Change is set to continue at Lincoln University with the announcement of $60 million of government funding to complete a flagship science facility, to be completed in the middle of next year.
Work on the new facility on the north east corner of the campus began with a ground-breaking ceremony last year and the recently announced funding will allow completion of the project which will feature state-of-the-art teaching, research and collaboration spaces complemented by multi-use adjustable workstations and social zones, all set within a biodiverse park-like environment.
In July last year, the university opened a new agricultural sciences building and the two new facilities are part of Lincoln’s wider campus development programme that started in 2020 with the launch of a new student hub and new outdoor social space featuring native plantings and a cultural heritage-inspired paved pathway.
In line with the university’s sustainable infrastructure goals, the new building will have a minimal environmental impact, incorporating roof and wall-mounted solar arrays, a ground-sourced heating/cooling system and a rainwater-fed toilet flushing system in the design.
The university’s sustainability strategy has two goals: to be sector leaders in education, research and demonstration of sustainability; and for the university to become carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050. The building programme is in line with those goals.
“We’re putting PV (photovoltaic) panels on many of the roofs and we have plans for a large solar farm associated with the university to greatly increase our own supply of renewable energy,” Lincoln’s vice chancellor Grant Edwards says.
There are also plans to use space better with the right-sizing of Lincoln’s building programme, removal of poor and aged facilities and installation of lower energy-using LED lighting.
“We have major building going on, which presents an opportunity to demolish old buildings but also to look at opportunities around water retention solutions for water and biodiversity on campus,” he says.
Lincoln’s chief operating officer Susie Roulston says the Tertiary Education Committee’s approval of the funding signalled the Government’s confidence in Lincoln and its support for the university’s increasingly important role as a provider of world-ranked land-based education and research.
“Our new flagship science facility forms part of a suite of infrastructure assets that will ultimately deliver a spatially optimised campus, with students at its heart, where the university can provide its world-leading teaching and research within an ecosystem of social wellbeing and environmental sustainability,” Roulston says.
“The challenges facing today’s food and fibre producers are manifold and profound, and we are proud to deliver this new facility where we can further advance our commitment to equip future generations with the skills and knowledge to shape a better future.”
Additional construction work will see the creation of a new AgResearch building on land the CRI has acquired from the university. This building will face the new Lincoln science building and the cafe area will be accessible by the two buildings, encouraging students and scientists to collaborate.
When the two new buildings are complete, they will replace the multi-storey Burns Building that opened in 1976 but which was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes and will eventually be demolished.
This article first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Dairy Farmer.