Aston University

Strategic Space Analysis and Masterplanning for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

CPB Projects advised the university during the implementation phase of a major project to relocate the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.


  • Aston University is a major research-led university which faces the challenge of maintaining its enviable reputation whilst reducing the overall size of its estate
  • The University identified consolidation of its Engineering and Applied Sciences provision as a priority area which would both facilitate the integration of a remote department into the main body of the School of Engineering, and release one complete building


  • Worked closely with the academic staff to scope and define the future requirements for Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry departments
  • Benchmarked and modelled the capacity required to accommodate the department within The Main Building
  • Evaluated specialist requirements and examined the spatial implications of different models of student contact time and laboratory class delivery, to arrive at an optimal relationship between space, budget and quality of academic provision
  • Detailed space planning and remodelling approximately 3,000 m2 of The Main Building to create space for the department and to assess the impact on other departments
  • Negotiated the trading of space between departments to facilitate the corporate objectives of accommodating all activity in a significantly reduced floor area
  • Clarified the future space requirements of all other departments within the school to identify displacement effects and to identify viable target zones for remodelling


  • Prepared masterplan briefing information for all departments and identified opportunities for significant efficiency gains in the use of floorspace in The Main Building
  • Developed a clear output-based specification for the School Office designed to create an improved front-of-house presence for the School and to facilitate process changes being led by the Senior School Administrator
  • Identified target zones for re-modelling as a prelude to negotiations with departments for additional space
  • Provided a focal point for the work of the incoming design team
  • Shared detailed knowledge of the academic issues, spatial implications, models, benchmarks and approach with staff from Estates to ensure effective knowledge transfer between different stages of the planning process