Materials Innovation Factory
Customer: University of Liverpool/Unilever
Subcontractor: Sound Interiors
Architect: Fairhursts Design Group
Photography supplied by:
Polar Double Glazed
The Materials Innovation Factory Project
The Materials Innovation Factory was designed and built to provide a new innovation research hub for materials chemistry and formulation research facilities for the use of the University and its academic/industrial partners.
The project has been supported through a public/private partnership between the University of Liverpool, Unilever, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as part of the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund.
The factory covers 11,0002 ft, and aims to revolutionise materials chemistry research and development by bringing together world-leading, multi-disciplinary research expertise and acts as a dynamic support infrastructure.
The Brief in Brief
Sound Interiors were contracted to install to the specification. A key requirement of this project was for the design and build to have a sustainable structural solution to meet the future flexible needs of the University. The building has also been designed considering the strict vibration and deflection criteria in accordance with the client’s performance ‘in use’ specification.
The full scope of work included flexible specialist laboratories, offices and work spaces to provide researchers with an open access ‘research hotel’ type arrangement.
To meet this dynamic brief, Komfort’s double glazed Polar Vision with a 15mm +/- 3-part deflection head and 2-part base was installed by Sound Interiors, the Subcontractor. This system was specified due to the line loading over an Atrium.
Polar Vision gives you a minimal, seamless style with confident lines and unrestricted views. The system is dry jointed and constructed without mullion posts, offering up to 30 mins fire protection for both integrity and insulation, and can provide up to 48dB (Rw) sound performance.
The end result
Dr Surinder Chahal, Global Vice President Long Term Innovation for Personal Care at Croda said: “This is a hugely exciting time for us; access to the cutting-edge capability at the MIF will allow us to further enhance our reputation in innovative formulation…”
The project was completed in 2016 and was valued at around £26m. The factory successfully draws together world-leading research and technologies, and the seamless integration of computational and experimental models. It now provides a unique and flexible environment for future of innovation. The building achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. It was a pleasure to work with Sound Interiors on this remarkable project.