World famous British entrepreneur Sir James Dyson will officially open the University of Bath’s newest building this week.

Sir James will perform the official opening ceremony for the new multi-million pound 4 West building this Friday, 2 July.

4 West opened in April and has provided much needed additional research and teaching space on the University campus, as well as being home to a new Post Graduate Centre.

It replaced the original building which was constructed as part of the Claverton Down campus development in 1967/8. For many years the building provided a home for research and teaching activities in the areas of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Physics, but by 2003 it had reached the end of its useful life and a decision was taken to demolish it and build a new one.

The design of the new 4 West has achieved the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Award Scheme) excellent rating – the top environmental accolade in the building trade.

Amongst its innovative features is a concrete cool system which uses the concrete floors and substantial walls of the structure as a heat sink – like a storage heater.

This means that during the summer the building is purged overnight with cool night-time air to cool the building down, and during the winter the large thermal mass of the building keeps the occupants in a warm, comfortable and stable environment.

Designed by German company Kiefer, 4 West is one of the first buildings in the UK to use such a system.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell said: “We are delighted that Sir James Dyson is able to join us to perform the official opening ceremony.

“He is one of the world’s leading design engineers and entrepreneurs who has his roots very firmly in this region.

“I know he passionately believes in what universities can offer to young people and our society – both in terms of teaching and in research.

“His recent report ‘Ingenious Britain’ calls for more emphasis on science, design and technology in our schools and universities, and these are all key strengths of Bath.

“This new building demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving facilities and resources for our students and staff here at Bath – a commitment that continues despite the current recession and cuts to HE budgets.”

Sir James Dyson said: “The 4 West building is an impressive space with a forward thinking design. It will be an asset to Bath, and a testament to the achievements of this University – particularly in engineering and maths.”

Sir James and the Vice-Chancellor will be joined at the opening ceremony by the University’s Chancellor Lord Tugendhat, Bath MP Don Foster, members of the University Council, members of Bath & North East Somerset Council, representatives from the main contractor Cowlin and other University colleagues.

Before the actual ceremony there will be a chance for guests to look around the building and to meet some of the University’s early stage researchers who will be showcasing their work.