The new specialist centre for fast-growth STEMM businesses at the Exeter Science Park has reached a major milestone. A ‘topping out’ ceremony has taken place just off J29 of the M5, to mark a key stage of the build.
Once complete, the ‘Grow-out Building’ will be net-zero carbon for operational energy and BREEAM Excellent. It will support knowledge-led small and medium enterprises working in the science, technology, engineering, maths and medical (STEMM) sectors.
Once funding was secured for the ‘Grow out’ building, detailed designs were drawn up, planning application submitted and a contractor procured all within a few months. In November 2020 contractor Morgan Sindall appointed us as part of their design team to provide detailed civil, structural, and ground engineering services.
We turned the work around in extra-quick time to enable the start on site before the end of February 2021. The project has seen the fastest turnaround of any building scheme undertaken on the Park.
The building has some complex aspects – including the façade. Our structural engineers incorporated a series of long spanning horizontal cladding panels into the detailed design. Our civil engineers also overcame drainage challenges by working closely with the design team and planning authority to develop a suitable drainage strategy for the site.
Funding from the Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ was allocated to Exeter Science Park by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) from their £35.4 million share – the highest allocation in the south west.
The Grow-out Building was designed by architects LHC Design, working for NPS South West Property Consultants, and procured using the Southern Construction Framework.
Exeter Science Park Limited is the Park developer and has four shareholders: Devon County Council, the University of Exeter, East Devon District Council and Exeter City Council.