UCL - Darwin


The projects involved the provision of new laboratory facilities with ancillary support areas at basement, sub-basement, 3rd and 4th floor levels of the Darwin Building. The refurbishment provides fully equipped, air-conditioned laboratories with all essential services and support facilities including offices, write-up areas, plant and storage.

The original basement areas comprised a dark, enclosed cellular layout restricted by low ceiling heights. A major objective of the new project was to achieve light, spacious and efficient specialist accommodation for the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, with a high level of inter-visibility between the various spaces, by the use of extensive internal glazing and careful integration of structure and services.

The core facilities contain two suites of Microbiological Containment Laboratories. They comprise two Category 3 Laboratories and four Category 2 Laboratories all designed, constructed and operated in full accordance with the current guidelines of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens.

Further provision includes new fermentation and HPLC laboratories, dark rooms, preparation areas with autoclave facilities, centrifuge and incubator rooms, confocal microscopy, X-Ray diffraction, dedicated cold rooms and freezer accommodation.

Specialist laboratory facilities were provided at the upper levels for research into Evolutionary Genomics including DNA analysis.

Close liaison with the users to provide the appropriate detailed solutions was maintained throughout the project.

A complete renewal of building services supplying the new department was undertaken including ventilation, heating, cooling, filtration, chilled water, piped gases, electrical power, data and lighting installations.

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