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Fri March 05 2021

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Morrison picked for ‘factory of the future’

2 Jun 20 The University of Strathclyde has awarded Morrison Construction a £42m contract to design and build the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).

Aerial view of the NMIS (image by HLM Architects )
Aerial view of the NMIS (image by HLM Architects )

The 11,500m2 centre for research and innovation will be built at the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland adjacent to Glasgow Airport.

The build is set to begin as soon as possible after current guidance around non-essential construction work is revised. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.

Morrison Construction Central managing director Eddie Robertson said: “We are delighted to be working once more with our partners at the University of Strathclyde to deliver this important facility. It is always a privilege to be involved with a scheme such as this one that will transform manufacturing as we know it in Scotland.”

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As part of the contract, Morrison is committed to achieving the aspirations of the NMIS design team – led by HLM Architects – of the building being awarded BREEAM ‘outstanding’ for sustainability. To help achieve this, the team will be using innovative technologies and embracing the ‘circular economy’ by using materials that have been, or can be, remanufactured and reused where possible. There will be an avoidance of the most polluting materials such as concrete and other quarried aggregates and, where possible, the use of materials that are manufactured overseas will be designed out.

The building will incorporate a fully digital 'factory of the future', a manufacturing skills academy and a collaboration hub. The aim is to support manufacturing and engineering firms of all sizes and sectors. NMIS is intended to transform skills, productivity and innovation in Scotland by strengthening links between industry, academia and the public sector.

University of Strathclyde principal and vice-chancellor Professor Sir Jim McDonald welcomed the contract award. “Completing the rigorous tender process and appointing Morrison Construction to build the flagship National Manufacturing Institute Scotland facility is a highly significant step forward in the ongoing development of the NMIS group of world-class industrial research facilities,” he said. “As the anchor university for NMIS, Strathclyde continues to work in close partnership with industrial, academic and public sector partners. Together we are making great strides towards creating the future of advanced manufacturing in Scotland, applying leading research capabilities to drive industrial innovation and supporting the country’s talented manufacturing and engineering sector.”

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