Amenities Building – University Of Nottingham

The three-storey, £9 million amenities building at The University of Nottingham, known as ‘The Barn’ brings together a dining hall, bar, student services and social spaces, whilst still maintaining aesthetic appeal and complementing the rural landscape – offering maximum value for both clients and end users.

The 4,250sqm2 building was urgently required to meet the demands of the increasing campus population. It was created in response to the University’s 2008 masterplan for the 100-acre Sutton Bonington campus – to establish a new amenities building which would have a legible configuration, with clearly defined entrances and general public spaces arranged around a large, open concourse.

Key Data

Make Architects

The University of Nottingham


Main Contractor:
Willmott Dixon

Installer/EOS Client:
Grantham Ceilings and Interiors

Steel Framing System Supplier:

Materials / Type of System:
Stud & Track


EOS were appointed as the steel framing systems supplier for the project – providing 40 tonnes of SFS. The EOS team also provided vital input into the project design.

The redevelopment helped to integrate the campus, offering improved legibility through the creation of a central pedestrianised area known as the Boulevard. The area surrounding this route was previously disconnected by car parking and obstructed by buildings. These structures and the existing Amenities Building were demolished and replaced.

To encourage long-term value, hard-wearing materials that would maintain their initial aesthetic and durable appeal were selected.

Light steel frame permits a fabric first design approach and optimises the building envelope. Steel is a long-term solution that is widely recycled at end of life – providing minimum onsite waste and enabling a more sustainable future for the facility.


EOS took every step to add value, including offering a dramatically improved building programme through offsite manufacturing and ensuring the building was weather-proof early to allow follow on trades to begin earlier. Providing a fast-track offsite manufactured approach, also reduced the disruption to students and university staff.

EOS also ensured The Barn was value-engineered from blockwork to steel framing systems – helping to reduce cost. EOS worked with the project delivery team throughout the process to ensure the development was delivered to the highest standard.


Capital costs were reduced due to value-engineering and the short programme time – removing an estimated 6% from the original capital cost budget and leading to a faster return on investment for the clients.

The Barn is on target to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating – aligning with the Universities’ position as one of the most sustainable educational facilities in the world. Light gauge steel is a sustainable solution, offering a minimised environmental impact.

When asked to comment, Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham said: “It is essential that we incorporate new buildings that fit comfortably in our landscapes and reflect the needs of our students. The Barn is an outstanding new addition to our campus. It complements and enriches the look and feel, whilst providing our students with a superb facility which they will be able to enjoy for years to come.”

For EOS, it was an honour to be involved in such a rewarding project which will improve the lives of the end users, both socially and academically for future generations.