Building smart

At ISG, our vision is to be the world’s most dynamic construction services company, delivering places that help people and businesses thrive. This means you receive delivery assurance from a smart and future-focused team determined to never stop learning. With a portfolio that includes some of the world’s most reputable universities, research and development organisations and multinational corporations, we have built enduring relationships rooted in our agile, client-focused and tech-driven culture. Technology – from engineering-led construction to smart buildings – lies at the heart of everything we do. Leveraging technology is vital to improving real estate efficiencies for universities, creating smarter, more integrated work environments. We believe all environments are technology environments, and this belief informs our approach to our work with tools like Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the solutions we develop for our customers, including data collection and business analytics. When working with ISG, you can benefit from our specialist knowledge in technology and engineering.

Bringing education into the 21st century

Blast from the past 

Not all universities have the luxury of expanding their footprints. Many still find themselves in outdated environments that are out of step with current trends. This is where we can help. Our construction team in Scotland modernised the 1960s environment at the University of Dundee, extending and refurbishing the library and teaching facilities at the prestigious School of Medicine as well as the main lecture theatre. We installed new designs, disabled access, audio visual facilities, acoustic panelling, IT infrastructure, collaborative workspaces and everything else you would expect to find in a modern and inspiring teaching environment. In 2017, it was announced that the facility was ranked first in Scotland and fifth in the UK for medicine in the Guardian university league tables.

ISG Higher Education University of Dundee
ISG Higher Education Datacentre University of Cambridge

Secure, resilient, flexible datacentres

Protecting vital information 

We have a strong history of constructing and fitting out highly engineered, technology-led datacentres for the world’s foremost tech giants. We also provide this service to universities eager to protect their data. We have built datacentres for the likes of the University of Cambridge, who employed us to build a two-storey facility that included four data halls, 240 racks, plant space and the provision to generate 3.2MW of power. We were also appointed to refresh the university’s established data space in two separate buildings on campus, providing demolition and reconstruction works as well as installing new generators and cooling systems.

Building a centre of excellence for energy research

Out with the old, in with the old 

Given our vast knowledge of construction – its legacy, evolution, and environmental impact – our skills were called upon by the University of Salford to deliver a truly unique and innovative project: the Salford Energy House. This innovative research facility involved recreating – brick-for-brick – a typical Salford terraced house from 1919, located within a fully environmentally controllable chamber. The house acts as a unique test-bed for academics and commercial organisations looking to study the effects of heating, lighting and humidity levels on the building, and the impact of retrofitted materials. The research is being used to inform best practice solutions on energy efficiency.

ISG Higher Education Salford Energy House
ISG Higher Education Tinbergen Building Oxford

Creating sustainable environments

Maximum efficiency at University of Oxford

We have worked with 15 of the 24 Russell Group members; research-intensive world-class institutions, delivering facilities which have the potential to be life-changing. Our highly engineered scheme for The Tinbergen Building at the University of Oxford combines our full-service remit of fit out, construction, technology and refurbishment. The extension of the building will help the university’s chemistry facility to expand and meet its future growth targets. Coupled with the university’s radical laboratories and interactive hubs, the project also draws on our industry-leading sustainability credentials, with a design built around energy efficiency. Around 80% of the heating and hot water will be supplemented by the recovered heat extracted from the building.

Complicated work in listed environments

Modernising protected buildings

Many of the UK’s most important universities find themselves in buildings that no longer meet the high standards set out by modern ways of working. Historical institutions need to strike a balance between protecting the heritage and prestige of their environment, as well as attracting and retaining the best students and academics. We have a long and distinguished history of performing sensitive renovation works in the higher education sector, including projects such as Senate House for the University of London. This Grade II listed building required major structural alterations to add new floor slabs, lecture theatres, conference facilities, offices, a library and a new lift. We used traditional materials to preserve the heritage of the building, and skilled craftspeople to repair limestone plaster, interior timberwork and stone cornices.

ISG Higher Education Senate House London
ISG Higher Education Department of Mechanical Engineering Imperial College London UK

Our dedicated BIM teams take your building from analogue to digital

Level 2 BIM at landmark site

Following our work on over 30 projects for Imperial College London, the world-renowned institution awarded ISG an ambitious 14-storey flagship construction project at the heart of its 25-acre White City campus. The Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Research Hub will provide lifechanging research into new medical technologies, helping to treat cancers, develop minimally invasive implants, and regenerative medicine for nervous system injuries. The project draws upon our in-house resource of BIM experts who will see the scheme through to Level 2 maturity, helping to collect data to inform the construction and map the building’s efficiency and usage. In every aspect of the term, this is a technology-led scheme, from beginning to end.

Delivering innovation at world-leading institution

Future-thinking at Imperial College London

We are also engaged in another major project at Imperial College London’s new White City campus. The Department of Chemistry is a new build, 10-storey, 275,000 sq ft structure which will require a highly engineered and technical fit out, bespoke to the client’s requirements – like the installation of an advanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) suite, plus six floors of laboratories, including 340 fume cupboards. We will also be building a 250-seat auditorium. The new faculty building will further strengthen Imperial College London’s reputation as a global leader in chemistry research and teaching.

ISG Higher Education BIM model


Louise Tanner - ISG
  • Louise Tanner
  • Business Development Director, UK Construction South
Richard Irwin - ISG
  • Richard Irwin
  • Business Development Director, Engineering Services