Work has started on the Open University Business School's prestigious new home, and it coincides with the release of a ROMcard that gives a multimedia view of the OUBS.
The OUBS ROMcard looks like a business card, but it contains music, video and multimedia text. It is viewable on any PC that can read a CD-Rom.
Sir John Daniel, the OU vice-chancellor, and Roland Kaye, dean of the business school, turned the first sod on the site of the Pounds 11.5 million development recently. The three-storey building will bring together 350 OUBS staff, who are scattered around the OU campus in three buildings.
It will boast the latest in environmentally friendly heating systems and create a 21st-century working environment designed to encourage interactivity and innovation among staff with a combination of workspaces for different requirements.
To meet these different needs, much of the workspace will be open plan in style to encourage group working. There will be some offices - usually shared - and "hot-desking" space for use by visiting staff and for staff on the move.
The core of the building will house the reception, a cafe, archive and document management space, and meeting rooms for the whole university.
The heating will be provided by the environmentally friendly, low-energy Termodeck system, which keeps the building at a constant temperature of 21C.
The Termodeck floors provide natural ventilation through hollow cores, making conventional air conditioning unnecessary, and save gas in winter by redistributing the warmth stored from the previous day's activity.