Improving the environment

Project description

Morgan Sindall Construction has constructed the UK’s first carbon neutral laboratory. The facility houses The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Sustainable Chemistry, which serves as a hub to catalyse new collaborations with industry. The centre will be unique in the UK, not only in its design but also in its focus on world-leading research activity in sustainable chemistry. 

This research activity will aim for the highest ‘clean and green’ standards to minimise environmental impact and ensure that the new chemistry developed is both energy and resource efficient and sustainable.

The building, which has been designed by architects The Fairhursts Design Group, occupies 4,500 sq m over two floors.

Located on The University of Nottingham’s award-winning Innovation Park, the new carbon neutral laboratory building provides unrivalled facilities for chemistry. The focus on sustainability is reflected in the building itself, which incorporates the latest technologies to allow it to be carbon neutral over its lifetime.

Responsible business

Improving the environment

Improving the environment

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.


  • A rigorous carbon data collection and auditing regime will be implemented in order to demonstrate the building’s carbon credentials, both during construction and through the buildings operational phase
  • The project has set a maximum carbon expenditure target of c. 800 tonnes of carbon which includes embodied carbon within building materials, the construction process and for delivery of materials to site
  • The in-use target for energy use is an annual carbon credit of 51.5 tonnes of CO2.


"This building will be at the forefront of the next generation of highly sustainable wet chemistry research laboratory building design. We have commissioned the very best expertise in the project management and design team consultants and we are delighted at the appointment of Morgan Sindall Construction as contractors to enable us to proceed with the construction and delivery of this project."

Chris Jagger
Chief Estates and Facilities Officer, University of Nottingham