News & Insights

Morgan Sindall to construct the UK's first carbon neutral laboratory

Morgan Sindall has been appointed to construct the UK’s first carbon neutral laboratory - winning the £15.8 million construction contract for the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory of Sustainable Chemistry for The University of Nottingham.

The laboratory, which is being part-funded by GlaxoSmithKline, will house The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Sustainable Chemistry, which will serve 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, 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 University of Nottingham’s Chief Estates and Facilities Officer, Chris Jagger, said: “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 as contractors to enable us to proceed with the construction and delivery of this project.”

Located on The University of Nottingham’s 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.

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.

Morgan Sindall area director, Richard Fielding, said: “This is an extremely exciting project to be working on; it’s a UK first and is set to push the boundaries of sustainable construction. We’re proud to have been appointed to construct this outstanding facility which will enable world-leading research activity in sustainable chemistry to take place in a setting which has been constructed and designed so that it doesn’t adversely affect the natural environment.

“Morgan Sindall has a 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.”

Construction of the laboratory will begin in the Autumn of 2013 and it is expected to be completed in early 2015. The project is being managed by Gleeds and the project team includes quantity surveyors Northcroft Services, structural engineers Aecom and CDM Co-ordinator WSP Group Plc.


Pictured: An artist’s impression of the Centre for Sustainable Chemistry

For more information about this news release please contact Ruth Cobban at Paver Smith on 0151 239 5000 or email