Lancaster University staff and students, who will be using the new teaching laboratories from early next year, visited the building site to witness the “topping out”, which celebrates the placing of the last beam on top of a structure
Once finished, the £4.4 million laboratories will house 216 students from the Lancaster Environment Centre and Biomedical and Life Sciences. The two-storey, 680 m2 building will house two high spec labs, as well as preparatory rooms and general stores. Both labs have been designed to be easily subdivided, allowing multiple disciplines to use the laboratories simultaneously.
The construction is aiming to achieve stringent ‘BREEAM Excellent’ environmental standards, covering aspects like the use of sustainable materials and insulation levels. The building’s ‘low energy’ strategy sees renewable energy as the last part of an approach to energy efficiency, rather than as off-setting an inefficient design.
The building will have disabled access throughout and every effort has been made to provide level access on both floors. The way finding is set to be clear and intuitive and will link into the principle horizontal and vertical circulation routes of the existing Lancater Environment Centre building.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Atherton explained how the new building will benefit the students.
“This new building is part of a significant investment the University is making into science and technology at Lancaster,” he said. “It will be a joint facility for two faculties, Health & Medicine and Science & Technology and I am looking forward to seeing it in use.”
The building will be complete in January 2015.