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New environment building opens at York

Posted on 6 October 2016

The University of York’s new £12.5 million environment building is officially open after a launch event with Professor Ian Boyd, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

Environment building (credit: Mark Woodward)

Researchers, industry representatives and external partners attended the opening which included a talk by Professor Boyd on The Importance of Environmental Science in the 21st Century.

The new building houses the University’s Environment Department, the Stockholm Environment Institute York (SEI), the York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI) and BioArCh, a research group covering biology, archaeology and chemistry.

Providing new opportunities for collaborative research between environmental, ecological and social scientists, the building includes a suite of 12 inter-disciplinary laboratories and innovative teaching and learning spaces to enhance the student experience.

The building also features a living wall, a solar panel system and an outdoor eco garden. As part of the opening, 1000 bulbs will be planted which will provide a spectacular spring display next year.

Professor Mark Hodson, Head of the Environment Department, said: "I'm delighted that so many industrial, conservation and regulatory colleagues could join us to celebrate the opening of our spectacular Environment building by Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

“Our guests represent key players in managing our environment for today and tomorrow and reflect the range of skills and interests hosted in the building. Our philosophy is very much that you have to study the environment as a whole to be able to understand it and our staffing reflects this.

“We employ a unique combination of environmental scientists, economists, political scientists, social scientists and geographers; a formidable team to identify global environmental challenges and to come up with sustainable solutions for the future."

To celebrate the opening, the Environment Department will host four public lectures in November including talks by geologist Professor Iain Stewart, presenter of the BBC’s Rise of the Continents and Men of Rock, and Jonathon Porritt, Founder of Forum for the Future and former Director Friends of the Earth.

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