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Specialist laboratory, Woking, United Kingdom

Friday 05 May 2017

Research points the way forward

Specialist laboratory by NBBJ in Woking, United Kingdom
BBSRC National Vaccinology Centre: The Jenner Building completed in 2017 © NBBJ 
Specialist laboratory by NBBJ in Woking, United Kingdom
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The Pirbright Institute in the UK has appointed NBBJ to design a new £48m laboratory for its Woking research hub  

Architectural practice NBBJ has been appointed by The Pirbright Institute to design a new £48m High Containment Large Animal Facility (HCLAF), a specialist laboratory and work space for research in large farm animals and viral diseases.

The selection, through the OJEU process, is the second building NBBJ will design for the Institute, the first being the BBSRC National Vaccinology Centre: The Jenner Building, which was officially opened in March 2017.

The new HCLAF building, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will play a critical role in tackling viral diseases that have a devastating impact on animal health and global food production, including foot-and-mouth disease, African swine fever and bluetongue.

It will also support research related to diseases that infect humans—including avian influenza—by accommodating world-leading scientific diagnosis and research within a highly specialist, high containment environment. The building will be unique in providing facilities that support leading-edge work by scientists and veterinarians. 

Rebecca Mortimore, Principal at NBBJ said: “We are delighted to continue our four-year relationship with The Pirbright Institute, applying our expertise in the design of complex science facilities to this unique project, alongside our design team partners, ARUP and Evolve. The HCLAF will join a handful of facilities worldwide that require such stringent biosafety requirements, while at the same time seek to promote collaboration and an inspiring working environment. While it is a challenge, it is one we collectively relish.”

Dr Mike Johnson, Director of Capability, The Pirbright Institute said: “The Institute is very pleased to be working with NBBJ once again. I was impressed with how their team worked so collaboratively with our staff and scientists on The Jenner Building project. NBBJ bought into the Institute’s brief and worked diligently to ensure all our requirements were fulfilled effectively. I have every confidence that this new partnership will be just as successful”. 

The building’s design brief reflects the need to minimise the impact on the rural campus’ surrounds, and seeks to establish new standards for sustainability and quality of experience for occupants.

Designs for the building are expected to be submitted for planning in 2017.

Nick Myall

News editor

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