The Diamond, University of Sheffield

We designed and built an innovative educational facility that will inspire the next generation of engineers.

The Diamond, home to the University of Sheffield’s faculty of engineering, is a £50 million world-class teaching facility. We delivered this complex design and build project from the initial ground engineering grouting and piling phases through to commissioning the services installation.

The six-storey Diamond includes specialist laboratories, lecture theatres, large scale flexible teaching spaces and integrated formal and informal learning environments. It provides 5,000 study spaces, as well as a chemical engineering pilot plant and analytics laboratories, an aerospace simulation lab and a virtual reality suite.

Our in-house piling company, Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, installed 214 rotary bored piles through weak rock and coal seams to support the new building. Using our experience in developing iconic buildings, we created the facility’s impressive façade by producing an exoskeleton suit made up of over 10,000 anodised aluminium components. This reflects the surroundings and gives the building its name.

A priceless opportunity for students

The Diamond was built to offer an unrivalled student experience.

Throughout the construction phase, over 750 engineering students were given a unique opportunity to learn onsite. Many students also attended Building Information Modelling (BIM) sessions to experience first-hand the innovative design and modelling tools used.

A ‘building as a laboratory’ - this efficient facility allows students to understand how the building consumes energy in real-time thanks to sensors placed throughout the building. These sensors will also allow the University to monitor progress towards its target of reducing carbon emissions by 43% by 2020.


contract value


engineering students visited the site during construction


floor space