The BBSRC National Virology Centre: The Plowright Building, constructed and engineered by leading built environment specialist Shepherd, has won the Judges’ Special Award at the prestigious British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards.
Given to the building or civil engineering project of any size which the judges consider to be particularly inspirational in one or more aspects, the accolade recognises the unprecedented level of technical ingenuity that went into the build of the state-of-the-art high-security bio-containment laboratories.
The judges remarked that the “incredibly impressive” project was “an example of British planning, design, engineering and construction already attracting worldwide scientific interest”.
The £100 million plus laboratory complex, funded by government via the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has provided the Institute with a world-class facility to carry out vital scientific research.
As one of the world’s most advanced bio-hazard containment facilities, the project team had to deliver a ground-breaking solution which could meet the complex challenges of the project. Key achievements include outstanding air tightness levels 1,100 times tighter than applicable building regulations and at four times the pressure to maintain air pressure control and provide the required containment environment.
Dr Michael Johnson, Head of Engineering and Estates at Pirbright, said: “Receiving the Judges’ Special Award for the BBSRC National Virology Centre represents the climax to what has been a uniquely challenging project.
“Not only will our new state-of-the-art facilities enable us to drive forward our vision to control and eradicate devastating virus diseases of livestock and viruses that spread from animals to humans, it will also allow for the planned future development of the Institute campus.
“Ultimately, this will help us to continue to protect the UK economy, our food security and the welfare of animals and humans, both nationally and internationally.”
Recognising outstanding achievement in building and civil engineering projects, the annual BCI Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, are the ultimate celebration of the industry’s achievements and represent the pinnacle of excellence in British construction and engineering.