The Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub

London, UK

The Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub is a new purpose built facility, set to be located on the Imperial West campus at White City, London. The centre will house life-changing research into new and affordable medical technology, helping people affected by a diverse range of medical conditions. The BREEAM Excellent accredited building will comprise of a mix of laboratory and office space for interdisciplinary, translational research initiatives at the interface of biomedical sciences and engineering.

Challenge

One of the main potential consumers of energy within the building is the treatment of supply air that is exhausted into the atmosphere. There is a key design incentive to reduce the air flow rates to the rooms served, whilst still maintaining the functionality of the room and meeting the environmental parameters.

Exterior shot of the Michael Uren Building's facades
The new research hub will provide cutting edge facilities enabling a range of experts to work together to address the most critical biomedical and healthcare problems of our age. Image: Buro Happold

Solution

Our engineering response will prioritise simple, yet effective ‘passive measures’, such as high standards of daylight and efficient MEP systems before considering more complex and expensive technologies.

Integrating air volume flow control systems within the laboratory ventilation systems will allow the air change rates for the rooms to be lowered, subject to the measured contaminants within the air stream. Fumes exhausted from the building are to be diluted by the ventilation system before being released to the atmosphere to eliminate the risk of contamination affecting both the Michael Uren Building, the adjacent A40 Westway and the surrounding buildings. The fume exhaust system will respond to the direction of the prevailing wind, allowing the velocity and volume of air exhausted to be lowered where possible to reduce energy consumption. Safety to personnel is the key requirement, however, and the system will operate at full volume capacity to dilute the contaminated air to eliminate any risk.

Newly installed research laboratories in the Michael Uren Building
This world class facility will form part of Imperial College’s new, state-of-the-art 25-acre White City campus. Image: Buro Happoold

Buro Happold are really good on lab projects, and everything else we build is easier than that, so also well within their capabilities. We have good relationships with individuals in Buro Happold, and that isn’t just at project management level, but extends to our engineers talking well with their engineers on a day-to-day level.

Richard Garfield, Senior Project Manager, Imperial College London

Value

This pioneering biomedical hub has attained BREEAM Excellent sustainable design certification and will feature a highly efficient servicing strategy, helping to establish Imperial West’s reputation as a state of the art research environment.

Image: Allies & Morrison

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