Work begins on the UK's first 'green' laboratory

GSK Lab Groundbreaking 
16 Oct 2013 16:26:27.320

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Construction has begun on the new £20million GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry at The University of Nottingham.

To mark the start of construction on the latest landmark development on the University’s Jubilee Campus, a traditional turf cutting ceremony was held on site with the University’s construction partner Morgan Sindall.

Located on the 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.

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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.

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.

The University of Nottingham’s Chief Estates and Facilities Officer, Chris Jagger, said: “We are very excited about the start of construction on the GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry. The building is part of our on-going strategic capital development plans and investments to continuously improving the teaching and research facilities across all of our campuses. This unique building is also a reflection of our commitment to sustainability and will set new standards for the development of ‘green’ laboratories in the future.”

Morgan Sindall Area Director, Richard Fielding, said: “The laboratory is a UK first and is set to push the boundaries of sustainable construction and we’re proud to have been appointed to construct this outstanding facility.

“Morgan Sindall has a great depth of experience constructing speciality laboratory facilities and is well versed in delivering highly sustainable developments, so we’re looking forward to working closely with the University and our project partners to bring that expertise and knowledge to bear on this scheme.”

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., 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. The project is being managed by Gleeds and the project team includes quantity surveyors Northcroft Services, CDM coordinator WSP Safety and structural engineers Aecom. 

If you are intersted in finding out more about our new MSC in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, then please visit the website for more information.

Ends —

PICTURE CAPTION: L-R — Professor David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham; Richard Fielding, Area Director, Morgan Sindall; Mr Dave Allen, Senior Vice President, GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

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More information is available from Charlotte Anscombe in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 7484 417,


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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