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Steel girders mark next step in £20m science park

13th April 2017

The final phase of steel girders being lifted into place has started as a £20m science park on Anglesey begins to take shape.

The Menai Science Park (M-SParc) development, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bangor University, will be completed in early 2018 and is already attracting interest from potential tenants.

And one North Wales firm is playing a key role in the development of the project.

Engineering, environmental and planning consultancy Caulmert has provided a range of civil, structural and geotechnical engineering design services on behalf of client Willmott Dixon Construction, appointed by M-SParc for construction of the first building.

Caulmert, which has offices in Bangor and St Asaph, used Building Information Modelling (BIM) on the development.

BIM allows designers and constructors to work collaboratively to streamline and accurately model a construction project before work starts on site. This approach enabled Caulmert to detect and iron out any clashes within the design at a much earlier stage saving time and inefficiencies.

Director of structural engineering Paul Savile said: “We have overcome several challenges and the steel being erected is a key milestone for the Menai Science Park, and the culmination of a lot of hard work by all parties.

“For example, due to the open nature of the building’s innovation space and the limited first floor mezzanine area, a key challenge to address was ensuring there was adequate structural stability, which we have managed.

“In addition, the science park is being constructed within a greenfield site with no pre-existing drainage of a commercial scale. Our solution not only reduced pollution and flood risk but enhanced biodiversity.”

M-SParc involves the design of a new building featuring three-storey tenant space and adjoining two-storey open innovation space. In total, there will be 5,000 square metres of offices, a laboratory, and workshop. It will have a capacity of 200 people on the first phase.

There will be 615 square metres of window space looking towards Snowdonia, approximately 79,300 bricks used on the main building, and 965m3 of concrete.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the north, said: “It’s always a fantastic stage when the structure begins to take shape and the building you have looked at on paper for months starts to become real.

“The science and technology industry is an important sector for the UK and we are excited about providing cutting-edge facilities for leading businesses and research in North Wales.

“This will also create many new jobs in the area as companies seek employees for work such as laboratory assistants, researchers, engineers, business development officers, and technicians, which will be the start of some wonderful careers for people in the area.”

M-SParc will have a broad focus on the low carbon and renewable energy sectors, and aims to bring economic, scientific, and technological benefits to the region.

For more information about the project visit http://www.m-sparc.com/.

For more information about Willmott Dixon visit: http://www.willmottdixon.co.uk/.

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