Surrey’s New 5G Building Progress

Two years ago, just before the widespread launch of 4G, the University of Surrey announced plans to become home to the world’s first, dedicated, 5G research centre. 5G is set to become the next standard in mobile data communications, succeeding 3G and 4G. It might seem weird that work is already underway to replace a standard that has only just come to market, but historically that’s how it’s done – 4G was being worked on in the US way before 3G was even a thing.

And now the UK and European governments understand the economical importance of being in the research race to develop the next global mobile communication standard, there is a huge emphasis on getting ahead of the game before some else (read: the US) gets there first and steals all the patent and royalty goodies.

Over £40m of funding from industry partners and funding councils will be used to create a new building on the University’s main campus. I say it will… but it’s actually already half finished!

I’m quite excited about this new research centre, not only because Surrey will be showing off its research muscles, but also because it’s an exciting addition to a campus that I’ve seen change so much over my last seven years here. However, unlike the other changes – such as the new LRC block built a few years ago – I want to document this one a bit.

So, I’ve been taking photos of the development as it’s progressed, and now present to you the construction progress so far…

27 January 2014 – Site is clear and a big hole in the ground is emerging (Also, January rain mists up the viewing window)
21 February 2014 – The hole in the ground looks pretty much as finished as a hole in the ground can, maybe we’ll see some concrete go in soon…
17 March 2014 – Indeed, thefoundations have taken shape
24 March 2014 – The front wall of the building is starting to appear
3 April 2014 – The basement level has a roof. When it is finished, the basement level will house a large seminar room and a spectacular sloped entrance from the east side of the building.
10 April 2014 – More work happening on the ground floor
10 April 2014 – A giant crane appears on-site to help with the construction on the next floors
29 April 2014 – The walls have become opaque and level 1 is reached
21 May 2014 – View across PATS field, which is getting slightly smaller to accommodate the new building. The 5G centre is largely placed on the old bowls green, which I can’t imagine many students are going to miss.
5 June 2014 – Another floor has taken shape as the building continues to rise…
26 June 2014 – Looks like we’re up to the final height of the building. Ground, 1st and 2nd floor in, as well as the basement.
22 July 2014 – The glass panelling on the façade has started going in!

The 5G Innovation Centre is scheduled for completion in early 2015, and I can’t wait to get inside and have a look around! Until then, I’ll keep snapping away and keep you up-to-date on progress when something exciting happens!

If you want to see the full plans and mock-ups of the final exterior of the building, then you can see the full planning application by searching for “13/P/01052” on the Guildford Borough Planning and Building Control website. The application is titled “Construction of a new academic building (5G centre) …” and the document called “plans.pdf” is well worth a look if you’re into that sort of thing. I would post a direct link, but it doesn’t seem to work.

until next Thursday x