Case Study

Highlighting the original period features at University Technical College Leeds

We worked alongside BAM Construction and Sparta Systems to simplify the initial plan of 30 wall types down to four wall types. This reduced wastage of materials and maximised performance, whilst allowing us to retain the beautiful period features of the building.

A modern building inside a victorian shell

Converting a Grade-II listed Victorian industrial building into a state-of-the-art university technical college is no simple task. At University Technical College Leeds (UTC Leeds), all that remains of the original building are the brick facades and a lattice of slender steel roof trusses. These features give the college character, but they also presented a range of practical and performance challenges that we needed to overcome.

Overcoming practical and technical challenges

The original plans for this complex building included 30 different wall types, which would have created a lot of waste and a heavy workload. So, working together with BAM Construction and Sparta Systems, we simplified things. By working collaboratively and imaginatively, we cut down the specification to just four wall types, making for a faster installation and much less wastage of materials. As Sparta’s Mathew Bates explains: “This project underlined for us just how important a solid supply chain is. British Gypsum have that good relationship so if anything’s needed, they’re straight out, straight on it.”

Thermal performance was also crucial at UTC Leeds. The original walls were plain brick, whilst the arched windows were glazed to full height. Our GypLyner Universal with a 40mm Gyproc ThermaLine Basic board provided the perfect solution and greatly improved the thermal performance of the building.

Another challenge was weaving so many full-size boards between and around the metal trusses, and then cutting them to fit. It was the same with the sweeping window arches too. Phil Woodhead from BAM Construction was delighted with the products used and Sparta’s professionalism and attention to detail: “The end result speaks for itself: the quality of the finish, the details around the brick exposed windows, just a fabulous finish all round.”

We care about building better.


Project name
University Technical College Leeds
Building type
Commercial/Retrofit & Refurbishment