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The deisgn of a new university laboratory building for the Chilworth Science Park
Ross Hamilton-Wright

Howard Clarke, Carl Leroy-Smith
This building has been designed to replace an existing portal frame ‘shed’ with a modern and sustainable open-plan building, providing the basis for a world-class laboratory with integrated future adaptability.

The buildings form responds to the local context, desired environmental performance and the existence of two rows of Listed Lime trees running either side of the building site. The angled north lights provide space for photovoltaic panels to power the majority of the building energy demands. The exterior is finished with Shou Sugi Ban cladding (charred timber) creating a low maintenance high quality weather shield.

The structural form consists of prefabricated Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panel walls that create an external perimeter shell that provides lateral stability as well as compressive support to the welded-steel warren trusses that span the width of each bay. A deep steel profile roof deck spanning between each truss completes the shell creating a diaphragm that transfers the lateral loads to the CLT walls. The structural design and prefabrication ability creates a rapid ground up construction, to reduce building costs and time.

A protected avenue of Lime trees restricted the foundation space due to their root protection areas (RPA’s), this was overcome by designing a ground bearing raft foundation that cantilever over the RPS’s where the building is wider than the existing footprint. The front delivery area is sufficient for an articulated lorry’s turning circle allowing for deliveries of extra-large equipment (flumes), while two other delivery doors are present on the side and rear of the building to allow for more localised deliveries of materials.
View of main entrance
Internal view of laboratory
View of proposed building within site context
View of west elevation

Construction process schematic
Ground Floor plan