MEPC has appointed Barnwood to build its 80,000 sq ft Nebula scheme at Milton Park.

The £40 million development will consist of seven new research and development units on the eastern edge of the park, ranging in size from 6,000 sq ft, to more than 30,000 sq ft.

Each will feature glue-laminated timber (glulam) in lieu of steel, to reduce embodied carbon. The beams will be visible inside the buildings and vaulted ceilings will allow science and technology companies to use large-scale laboratory or high-tech engineering equipment.

Nebula aims for BREEAM Excellent and EPC A.

The announcement was made to co-incide with World Space Week when the UK Space Agency announced up to £65m of funding for ground-breaking innovations that could boost the UK’s leadership in space technologies and applications.

Kathryn Andrew, development manager at MEPC Milton Park, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Barnwood Ltd again and the rest of the team on this stellar project, which will further regenerate and gentrify the eastern entrance to the park.

“Nebula forms part of our development plans and aligns closely to our 2040 Vision for the park, which will deliver flexible laboratory and office space to support 10,000 new jobs and create a 24/7 sustainable hub for innovation.

“The development will serve as a launch-pad for occupiers gravitating towards flexible, adaptable workspaces, giving them the ability to scale quickly when innovation begins to skyrocket.”

David Piper, joint managing director at Barnwood, said: “Delivering projects that are sustainable and pragmatic whilst incorporating our clients’ visions is a central part of our ethos.

“Following on from our work on Bee House, we’re looking forward to bringing the same quality and creativity to the construction of Nebula.”

Plans for Nebula were submitted for approval to Vale of White Horse District Council via the park’s Local Development Order (LDO). The 10-day LDO simplified the planning process, allowing developments to be fast-tracked.

Following a £7m infrastructure investment, occupiers at Nebula will have access to Milton Park’s enhanced power capacity, accommodating future demands with energy purchased by MEPC on a green tariff.

Working alongside Milton Park and Barnwood in the project team are SRA Architects, ASA Landscape Architects, Ridge & Partners LLP (BREEAM, cost management, M&E, principal design, project management), Stantec (civil and structural engineering), Mainer Associates (sustainability consultant), William Downie Associates (utilities) and Cundall (carbon consultant).

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