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Designed by Grimshaw Architects, the Civil Engineering Building incorporates a number of pioneering and innovative aspects including an energy/cost metric to minimise energy usage, design for deconstruction, the installation of building sensors and elements of innovative concrete. It is hoped a BREEAM sustainability target of ‘Excellent’, set for the West Cambridge Masterplan, will also be achieved here.

The building accommodates a mixture of research, testing, training and collaborative spaces for the UKCRIC requirement alongside the majority of the Civil Engineering Division. A wide range of workshops and laboratories are provided for smart construction, structures testing, façade engineering and geo-mechanics.

The delivery model adopted by Estate Management was new and presented a number of interesting challenges for the Building Projects team in terms of achieving a building that meets the research and development needs of the end users. In particular, co-ordination of the Department’s own £7.5m fitout requirements such as laboratory equipment, hydraulic ring main, office furniture, plant equipment etc, with the base design, demanded much focus and interaction with stakeholders, end users and the project team alike.