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More space for space – and more

£3.7 million project to enhance University’s research facilities

space research development

Marriott Construction of Nottingham is currently in the process of providing the University of Leicester’s Space Research and Multidisciplinary Modelling Centre (SR & MMC) with more space – of the earthly kind.

The £3.7 million project commenced on site in July 2002 and will enhance the University of Leicester’s reputation as the largest academic centre for space research in Europe. The University of Leicester is a co-founder of the £52M National Space Centre, the Millennium Commissions Landmark project for the East Midlands.

Architects Hook Whitehead Associates originally designed the University's state of the art SRC with the intention of adding this second phase, which will provide valuable additional laboratory and research space for staff and postgraduate students. University of Leicester development

“This will further increase the amount of research that can be carried out by the University,” says Deputy Director of Estates Paul Goffin. “The facility will also be shared by the Engineering, Mathematics and Chemistry Departments, and the new building will expand the range of things they can do. It provides an exciting new interdisciplinary environment for scientific research”.

The SR & MMC second phase has been designed to match the existing building. The three-storey extension is being constructed around a steel frame with blockwork internal walls and cladding to external elevations. Windows are double glazed with powder coated metal frames. The extension features a flat roof of a single ply membrane with an inset area of accommodation on the second floor, which features a vaulted roof. Around this is a balconied area, which accommodates services and plant.

The extension’s interior is being fully fitted out as part of the contract and the existing building’s security and fire alarms, power, telecommunications and data systems will all be extended to serve the new phase.

A £300,000 clean room, which creates a particle-free environment in which scientists can work, will also be installed within the space research part of the centre as part of the main contract.

At present the new phase of the building has not yet penetrated into the existing building and so disruption to the centre’s users has been kept to a minimum. Scientists at the centre are working on a range of space projects, including a mission to Mars.

The extension’s roof has recently been put on and the building is about to become watertight. The project should then be completed by the beginning of June this year.

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Last updated: 24 January 2003 10:55
Created by: Rachel Tunstall

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