The University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory (MIF), an award-winning new build science research facility, is the latest high-profile development to feature an extensive specification of Neaco’s external access walkways.
Supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as part of the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund, the MIF is a unique public/private partnership between the University and Unilever. Located at the heart of the campus, the £68m scheme was designed by the Fairhurst Design Group and built by BAM Construction. Neaco’s Techdek aluminium grilles provide external access walkways on four storeys of the 11,600 sq m BREEAM Excellent rated building which includes research laboratories, 126 bespoke fume cupboards, office accommodation and associated ancillary spaces building. It will house 240 researchers, including 140 university staff, a team of Unilever scientists and a broad range of other industrial and academic partners.
Fairhurst Design Group concept sought to reflect the creative processes involved in discovery and innovation. The exterior is encased by raw, imperfect, natural materials such as ‘Corten Steel’ and exposed concrete with two glass office buildings adjoining the steel laboratories. The building features flexible laboratories with interlinked workspaces and a central atrium that allows light to flood into the central offices, creating a space which functions as a social and interactive focal point.
MIF aims to revolutionise materials chemistry research and development by drawing together world-leading, multi-disciplinary research expertise, unparalleled technical facilities and a dynamic support infrastructure. The facility won `Development of the Year’ at the NW Business Insider’s Liverpool City Region Property Awards. It was described by award judges as “exactly the sort of thing the Liverpool economy needs to continue its strong growth”.
Neaco’s Techdek is one of the most versatile metal grating systems on the market and has attracted demand in a broad range of development projects in applications such as external access walkways, decking, screening, ventilation, bridge cycle and pedestrian ways, cladding, flooring, staging, balustrade infills and stair treads. Lightweight yet strong and durable, the system has a patented swage-locked construction between bars which enables high structural efficiency. It is also 100 per cent recyclable and easy to install with low-energy construction methods. Neaco’s product range also includes a wide range of modular balustrade and balcony systems.