Portakabin to deliver modular laboratories after University of St Andrews fire

The University of St Andrews has commissioned Portakabin to deliver a purpose-built modular complex following a devastating fire at its Biomedical Sciences (BMS) building earlier this year.

Portakabin to deliver modular laboratories after University of St Andrews fire

Artist's impression of the modular complex

February 10 saw fire rip through two labs in the BMS building on the North Haugh.

Although the building’s compartment design restricted the spread of the blaze, the operation to douse the flames caused extensive water-damage to all areas of the world-leading research facility.

Since then, a specialist University team has worked closely with members of staff from BMS and Portakabin to develop temporary laboratories on North Haugh.

Constructed of over 40 modules, the building will contain state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.

With planning permission now approved, installation of the new facilities will begin next week with construction and specialist internal fit-out works due to complete by October.

Nick Griffin, general manager for Portakabin, said: “Having already delivered exceptional laboratory facilities for the University of Oxford last year, we’re now able to share our expert knowledge with another exceptional learning institution. The installation of the high specification space will be set over a two-storey academic laboratory block, providing teaching and research space for the start of the new academic year.”

Professor Tom Brown, dean of science at the University, said: “The fire at the Biomedical Sciences building was devastating to not only the researchers, students and staff here in St Andrews, but was also felt across the whole scientific community.

“The construction of the temporary lab facilities ensures that the ground-breaking research carried out within BMS continues and lets the world know that we are open for business, delivering results of real global significance.”

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