Nottingham Trent University - Superlab
Rolton Group provided structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering services for the construction of a multi-million pound science Superlab at Nottingham Trent University.
The Superlab houses high-specification laboratories and equipment in support of chemistry and bioscience teaching and research activities in the University's School of Science and Technology, at its Clifton campus. The project achieved a BREEAM rating of 'Very Good'.
It includes a large multi-use laboratory, which will allow up to 200 students to work simultaneously. This shared space will also facilitate collaboration across different disciplines, enabling today's broad range of scientific issues to be addressed holistically.
The laboratory, which opened in September 2012, incorporates an imaginative teaching environment, with staff and students utilising tablet technology in place of traditional paper methods of record keeping. A specialist camera system has also been installed to allow the capture of high-quality videos, screening experiments due to be undertaken by the students before they enter the lab and as they recreate them.
A range of leading research by university experts is housed in the building, including the latest internationally-renowned three-dimensional security scanning and vision systems work and research into nanomedicine - the medical application of nanotechnology.
The construction called for the conversion and extension of an existing teaching facility, with the conversion of existing workshops to a large laboratory. The old showrooms in a former Toyota training facility were converted into an x-ray area and chemistry instrumentation areas. The ancillary areas and dining room were transformed into break-out and changing areas.
The extension includes technical preparation areas, cold stores, constant temperature rooms, clinical stores and a large bespoke plant room, to serve both the existing and new structures. Construction continued on the occupied site, with minimal disruption, as the university continued to operate normally throughout the project. The development was carried out with a commitment to sustainable design and construction. Attention was also given to planting and habitat creation around the new building.
The Dean of Nottingham Trent University's School of Science and Technology, Professor Roger Eccleston, said:
"The Superlab is a very exciting development for us and epitomises what the School of Science and Technology considers to be important: an innovative learning environment alongside high quality research."