03/11/2011

Minister Marks Topping Out Milestone For New World-Class Laboratory Build

Minister Marks 'Topping Out' Milestone For New World-Class Laboratory BuildA new laboratory which is being constructed by Shepherd Construction on behalf of the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) in Pirbright, Surrey and its corporate trustee - the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - has been topped out in a ceremony led by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

The £100 million-plus containment laboratory at Pirbright in Surrey will enable the IAH to build upon its position as a world-leading centre of excellence for research into viral diseases of livestock. The project is being developed with funding from BBSRC and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills Large Facilities Capital Fund.

The new building, which will achieve a `˜Very Good' BREEAM rating, is due to be up and running in 2014 and will comprise a central hub with north, east and west wings, accommodating around 150 highly-skilled scientists and support staff.

As a key part of the build, M&E subcontractor SES is utilising its PRISM off-site manufacturing arm to test plant off-site and ensure it meets the exacting standards and accuracy needed in the project.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: "The Government has made significant investment in this world-class facility, ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of research into animal diseases. This brings benefits for animal and human health, the agricultural industry and global food security. I am very impressed by the outstanding progress being made here at Pirbright."

Mark Perkins, chief executive Shepherd Built Environment Division commented: "We're delighted that the Minister could be with us to help celebrate a major milestone in the construction programme. The project is complex and has necessitated extremely close collaboration across a number of Shepherd Group companies right from the start to ensure the building's frame is configured to suit the services requirement.

"We are now focussing on completing the building and installing the services before the commissioning stage."