• Key Construction Milestone Progresses The Franklin
    Pictured (L-R): Charlie Vezzell (Associate Project Manager AECOM), Jim Naismith (Director of the Franklin), and Simon Allen (Mace Project Director). Photograph By: Sean Dillow.

News & Views

Key Construction Milestone Progresses The Franklin

Feb 16 2021

A £40m Hub that will house The Rosalind Franklin Institute on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus reached practical completion at the end of January, when construction company Mace handing legal ownership to UK Research and Innovation. Following specialist scientific fit out, 200 researchers from academia and industry will begin to occupy the building.

Funded through UK Research and Innovation’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, (EPSRC), the Hub project which commenced in 2018 has been delivered on time and on budget by Mace, working in partnership with AECOM, The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Franklin.

Professor James Naismith, Director of The Franklin said “This is a building created by scientists for cutting edge research, and we are looking forward to continuing to deliver impact for the UK. The Hub shows that it is possible to deliver a highly functional science building that is on budget, on time, energy efficient, a record breaker in space utilisation and visually inspiring. This achievement, despite the pandemic, is entirely to the credit of the exceptional team work of MACE, AECOM, STFC and Franklin staff. Our scientists coming together in the building for the first time will deliver scientific firsts impacting across the UK nations. By doing so we will honour the legacy of our namesake Rosalind Franklin and try to be worthy of bearing her name.”

Working closely with Franklin researchers, Mace have created one of the most electromagnetically stable spaces on the planet for the Hub’s microscopy suites, with stainless steel shielding and piled foundations creating ideal research conditions. Over 50 fume hoods requiring miles of ducting, have also been installed to make the Hub one of the UK’s most space efficient research buildings.

Terry Spraggett, Managing Director of Public Sector Construction at Mace said: ‘’We are proud to successfully handover such an ambitious and unique project under quite challenging circumstances. We brought together a multi-disciplinary team, who really pushed the boundaries to support the Rosalind Franklin Institute’s vision and create a world class science facility that will spearhead innovation. We look forward to continuing our work across the campus delivering exceptional science spaces.”

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