Work to start on graphene centre

Work will begin on site next week on the £61m National Graphene Institute by BAM Construction for the University of Manchester.

The National Graphene Institute, designed by architect Jestico + Whiles, will be dedicated to finding commercial uses for graphene, which was discovered by Manchester's Nobel prize winning scientists Professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov. The material is 200 times stronger than steel and just one atom thick – making it the strongest, thinnest and most conductive material ever measured.

Located at the main university campus on Booth Street East, the NGI will be housed within a compact 81,000 sq ft five-storey building, with a 16,000 sq ft research lab for graphene scientists to collaborate with their colleagues from industry and other UK universities. This clean-room will be located on the lower ground floor for minimal vibration. The building will also include a second clean-room, plus laser, optical, metrology and chemical laboratories, seminar room and offices and ancillary accommodation.

The first activity on site will be the arrival of 21 on-site modular buildings delivered by Denton-based AV Group. The steel modular buildings will include a canteen, open plan offices, meeting rooms, disabled toilets and washroom facilities and rest areas. The installation will also feature a viewing platform to enable visitors to see the progression of the development.

The project team includes EC Harris as lead consultant on the research hub, with CH2M Hill providing specialist architectural laboratory design and M&E consultant services and Ramboll as civil and structural engineer.

Completion is due in 2015.

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