Key contacts

Estates Project Manager

Mark John, BSc (Hons) MRICS

Engineering 2020 Programme Manager

Toby Giles


Summer 2019 - work starts

Dec 2021 - completion

Refurbishment/equipment - £6.5m
Essential maintenance - £13.5m

Harrison – Engineering 2020 and essential maintenance work

Below are a series of plans which show the scaffold erection sequence around the perimeter of Harrison and within the building.

This sequence has been developed in agreement with the contractor and fire officer. These plans are also displayed on the noticeboard located in the Harrison loading bay.

Please note, no work will be undertaken on Monday 15 July (CEMP’s Graduation Day). The internal scaffold erection within the loading bay, scheduled between the 16 – 21 July, will be undertaken outside hours normal daytime hours, from 6pm – 4am.

Scaffolding plans:

Harrison scaffolding 24 June - 1 July

Harrison scaffolding 1- 5 July

Harrison scaffolding 6-9 July

Harrison scaffolding 10-13 July

Harrison scaffolding 14-21 July

Harrison scaffolding 22-24 July

Harrison scaffolding 25-27 July

Harrison scaffolding 29 July - 21 August


Key points for W/C 26 August

Asbestos removal begins this week. This is being managed by specialist contractors and there is no risk to building users during this time. Smoke testing will take place as part of this process to confirm the integrity of the asbestos enclosures. This will be done at a high level and will not impact on workshop or office areas.

Work continues on the relocation of mechanical and electrical services to facilitate the erection of the internal scaffold – this will not result in any loss of services during this time.

Scaffold deliveries will continue throughout the week – this should not result in any noise.

W/C 2 September

Work will continue from the previous week.

We are aware of the Open Day taking place on Saturday 7 September. Corridors and staircases will be clear for this date. The Calm Room, and Fluids Lab will also be clear to allow guided tours.

W/C 9 September

The decant process begins this week and colleagues will start to relocate. Removal contractors will be moving furniture and crates throughout this week so please keep corridors as clear as possible.


Access to the building via the roller shutter door remains restricted. Please report large deliveries to the contractor gate man (available 7.30am – 5pm – ring bell) who will manage access. For out of hours, please contact Mark John – 07825 732124, or Estate Patrol – 01392 723999.

Estate Services have now concluded the office decant plans. These plans impact the first floor offices on the north side of the building - rooms 271 – 288.

Plans include:

• Temporarily relocating Mathematicians, Engineers, Post Graduates and two x Computer Scientists to Hope Hall
• Temporarily relocating the occupants of Harrison 284 to Innovation 1 F1
• Permanently relocating all other Computer Scientists to Innovation 1 M a/b/c/d/y.
• The 2 x Computer Scientists, temporarily relocating to Hope Hall, will later relocate to Innovation 1, following a refurbishment of the ground floor.

The floor plans below outline the specific office locations for each individual in Hope Hall and Innovation 1. The plans replicate existing office provisions, i.e. individual offices have been allocated to all colleagues who currently have their own office. The plans have been discussed with designated individuals from Mathematics (Barrie Cooper), Engineering (Ion Sucala) and Computer Science (Jonathan Fieldsend).

Laura Baxter, our new Infrastructure and Projects Officer (EMPS), will be contacting each individual member of staff shortly to discuss any specific furniture and storage requirements, or other concerns you might have. An opportunity, to visit the offices in Hope Hall and Innovation 1 can be arranged, via Laura.

The majority of office decant moves will take place week commencing 9 September 2019, although some of the permanent moves to Innovation 1 may happen earlier.

You will be provided with three removal crates w/c 12 August 2019 (three weeks before the intended move date). Additional crates will be available to those who require them. All colleagues will be expected to pack and label their personal belongings within these crates. Labels will be provided. The crates and furniture will be moved by Hackworthys, the universities preferred removal contractor. Following the moves, Hackworthys will return to collect crates, approximately two weeks after the relocation date.

Exeter IT, will be on hand, immediately before and during the move, to assist with dismantling and reconfiguring desktop computers and monitors if required.

It is currently anticipated, that all staff who are temporarily relocated, will return back to Harrison in summer 2020.

Main timeline for 2019:

  • 10 Jun – 5 Jul Contractor site set-up, diversions/modifications to external footpaths
  • 24 Jun – 5 Jul External scaffolding erected along east elevation
  • 6 – 13 Jul External scaffolding erected along north elevation
  • 16 Jul – 21 Aug Internal scaffolding erected within double height workshops (above vehicle access doors, Electronic Clean Rooms 131A/B, Nano Engineering Labs 130 A/B and the VES Structures Lab)
  • 22 – 27 Jul External scaffolding erected along west elevation
  • w/c 2 Sept Relocate U/G Study Room to Resource Centre, Yellow Computer Suite to U/G Study Room and Exeter IT office/workshop
  • From 9 Sept Decant initial offices affected by the works (offices 271-288)
  • 9 – 22 Oct Internal scaffolding erected within offices

Detailed planning is underway for the 2020-2021. This will be shared once plans are confirmed.

The University continues to invest in existing and new teaching and research facilities to enhance the experience of our students at Exeter. As part of this investment, a £6.5m programme of improvement work was approved by Council in October. Alongside a £13.5m programme of essential maintenance work within the Harrison building this will support the delivery of engineering education and ensure that our students have access to the best possible facilities during their time at the University.

This programme of work will focus on two areas:

1. Improvements to workshop space, facilities and equipment to support a new Engineering curriculum (Engineering 2020).

This will include a refurbishment and remodelling of laboratory and workshop space, new project and storage space and the purchase of new and replacement equipment. Specifically this includes:

  • New student project-based learning space
  • Creation of composite materials, clean structures and geotechnics labs and teaching facilities
  • Relocation and extension of the fab lab
  • Refurbishment and modernisation of electronics labs
  • Optimisation of fluids lab to create flexibility and adaptable teaching and storage space
  • Creation of a vehicle assembly area
  • Relocation of computer suites to the Innovation Centre

These improvements will support the delivery of a redesigned Engineering curriculum by 2020.

2. Essential maintenance in the North Block of the Harrison building

This will involve replacement of the North Block roof, the removal of asbestos in this part of the building and the replacement of services including heating, ventilation and lighting.

Together, these two areas of work will deliver space within the building to provide a dynamic, flexible and responsive curriculum to our students, in a safe, modern environment where practical engineering and creativity will be at the centre of our student experience.


Work will begin in late June 2019 and will take place over three years, concluding in December 2021.

A detailed schedule of work will be available on this website as planning for the project progresses.

What does this mean for colleagues and students?

Whilst this work is on-going, users of the building will experience some disruption. Some staff and students will need to move from their offices and teaching space to an alternative location for an estimated period of 15 months so that this work can be carried out safely and efficiently. Some staff may be required to relocate for a longer period depending on their current location in the building.

The process of moving from offices and other spaces will be managed carefully with colleagues and students kept informed of how and when they will be impacted. Options for decant accommodation are currently being explored - this will include offices, meeting rooms and work space, and is likely to comprise the following:

  • existing space within the Innovation Centre
  • use of the temporary accommodation currently located within the Physics car park (portable cabins)
  • additional temporary accommodation within the Harrison/Kay car parks to accommodate project space.

Parking within the Physics and Harrison car parks will be unavailable for the duration of the project.

Safeguarding research and teaching

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the research activity and teaching which takes place in Harrison and we will be investigating options to keep disruption to a minimum.

Preserving the student experience for those studying in Harrison is a priority and the project team will work closely with the Students’ Guild to ensure this takes place. In addition, the team will work with the external contractor to explore opportunities throughout the project for engineering students to enhance their learning with site visits and project planning where possible.

Alongside this, the health and safety of colleagues, students and visitors to the buildings will be at the forefront of all planning activity.

The Estate Services team are working closely with colleagues in CEMPS to ensure the project runs smoothly and the impact of the work is managed carefully and considerately.

Work will be undertaken by a specialist third party contractor and their sub-contractors, and as part of the tender process, there will be clear restrictions and constraints on methods of construction, including hours or work, to ensure the disruption to building users is limited.

If you have any immediate questions, please email Project Manager, Mark John