The University of Leeds deliver a new world-class campus hub

Audio visual case study: Leeds University
This is a flagship project and Pure AV has worked closely with us to deliver digitally rich environments that open up a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences. The state-of-the-art building and supporting technology  positions Leeds University at the forefront of 21st century science teaching and research.

- David Oldroyd, Senior Project Manager, the University of Leeds

The £96m Sir William Henry Bragg Building brings together the University of Leeds’ Engineering and Physical Sciences research, education and business activities in a new world-class campus hub.

The new-build, low-carbon complex covers seven storeys. It includes high-tech teaching rooms and laboratories and social breakout and collaboration spaces to create a vibrant space where professionals, academics, and students can share knowledge and experience.  

Audiovisual services, planned by the University and implemented by Pure AV, deliver a flexible, digitally rich experience across the learning spaces. The technology investment extends through building-wide signage into exhibition, and social areas to create a digital platform that showcases the university’s facilities and research credentials to prospective students and commercial partners. 


The Solution

There is a range of learning environments, each of which picks up the same touch-based Extron control used throughout campus and introduces the potential for remote participation via Microsoft Teams.

The meeting rooms, labs, and tutorial rooms are based around a core AV set-up with the display choice and audio solution scaled and adapted to match the environment’s specific needs. Those using the spaces can work with the in-room PC or via their laptop, connecting either through the HDMI cable or wirelessly using the Crestron AirMedia Presentation system. 

Source selection is kept straightforward, managed via an Extron push-button panel in the smaller spaces or a touch screen in larger rooms. Each room is equipped with camera and audio peripherals to enable remote participation over Microsoft Teams. 

Lecture capture is well established at the University, and the Lab spaces are each outfitted to the university’s defined ‘Bronze standard’. This allows voice, audio, and projected images to be recorded and uploaded to ‘Video Leeds’, the university’s Mediasite portal, and shared with students. 

Room booking is in place for each of the meeting and tutorial rooms. The 10” Onelan Reserva Edge panels help the university optimise room usage, as availability is visible at a glance, and booking adjustments can be made quickly and easily. Students are encouraged to use tutorial rooms when available, and they have become hugely popular for independent group work and study. 

New areas for centrally timetabled large group teaching include a lecture theatre, seminar room and collaboration suite, each space offering digitally rich and engaging facilities for teaching and learning. Panasonic projection creates a vibrant teaching wall in the seminar room and lecture theatre, while a 3 x 3 video wall acts as a central teaching display in the collaboration suite. A fully-featured, height-adjustable lectern delivers a familiar academic workspace, giving them easy access to their teaching tools and resources. 

Each space also has lecture capture and the potential of remote participation over Microsoft Teams to support continuity of learning should in-person attendance not be possible. 

The Collaboration Suite is an innovative learning space popular with students and academics. The room houses a vibrant teaching wall, eight pod-style desks with an individual display, and flexible content distribution. Supported by an Extron matrix switch, room users can share content freely between the room’s different screens and the primary teaching wall. Local connectivity can be wireless or via HDMI, and each desk can work independently or take content from the teaching wall or any of the other seven student groups. 

Often host to large seminar groups, the straightforward operation of the space enables easy transition between whole-class and group activity, supporting collaboration and highly effective, active learning approaches. 

Other highlights in the complex include an exhibition space with a 98” wall-mounted Philips display. As well as presenting local content, the screen can also display a feed from the three surrounding Clean Rooms, offering those in the exhibition space the opportunity to view the activity in the TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) Room.

A network of wall-mounted Panasonic Displays on the Onelan platform creates a dynamic building-wide signage solution perfect for sharing information, advice and university news. In addition, a large wall-mounted screen provides interactive wayfinding information for visitors in the entrance area. 


The Benefits

The Bragg Building is the largest single project that the university has undertaken since the 1970s, and the result is impressive. It creates a vibrant and collaborative space for teaching, learning, and research excellence. 

Feedback from academics is hugely positive, and students enjoy the engagement offered by the variety of learning spaces open to them. The capability for lecture capture and participation via Microsoft Teams is reassuring support for learning continuity, should any issue prevent attendance in person. However, the availability of well-equipped study spaces and the welcoming, open feel of the building make the Bragg Building a place where students want to be. 

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