The three-storey, 1,300 square metre building is designed to accommodate flexible office and laboratory workspace for smaller businesses
Exeter Science Park is owned by Devon County Council, the University of Exeter, East Devon District Council and Exeter City Council. The new building is called the ‘Grow-out Building’ and is aimed at small and medium enterprises working in the science, technology, engineering, maths and medical sectors.
It is one of the projects put forward by the Heart of the South West local enterprise partnership (LEP) for a slice of the UK government’s Getting Building Fund - a £900m stimulus package aimed at delivering ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects to stimulate economic growth. The LEP
To celebrate the start on-site, and in light of coronavirus restrictions, Exeter Science Park hosted a virtual ground-breaking ceremony on 12 February. In attendance was Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park as well as Karl Tucker, Chair of the HoTSW LEP.
Construction is scheduled to complete before the end of 2021.
Grainge Architects’ design for the building has been given a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification. Solar panels will be installed on the building to offset energy consumption.
Brian Rice, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “With a net-zero carbon design, the development exemplifies the standard new builds should strive for if the UK is to achieve a green recovery.”
Morgan Sindall Construction was selected for the project through the Southern Construction Framework (SCF): a joint venture between Devon and Hampshire County Councils, having only recently handed over a facility for the University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences, which is also on the science park.
The framework procurement route is credited with enabling the project to be brought to site just seven months after funding was secured.
Sally Basker, chief executive of Exeter Science Park, said: “It’s difficult to emphasise how fast this project has reached this point – it really is quite remarkable. Compared to a conventional build programme, we’ve saved up to 33% of the time involved. To get to this point means that everybody has had to play their part, doing a wide variety of things in order to get us to this position. This has required close collaboration between the Exeter Science Park, Morgan Sindall Construction, LHC Design working for NPS South West Property Consultants and the Southern Construction Framework. We only found out on the 1st August that we had secured the funding so this is a great achievement for all involved. It’s that collaboration that is going to be key to the success of this building moving forward.”
Brian Rice agreed. “Taking this project from planning to ground-breaking in just over six months required the effective collaboration and early engagement made possible by the Southern Construction Framework procurement route,” he said.