Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

Project: Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

The Medical Research Council’s new £200 million Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is using an advanced smoke ventilation solution from smoke and natural ventilation systems specialist, SE Controls, to provide smoke free escape routes for scientist, staff and visitors at the recently completed facility in Cambridge.

Designed by RMJM architects and constructed by BAM construction the LMB provides 27,000m2 of usable space and is located adjacent to Addenbrookes Hospital as part of the expanding Cambridge Biomedical Campus, a renowned global centre for excellence in biomedical research.

Within its construction, the LMB uses a number of energy saving technologies and innovative solutions to provide heating, ventilation and solar shading as well as cooling through deep bore closed loop geothermal system to meet the laboratory’s 1600kW peak cooling demand.

Within the extensive smoke ventilation system, SE Controls supplied 197 chain actuators with a 603mm stroke length to operate smoke vents located throughout the building together with controls for eight staircase smoke hatches. The system included five SE Controls’ 60 Amp power supply unit (PSU) panels as well as eight OS2 Type 21 controllers and manual control points (MCP’s). As it was essential that the system complied with latest legislation, all actuators are CE marked and were tested to the stringent EN12101-2 standard.

SE Controls not only supplied, installed and commissioned the smoke control system, but also the building’s automatic venetian blind solar shading, which are part of the LMB’s energy efficient operation strategy and are operated by solar radiation sensors located on the roof.

SE Controls’ Project Manager David Sawyer said: “The LMB not only houses some of the world’s most advanced biomedical research facilities, but is also contains some cutting edge technologies as part of its energy efficient design, and safety systems including the smoke ventilation and solar shading solutions with which we were delighted to be involved.”