University of Manchester National Graphene Institute wins Royal Institute of British Architects National Award
The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute has won a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Award, the most rigorous and prestigious award for new buildings in the United Kingdom. This building is one of a series of successful collaborations between CH2M and UK architectural firm Jestico + Whiles. It is one of only 46 UK buildings recognized with a National Award.
CH2M, a global full-service consulting, design, construction, and operations firm, provided technical architecture, building services engineering, information and communications technology services, process engineering, cleanroom and laboratory design, and finally client side monitoring during construction including overall building architecture.
The £61 million, 6,159-square-meter National Graphene Institute is dedicated to the research and commercialization of graphene, a miracle material with the potential to revolutionize multiple technology arenas including ultra-long-life batteries, bendable computer screens, desalinization of water, improved solar cells and superfast microcomputers. The University of Manchester is an acknowledged leader in the research of graphene, the multifaceted material first isolated by Nobel Prize winning scientists Professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University in 2004.
This is the latest in a series of awards and recognitions for this project, including a 2016 RIBA North West Award, 2015 British Construction Industry Award (Major Building Project of the Year over £50 million), BIM Project Application Award (Building), 2015 RIBAJ Scheuco Excellence Award (for Design & Innovation) and a BREEAM Excellent certified rating (top 10%, United Kingdom).
RIBA described the National Graphene Institute as “A fascinating building containing a complex and groundbreaking area of research. This was a building delivered at an impressive pace despite the complexity and pressures and provides a flexible platform upon which future research and industry collaboration can flourish.”
“The National Graphene Institute is the latest in a series of successful projects for CH2M involving some of the world’s top research facilities,” said Chip Mitchell, President of CH2M’s Energy & Industrial Group. “It’s a privilege for our teams to work with the talented researchers – in this case including Nobel Prize-winning scientists – who expect the best in design technology. Leaders in the research community network with each other, and we know that some of our research facility projects resulted from referrals from satisfied clients. That’s the best endorsement of our work we could ask for.”
The success of the National Graphene Institute project led to a follow-up CH2M project for the University of Manchester, providing specialized engineering and lab design services for the £60 million Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre set to open in 2018.