The University of Nottingham (05.07.14)

Topping out marks new milestone for green lab.

The University of Nottingham has celebrated the topping out at its latest landmark development with a traditional ceremony.

A plaque was placed at the site of the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry — the UK’s first carbon neutral laboratory, to commemorate the completion of the external structure of the building.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Sir David Greenaway, Richard Fielding from Morgan Sindall, and Mr David Allen from GlaxoSmithKline, were invited to sign the plaque to mark the occasion. In return for the plaque, Sir David then presented Mr Fielding with a bottle of beer — which is traditionally thought to ward off evil spirits.

Construction milestone

The University of Nottingham’s Chief Estates and Facilities Officer, Chris Jagger, said: “This is a significant milestone in the construction of the new laboratory and was a fantastic opportunity to see the build really starting to take shape. The structure is truly striking and this ceremony gave stakeholders an opportunity to see the building as it progresses.”

Located on the University’s award-winning Innovation Park, the new carbon neutral laboratory building will provide unrivalled facilities for chemistry. The focus on sustainability will be reflected in the building itself, which will incorporate the latest technologies to allow it to be carbon neutral over its lifetime.

The building is set to achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating of ‘Outstanding’ and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ‘Platinum’ rating. It is set to reach carbon neutral status after 25 years.

Carbon footprint

The laboratory will be built from natural materials and energy required to run it will be met by renewable sources such as solar power and sustainable biomass. Excess energy created by the building will provide enough carbon credits over 25 years to pay back the carbon used in its construction.

Morgan Sindall Area Director, Richard Fielding, said: “The laboratory is really taking shape into the stunning building that it will be once finished. Reaching the topping out milestone is always a special occasion and we are very pleased to have reached that stage here for GSK and The University of Nottingham.”

The building, which has been designed by architects, The Fairhursts Design Group, will occupy 4,500 sq m over two floors. In addition to laboratory space for around 100 researchers, it will also contain dedicated instrument rooms, a teaching laboratory for advanced undergraduate classes, and space for a range of outreach activities.

The laboratory is being constructed in partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, the University’s largest ever fundraising appeal to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. The Campaign facilitated a £12 million grant from GSK as part of their ‘green chemistry’ commitment first announced in 2010.

Work on the development is expected to be completed in early 2015.

Richard Fielding from Morgan Sindall, Mr David Allen from GlaxoSmithKline and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Sir David Greenaway