Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building
Our new building unites the University’s School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School to foster interdisciplinary research in a state-of the-art environment.
Our job is to bring people together, in this case, top scientists searching for answers to 21st century life’s questions. To encourage interaction, collaboration and spark innovation. Now one highly connected building encourages the entire University to come in, walk through and use the gallery spaces, café and auditorium.
Two adjoining rectangles with contrasting facades reflect the different activity areas inside. One in pre-cast concrete houses the serviced wet research labs, the other in bronze-anodized aluminium houses the write up spaces. Inside the wet labs are all white and functional, while the open-plan write-up and cellular meeting rooms are built with an exposed cross-laminated timber and glulam frame to create a softer, warmer environment for the writing up of research.
The building is 50 per cent pre-fabricated – the unitised aluminium curtain walling, pre-cast concrete cladding, CLT and glulam frame structure in the write up areas, pre-cast concrete structure to the lab areas and packaged M&E systems including a ‘super-riser’ were all manufactured offsite – a design choice which proved invaluable during the pandemic when much of the construction took place.
We reduced whole life carbon by optimising energy efficiency through an efficient form and fabric, minimised solar gain and maximised daylighting by incorporating deep fins to the curtain walling, as well as extensive use of solar panels. We used our in-house carbon emissions reduction tool H\B:ERT early on in the design development, which provided an additional reason to specify timber for the write up spaces and substantially reduced embodied carbon.
We talked at length to students and staff to make sure that all the internal and external places and spaces were as inclusive and accessible as possible. Outdoors, new seating within the wooded landscape encourages passers-by to linger and enjoy the views. Inside, the public are welcome to use the café, gallery spaces, and the auditorium.
Project name: Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building
Location: Coventry, UK
Service: Design for Manufacture & Assembly, Sustainable design
Value: £50M – £100M
Clients: University of Warwick
Completion date: 2021
Accreditation: BREEAM Excellent
M+E engineer: Hoare Lea
Structural and civil engineer: Stantec
Landscape architect: B|D Landscape Architects
Project management: Turner and Townsend
Cost consultant: Mace
Main contractor: Willmott Dixon
Delivery architect: Fairhursts Design Group
Planning consultant: Turley
MEP D&B contractor: NG Bailey
Photography: Jack Hobhouse