Brunel University has submitted plans on 21st January to construct a new research building and an infill building that includes the partial redevelopment of an existing building for research purposes together with associated substation, two bin stores, car parking, access and landscaping.

The university is proposing to develop a new Advanced Metals Casting Centre research facility for the research institute Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST) representing a further third phase to the development of the Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC 1) and Advanced Metal Processing Centre (AMCC 2) at Brunel University London.

The proposals are to consolidate the original BCAST facilities at the western end of the campus to the Science Park, with the recent development to aid communication and connectivity in the research and freeing up space within the central campus location. Various research funding sources are being secured for the proposal to continue Brunel University’s aspiration to maintain a unique, world-leading and dedicated research facility for light metal castings. The purpose of the BCAST Laboratory facilities is to bridge the gap between fundamental research and industrial applications, supporting the UK manufacturing sector by conducting research and development in resource-efficient processing of high-performance alloys for automotive applications.

The proposal comprises of:

  • A single-storey workshop building to accommodate industrial manufacturing equipment to fabricate and test prototypes, supported by an office and welfare and changing facilities following contemporary design standards for research facilities. Above this area, the mezzanine plant rooms are located
  • A specialist ground and first-floor extension to the existing Gardiner building accommodating specialist laboratories and offices.
  • Modification and part demolition of the Gardiner Building
  • New and extensive landscaping

Exceptional circumstances for the development, which include substantial employment, inward investment, and the proposal’s sustainability benefits, have been established to justify why normal Green Belt policy should not apply in this case.

Also, the general principle of the development is considered acceptable, as the proposal is required in connection with scientific research and light industrial production or manufacture, which is dependent research or development, similar to research and development facilities established on the Science Park.

The architects are Pascall+Watson, who is an award-winning international design practice with a history of projects that stretches across six continents in over 100 cities.

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