RPS was appointed by Wiltshire County Council to provide Building Services Engineering Services designs in connection with the new Porton Down Business and Science Park.
Porton Down is a sensitive UK Government military science park. It is currently home to the Dstl (Defence Science & Technology Laboratories), and the HPA (Health Protection Agency). The site occupies 7,000 acres and is based around a technology park conducting scientific and military research, including forensic DNA.
The Masterplan includes making provision for adequate services infrastructure to serve approximately 15 science related buildings and an on-site crèche facility. The first of these buildings is approximately 4,100m2 over two storeys and consists of 16 laboratory areas with supporting office and amenity accommodation.
All areas are heated and comfort cooled each with complete independent control and monitoring facilities. Heating to common areas is provided by underfloor heating served by a high efficiency Air Source Heat Pump.
This is a particularly sensitive site, with a number of stakeholders to take care of. Funding has been split between Wiltshire CC and an EU Grant with the express requirement that the units are constructed to BREEAM Excellent. The sensitivity of the site has also been a challenge in terms of the services infrastructure.
The laboratories and offices have all been designed with maximum flexibility in mind, to allow future expansion with minimal cost and disruption. The flexibility also extends to space planning, where the services solutions allow areas of any size to be allocated for tenants to suit their particular requirements.