s final decision. Origo could then be emptied in July 2015 and demolition could take place in September. We could then move into Origo2 in December 2017 and into the renovated D Building in January 2019.

“Moving out of Origo would be a long, gradual process. We would need to find solutions within the premises we have on Campus Valla. For example, it would be possible to find 40 to 50 offices in Terra Building. We would probably need to install some temporary offices.”

Each department in University Services and the Faculty Offices will be contacted by the Department of Facilities Management to discuss what their needs for premises are.

“In the autumn of 2012, we carried out a survey to get an overview of how University Services and the faculty offices work these days,” Ms Ganhammar explains. “We are now contacting them again to check the situation and see what the needs are. That will form the basis of the continued work on dividing up the space and placing the different operations in the buildings.”

In parallel with this, the University Director and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor will meet the deans and heads of the faculty offices, along with the heads of department within the administration, to discuss how each unit sees its future needs. These discussions, plus the foundations laid by the Department of Facilities Management, will lead to the continued work of dividing up the space and placing the different operations in the buildings.


Read the whole decision here (in Swedish)


Elisabet Wahrby 2013-11-20

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Last updated: 2013-11-28