University Southampton Science Park

University Southampton Science Park

United Kingdom

The University of Southampton has redesigned its estate in the Southampton Science Park, creating a multi-functioning flexible workspace for start-ups and university research and teaching facilities. 

The original building housed a large flume hall to study the formation of waves and their effect on boats and other water-based craft under different conditions. This has been demolished and replaced with a much larger state-of-the-art facility capable of offering enhanced opportunities for research and cross-pollination of ideas to students, researchers, and businesses alike. 

The new three-story building is shared between the university and the science park with shared spaces to enable and encourage collaboration. It contains a mixture of lettable workshops for start-up enterprises to further develop their ideas in a collaborative and supported environment; an energy lab to investigate new and existing forms of energy in engine performance; an unmanned drone workshop for unmanned robotics development; a flume hall to replace the original; an environmental lab containing specialist gasses, equipment for gas chromatography and scientific resources required for environmental and climate research, as well as both private and collaborative office and research spaces. 

The project’s main challenge was to supply large amounts of energy to the energy lab for research. This required a new substation capable of 1200kva. However, the infrastructure of the national grid to the site would not be able to meet the supply until 2023. An interim supply was found and re-routed from a neighboring building that is no longer used until such times as the grid infrastructure can meet the requirements of the facility.

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