Pascall + Watson completes new facility for the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
The purpose of the new IBERS building is to ensure food, energy and water security in response to a changing climate by providing a world class research and learning hub. The Institute is distinguished by embracing both teaching, research and its application to solve the environmental challenges of our planet. The design solution empowers scientists and students working individually or in multi-disciplinary teams, to drive forward the institutes learning and research initiatives.
The architectural brief evolved as an iterative process to propose a series of flexible seminar rooms, teaching and academic rooms, a bioinformatics hub, a cafeteria and physical bridge connections to a series of refurbished teaching and research laboratories located in the adjacent science faculties. The idea of connectivity was a central requirement to offer the opportunity for integrated learning across the science schools and the various disciplines that make up the student cohort.
The new building acts as the new focus for the community with the double volume cafeteria spatially connecting to the bridge links and physically connecting to the historic landscaped gardens and the new academic square. The new IBERS development is closely aligned with the new research building at the Plas Gogerddan campus. As a result the intended integration enhances both the education and learning for the University and its students across two campuses. The two new developments will establish a world class facility attracting global interest and enterprise.
A central requirement of the project brief was to design an architecture driven by low energy and sustainable design principles to reflect the nature of the scientific research and the University's commitment to reduce green house gas emissions. The project is accredited as BREEAM ‘Excellent' utilising passive ventilation to 90% of the spaces, a sustainable material palette and 15% renewable energy through ground source heat pipes. The building has won two BRE national sustainable design awards.