GBS Institute of Technology completes on site

The ambitious Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Birmingham has completed on site at the beginning of August.  It is a collaboration between four universities and three colleges to create a hub for vocational courses aimed at young people seeking careers in engineering, technology and manufacturing.

The centre piece of the building is a space with a Cyber Manufacturing Rig, with associated IT and teaching rooms.

More information the new facility and available courses can be found on GBS IOT’s website.

University of Warwick Observatory completes on site

The University’s new campus observatory has been completed on site. It will provide hands-on experience of operating telescopes for its astrophysics students, as well as serving as a showcase University facility that can be used for outreach, public engagement activities, and local participation.

Robothams have worked with members of the University’s estates team and main contractor – William Gough on the detailed design.

Over cladding revitalises College buildings

Last year saw Robothams complete a major refurbishment at Warwickshire College, including the internal and external refurbishment of its six storey teaching block. The scheme involved wrapping the building in a rain-screen cladding system, installing new windows and sun-shading to control solar gains. The project has transformed the external appearance and significantly improved internal comfort and energy use.


 Before and After, at Warwickshire College

In parallel we have been working on a similar scheme for Abingdon & Witney College where a 1960’s system built teaching block has been upgraded at their Abingdon campus. A lightweight insulated render and blue brick shell hangs from the building’s concrete frame creating a crisp new facade and image for the College. The scheme is due for completion in 2015 with funding from the Skills Funding Agency.



Before and After, at Abingdon & Witney College

The key benefits of over-cladding are:

  • Refurbishment and reuse is an inherently environmentally friendly approach.
  • By opting to over-clad both Colleges kept on teaching during the work minimising disruption and avoiding expensive temporary accommodation.
  • New windows have allowed the majority of rooms to be naturally ventilated, solar control glass preventing over heating whilst creating bright teaching rooms.
  • Insulated panels have reduced heat losses and minimised energy use.

We are currently working on similar projects for a number of other Colleges and Universities including the re-cladding of a twenty two storey tower in Coventry.

For more information contact our education team.

Building Information Modelling commissions increase in 2015

SHB - Energy Centre - 10 ReducedWorking with BIM experts Digitial Node we are well on the way to be able to deliver the majority of the practice’s work using BIM in 2016. Since 2012 the practice have been investing in software and training for our architectural staff, developing in-house skills and standards to allow us to manage the increasing number of commissions requiring a BIM approach.

Our innovation team are steering the BIM revolution with Rebecca from Digital Node’s help identifying best practice and standards to support adoption.  One of our BIM Champions Andrea Obremski says, ‘we are seeing lots of benefits to the practice’s work flow with improved co-ordination and productivity improving our offer to clients’. 

3002 SHB - BIM Section - lowres

Current projects include a school in Erdington and a performing arts centre in the Cotswolds, as well as schemes we are currently bidding on in Abingdon and Coventry.

New website – work in progress

Work is well under way to rebuild our website. Auburn Creative have been working with our marketing team to develop a new site with an emphasis on user experience and images of our work both completed and on the drawing board. A launch date for the new website is planned for December 2013.

BIM is ‘Unstoppable’

Robothams Architects have taken delivery of their first copies of Autodesk’s Revit Architecture following a commitment by the practice to invest heavily in BIM (Building Intelligent Modelling) over the next five years. The partners expect the use of BIM software to become common place on both refurbishment and new building projects, particularly given the government’s Chief Construction Advisor, Paul Morrell stating that he expects BIM to be mandatory on all publicly funded projects by 2016. The new software will allow a more collaborative approach amongst all members of the project team, and a more coordinated approach to the integration of structure, services and building fabric.

For more information visit