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Pirbright Institute Receives Planning Approval for New Lab

PIRBRIGHT, UK – The Pirbright Institute has received approval from Guildford Borough Council to build a new state-of-the-art 4,000 m2 laboratory building, designed by the London office of global architecture firm NBBJ.

The project is part of a £100-million second phase of development at the Surrey campus, funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and follows the first phase that completes in 2014. The new facility, the CL2 Laboratory, is designed to support 90 scientists researching livestock, avian and vector-borne viral diseases within Containment Level 2 protocols.

The Pirbright Institute is a world-leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of viral diseases of livestock and of viruses that spread from animals to humans. Scientists work to develop new vaccines and diagnostics to combat animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, swine fever and avian influenza.

The new two-storey building is clad primarily in brick to harmonise with the local vernacular and uses a colonnade to signal the entrance. Research laboratories face north, showcasing research activity to the campus whilst offices face south, taking advantage of views over surrounding countryside.

Head of Estates at The Pirbright Institute, Michael Johnson said: “The Pirbright Institute is a unique national centre that works to enhance the UK’s capability to contain, control and eliminate endemic and exotic virus diseases of livestock and viruses that can spread from animals to humans. The new CL2 Laboratory building is a key element in the continued redevelopment of our campus, enhancing Pirbright as the foremost state-of-the-art institute in the world for fundamental and applied research on some of the world’s most devastating viral diseases.”

Rebecca Mortimore, NBBJ lead architect said: “This design supports the scientific community on campus and will encourage collaboration across programmes, as well as respecting the sensitive, greenbelt location. The contemporary building will provide high quality workspace that allows scientists to enjoy their rural surroundings, with laboratories that meet stringent biosecurity requirements and are flexible for change as research programmes evolve.

The facility targets BREEAM Excellent through a combination of passive design (orientation, solar shading and exposed thermal mass), active design (intelligent lighting and heat recovery) and low- and zero-carbon technology (roof-top photovoltaic arrays and air-source heat pumps).

Subject to discharge of planning conditions, start on site is expected towards the end of 2013 with completion during 2015.