Major new research facility completed at the University of Warwick

Off-site construction meant that the five-storey, £33m Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building was finished in just 87 weeks

Work has been completed on a £33m research facility at the University of Warwick.

The 7000 m² Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) will house up to 300 researchers, as they attempt to better understand a variety of human diseases.

Completed by Willmott Dixon earlier this month (March), the IBRB includes five floors of state-of-the art laboratory space, as well as a 400-seat lecture theatre and a variety of social and collaboration spaces.

Three years on from announcing plans for the facility, Professor Stuart Croft, the university’s vice-chancellor, said that “completing that building in this most challenging of years of a global pandemic makes that achievement of our staff and Willmott Dixon all the more praiseworthy, and the context of the ongoing pandemic says more than I possibly can about how crucial such an investment is in our biomedical research.”

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Designed by Hawkins\Brown Architects and Fairhurst Design Group, much of the building – including pre-cast frame, mega-riser, and timber frame – was manufactured offsite. This, said Willmott Dixon, both reduced the scheme’s carbon footprint and cut the build time to just 87 weeks.

Boasting nearly 400 solar panels, the research building is slated to make a significant contribution to the university’s plan to reach net zero carbon from its direct emissions by 2030.

As well as boosting sustainability, Willmott Dixon MD, Peter Owen, said that “the factory build environment allowed us to have better quality control, a reduced strain on specialist trades and fewer site deliveries. This, in turn, benefitted the local community by ensuring the local roads of Coventry and the university were much quieter.”

“The building is an excellent addition to the campus at Gibbet Hill, with the architecture and public realm massively enhancing the environment for our students and staff,” said James Breckon, director of estates at the University of Warwick.

“I look forward with excitement to hear about the purposeful research and development that will be carried out within this building.”

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