The Curve, Teesside University



A flagship development for Teesside University, the teaching and conference building ‘The Curve’, provides a vibrant focal point at the heart of the university. Set over five floors, it provides a 150 seat lecture theatre and 1,476m2 of flexible teaching and learning space, set around landscaping for both students and the wider community.

Sustainable Design

A BREEAM Excellent building, it received the Project of the Year title at the 2016 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) North East Awards and also received the Design Through Innovation and Regeneration awards too.

The building’s design includes photovoltaic panels (PV) to provide electricity, extensive glazing to reduce lighting demands, as well as a ground-air heat exchange system. Exposed precast soffits also provide thermal mass for the building to help regulate heating and cooling.

Won three titles at the North East RICS 2016 awards

Tackling Climate Change

The building incorporates an earth duct array which helps to cool the building in summer and warm it in winter. This provides an annual heating benefit of 13, 284kWh and cooling benefit of 15,845kWh, with a theoretical saving of 5848kg of CO2 per year.

A 188m2 array of roof-mounted PV panels provide a supply of renewable electricity.

188m2 array of rood mounted PV panels

Resource Efficiency

Resource efficiency was a priority from the outset. We were able to rationalise the 30 original internal wall types down to eight, which was both more time efficient and reduced waste.

BAM was also critical in the decision to use a ground bearing slab instead of a suspended slab. This design change allowed us to reduce the number of piles required by 15, while a review of the remaining piles was also undertaken which allowed their diameters to be reduced from 600mm to 500mm.

Rationalised designed helped to reduce material use

Responsible Sourcing

100% of the timber used on the project was procured from certified legal and sustainable sources.

The external landscaping required high specification granite cubes. To ensure these were responsibly sourced, BAM selected a supplier who was a member of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and the UK Stone Federation.

100% of timber from certified legal and sustainable sources

Community Engagement

Located next to a working library, our team worked hard to minimise any potential impact on university students. We created an acoustic programme for the duration of the project to monitor background noise levels before construction, as well as altering construction sequences so we worked furthest away from the library during the exam period.

A ‘visitor centre’ was set up on site for staff, students and visitors to keep up-to-date with construction progress. The centre included site viewing panels, showed information about the project and site team and displayed a schedule of up and coming works.

The team actively engaged with Teesside University talking to second year civil engineering students about structural design on the project, followed by a site tour. We also offered a work experience placement for one project management student.  Other activities included working with Redcar and Cleveland College to offer several site visits for their Btec Level 2 and HNC students, and providing mock interviews at Boldon School, supporting their Year 11 students with employability skills.

The project won a Silver at the 2016 Considerate Constructors Scheme Awards

Worked with the university to create opportunities for students


Bat and bird boxes were installed while additional planting was incorporated in order to mitigate lost green areas.

It was necessary to remove some mature trees from the site. A specialist confirmed these trees were approaching the end of their life and we replaced them with semi-mature trees, which will continue to thrive for years to come.

bird and bat boxes installed

Water Management

Sustainable urban drainage systems for the building include an 8,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank which provides rainwater for flushing toilets, while a 240,000litre storm water attenuation tank was installed to reduce the speed at which surface water runoff enters the local drainage system.

8,000l rainwater harvesting tank


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