Muir Construction completes state-of-the-art Inverness veterinary innovation centre

Muir Construction completes state-of-the-art Inverness veterinary innovation centre

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, officially opening the new Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre  

Muir Construction has officially completed a state-of-the-art innovation hub for Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Inverness, which was opened this week by HRH The Princess Royal.

The all-new Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre (RAVIC) is located at the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Inverness Campus - which forms the heart of the Scottish Highlands’ thriving bioscience sector.

The building was designed by Threesixty Architecture, NARRO and Rybka, and project managed by Currie & Brown, assisted by cost consultants Thomson Gray, who all collaborated closely with Muir Construction throughout the delivery of the project.

Enhancing energy efficiency, Muir Construction worked closely with the centre’s designers and structural engineers to incorporate a number of passive design measures throughout.

Muir Construction completes state-of-the-art Inverness veterinary innovation centre

The structure has been designed using hybrid mass timber and steel frame, with bespoke insulated timber components with fire protective qualities manufactured by Muir Construction’s sister company - Muir Timber Systems - exceeding strict building standards and complementing the raw, natural feel of the building’s interior.

The new facility provides a modern knowledge cauldron to enhance collaborative learning and development. This offers an exciting and inspiring space in which academia, business and research and development can come together to drive forward the latest industry innovations. This also supports the growth of Scotland’s life sciences sector on a global scale.

SRUC teams based in Inverness, including consultants, researchers and members of Vet Services, will all be located at the facility with a key focus on animal health, infectious disease control and zoonotic disease research. It will also build key connections in human health through close collaboration with NHS Highland and University of the Highlands and Islands.

The centre is also set to bring a number of economic benefits to the wider community, using technology and big data expertise to create new jobs and support new and existing businesses in the industry.

Muir Construction completes state-of-the-art Inverness veterinary innovation centre

With distinctive cladding around its exterior, the building’s one-of-a-kind 11,450 square foot design is centred around a vibrant atrium. This brings all aspects of the facility together to encourage social interaction, and focuses on the use of height, colour and natural materials. Full height glazing maximises daylight and creates a welcoming environment for visitors.

The building comprises superb new lecture, workshop and community events spaces. These are designed to enhance knowledge sharing by facilitating industry talks, presentations and showcasing of the latest innovations.

A necropsy suite for wildlife, main office areas and high-quality laboratory spaces located in “The Blue Jewel” - recognised through its rich colour and spacious surroundings - have also been incorporated to support the development of new products and services, as well as industry-focused research.

Martin Smith, CEO of Muir Group, said: “We’re thrilled to have played a key role in bringing this new, exciting bioscience facility to Scotland. The project had an extremely unique brief and we’re delighted to have gone above and beyond to exceed our client’s expectations. Seeing HRH The Princess Royal open this facility demonstrates just how important this new building will be for the Highlands.

Muir Construction completes state-of-the-art Inverness veterinary innovation centre

Patrick Reel, managing director of Muir Construction, said: “The requirements for the centre provided a great opportunity to bring several of our divisions at Muir together, to not only build the exceptional facility, but also create bespoke high performance timber panelling that creates a distinctive feature throughout.

“Using building materials with lower embodied carbon and working with the design team to create a space that uses less energy, we have created a building that is truly sustainable.

“This exciting building will play a major role in bringing local organisations together. It provides a high quality facility which will make a great impact across the country’s science industry for years to come.”

Muir Construction completes state-of-the-art Inverness veterinary innovation centre

SRUC principal and chief executive Wayne Powell said: “We are delighted with our state-of-the-art Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre, which will enable us to build new links between science and industry to help address planetary health challenges and grow the natural economy.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and was central to the building’s design, reflecting SRUC’s commitment to preserving natural resources.”

Richard Scott, project architect at Threesixty Architecture, said: “High sustainability targets and our people first approach, combined with strong concepts informed the design of this project to successfully create an all-encompassing space in which academia, research and development can thrive together.

“Working collaboratively with Muir Construction, Muir Timber Systems, SRUC and all our partners, we’re excited to see this ambitious vision come to life and we’re confident it provides a dynamic collaborative space for everyone to enjoy. Collaborating with both Muir Construction and Muir Timber Systems was a key factor in creating such a truly unique building that will play a significant role in SRUC’s future.”

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