Research Complex, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK

Nightingale Associates
Date Built
Opened July 2010
Fermi Ave & Road Six
This building on the Harwell Campus is owned by the Science and Technology Facilities Council run by the Medical Research Council.  In a booklet entitled "Science Up Close" published by the STFC, they explain that, "... The Medical Research Council is at the forefront of life science research." This Research Complex provides them with state of the art research laboratory facilities for teams of visiting scientists to be resident on site for months at a time.  Because of its location, these scientists also have access to the Diamond Light Source and ISIS facilities that are close by.

The "Design and Access Statement" for the building points out that, "... The building comprises two floors plus a plant room. It is organized in blocks. The west side of the main corridor will contain offices, which will serve principally as write-up areas for laboratories on the east side. .....  The main structure of the building consists of reinforced concrete slabs and columns. The plant room enclosures will be supported by steel structures. External walls will consist of a curtain wall system on the west side supported directly off the edge of the concrete slabs. Elsewhere external walls will consist of a rainscreen cladding system supported off a lightweight structural framing system."

The building features a heat recovery system and what they refer to as a "labyrinth ventilation system" which draws fresh air into the central plant in the roof via a buried intake duct. This duct (a 3-metre diameter tube was envisaged in this report) runs vertically away from the building before branching left and right for the length of the west side of the building (beneath the grassy area seen above) and ending at two above-ground air-intake terminals.

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