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Laing O’Rourke chosen to build £150m Royce Institute hub

13 Dec 16 Laing O’Rourke has been selected as main contractor for the £150m Manchester building of the Henry Royce Institute.

The Henry Royce Institute's Manchester HQ
The Henry Royce Institute's Manchester HQ

The new 16,000 m2 building will be on the University of Manchester’s Engineering Campus, housing materials scientists who are riding high on graphene glory.

Laing O’Rourke is already on campus building the £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

The Henry Royce Institute building is scheduled to open in 2019 and at 46 metres high will be the tallest on the University of Manchester campus. It is all part of a 10-year, £1bn masterplan to transform the campus.

The project and cost managers are Arcadis; civil and structural engineer is Ramboll. Both companies also completed the NGI and are working on the GEIC, while Arup, as building services engineer, is also working on MECD.

The new building will be next to the Alan Turing Building on Upper Brook Street, near the Schools of Physics & Chemistry, as well as the £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI) and the £350m Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), which is also currently under construction.

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The £235m Royce Institute is a hub and spoke operation; the hub is at the University of Manchester and spokes are at the other founding partners – the universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London, as well as the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

The building design is intended to allow ‘Science on Show’ – areas of the building visible to engage people outside – while also providing closed spaces for commercially sensitive research.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, vice-chancellor of the university, said: “The Henry Royce Institute building will be a stunning addition to the University of Manchester campus, and will become a focal point for the UK’s research and commercialisation in advanced materials.”

Estates director Diana Hampson said: “This is one of our major capital projects and forms an important part of our vision for the campus and will benefit from its location, close to the NGI and GEIC.”

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