Topping out

22 March 2011

Topping out are (L to R), Paul Evans from construction company Willmott Dixon, Ryan Dixon from Architects Pascal and Watson, Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice Chancellor Aberystwyth University, Professor Wayne Powell, Director of IBERS and Jamie Lannen from project managers Davis Langdon.
Topping out are (L to R), Paul Evans from construction company Willmott Dixon, Ryan Dixon from Architects Pascal and Watson, Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice Chancellor Aberystwyth University, Professor Wayne Powell, Director of IBERS and Jamie Lannen from project managers Davis Langdon.

Construction work on the new award winning Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences building at Aberystwyth University’s Penglais campus has reached an important milestone.

On Monday 21st March, senior representatives from the University, IBERS, the architects Pascal Watson, and the construction companies Willmott Dixon and project managers Davis Langdon, performed a topping out ceremony, a long standing tradition marked by placing of a branch from a yew tree on the completed structure of a building.

Professor Wayne Powell, Director of IBERS, said: “This marks a significant step in IBERS’ investment for the future. These new state of the art facilities will enable this award winning Institute to continue to attract high calibre staff to teach the scientists of the future in an unrivalled environment”.

The new building, which will be home to the Centre for Informatics and Computational Biology Laboratory, and will feature seminar rooms, office space and a café for up to 60 people, is scheduled to be completed in November 2011.

The development is part of a £25m investment programme in new research and teaching facilities that will enable IBERS to further explore and learn about the major global challenges facing society today - food and energy security, water utilisation and adaptation to a changing climate.

Funding is provided by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Green design award

The building has been awarded the BREEAM Award for the highest scoring building in the Higher Education sector, achieving an “Excellent” rating with 75.27% at the Design Stage.

BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings and has become the measure used to describe a building's environmental performance.

Designed to make the most of natural sunlight and ventilation, the IBERS building will be heated by a 4000m2 ground source heating system that is currently being installed under Pantycelyn field.

Other sustainable energy saving features include insulation made of sheep’s wool, a green planted roof and a rainwater harvesting system that will provide all the water required for WC flushing.



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