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Zinc Facade for Manchester University Research Centre

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 by VM ZINC®

The AV Hill building at Manchester University is a pound;30m research centre shared between the faculties of life sciences and medical and human sciences. Designed by architects Wilson Mason and Partners, it houses 300 scientists in 50 research groups focussing mainly on neuroscience and immunology. The six-storey, 9,700m² complex facade is predominantly of VMZINC QUARTZ-ZINC® interlocking panels which require virtually no maintenance and have a BRE Green Guide A+ rating.

The university's biomedical corridor connects the core technology facility, Michael Smith and Stopford Buildings. Designed to achieve a BREEAM 'very good' and an EPC B rating, the building uses bridge links at third floor level which are a feature within the atrium.

The design approach generated for the building locates core laboratory facilities, shared by all building users at ground floor level. These incorporate a freezer farm and histology suite in addition to a large laboratory space for vibration sensitive equipment. The upper levels provide a generic laboratory space supported by a range of cellular spaces providing secondary research functions.

The VMZINC interlocking panel system is fixed directly on wood or metal transverse purlins with a continuous ventilated air gap left behind the boarding on the entire facade.

The building was named Archibald Vivian Hill, who won the 1922 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine while he held the chair in physiology at the university.