About the building
The NRP Innovation Centre was constructed to a very high standard during the 1980s for use by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Reopened in August 2010, the building has been completely refurbished and rebuilt internally to create ultra-modern, high quality office and laboratory accommodation on three floors. Key innovative features of the building include replacement of the glazing and improved insulation to the walls and roof in order to reduce energy consumption and CO2 production and reduced air flow rates in the laboratories to improve energy consumption without compromising safety.
Entered through a contemporary, staffed reception area, the offices and laboratories are sited in each of two wings. A spacious meeting room with the latest AV equipment is situated on the first floor, with another meeting room available next to the comfortable reception area on the ground floor. The third floor plant area houses mechanical and electrical machinery, necessary to keep high specification laboratories and offices operating efficiently. The equipment is controlled by a Building Management System, which ensures peak efficiency 24/7.
A shared laboratory services area on the ground floor contains autoclaves, centrifuges and glass washers for use by tenants. There are shared goods-in and waste disposal facilities.
The NRP Innovation Centre’s offices and laboratories feature high frequency lighting with automatic presence detection, thermal comfort cooling and heating, low CO2 emissions and separately metered suites.
The Business Centre offers an extensive range of office services for tenants including a full virtual office package, ‘day’ offices and desks, telephone call and fax handling, postal services and an office services area containing extensive document management equipment.
There are shared kitchen facilities on both the ground and first floors. The building is surrounded by landscaped grounds, with mainly rural aspects.
The building has undergone a BREEAM Assessment. This is an environmental impact assessment method, which measures the damaged caused to the environment by the building project. Since the NRP Innovation Centre is a refurbishment project on an existing site, it is expected to do well with a score of over 55% and a rating of ‘Very Good’.
Steps taken to reduce impacts during construction included locating of the site compound to protect existing soakaway drains and ecology; all cutting operations damped down, all external cladding re-used in-situ, with some damaged panels swapped with others; window frames retained and glass only replaced; and a goods lift introduced as platform style to minimise disruption and impacts.