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Laboratory specifies steel

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As well as consisting of a predominantly steel framed structure, the Medical Research Council’s new Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has utilised 55t of Metsec light gauge steel C section side rails.

The Metsec product was used to take the secondary cladding on eight towers included in a £200m state-of-the-art new facility.

The striking new facility, designed by architects RMJM to support world class research and development, comprises two kinked laboratory blocks joined by a central atrium, which reflects the shape of a dividing chromosome.

Due to be completed in 2012, the unusually-shaped facility will replace an existing 50 year old building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It will accommodate 440 scientists in 27,000m² of fully air conditioned space over three floors.

Kevin Jones, Sales Director for Metsec’s Purlin Division said: “Due to the unusual shape of the towers, this job involved thousands of components and was therefore complex in terms of design. We worked with the installer, Varla UK, using our latest MetSPEC 12 design software to work out the detailing, which enabled accurate manufacture, costing and construction. The finished result will look very aesthetically pleasing, with the black clad plant towers on the roof being reminiscent of funnels on a ship and contrasting well with the glass clad building.”

Main contractor for the project is BAM Construction and the steelwork contractor is Fisher Engineering.

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