University of Birmingham: New sustainable Molecular Sciences building will foster cutting-edge scientific research

07 Nov 2023 | Network Updates

A new home for chemical, environmental and biomolecular sciences has opened at the University of Birmingham. The Molecular Sciences Building will be the base for over 500 scientists from across different disciplines.

Research in the extensive new facility will include materials for energy applications or healthcare; making plastics recyclable; environmental effects of drugs in the ecosystem; and the environmental impact of critical materials such as lithium.

University of Birmingham Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Rachel O'Reilly comments: “Research into chemical, environmental and biomedical sciences is vital in helping us to address some of the biggest scientific challenges of our time. The Molecular Sciences Building is a tremendous addition to the University of Birmingham campus. It will encourage collaboration between researchers in different disciplines, help advance our understanding of these sciences, and provide the optimum spaces for challenge-led research to thrive.”

Professor Neil Champness, Head of the School of Chemistry said: “The Molecular Sciences Building affords state-of-the-art facilities as a home for our world-leading research. The co-location of researchers will enable us to tackle challenges in fields as diverse as making materials to trap carbon dioxide, discovering new agents for biomedical imaging, or developing sustainable approaches to manufacturing molecules and materials. The opportunities are many and diverse and the collaborative environment of the building will serve to nurture new approaches to tackle the world’s grand challenges.”

Professor Nick Kettridge, Deputy Head of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences commented: “The Molecular science building provides an interdisciplinary hub to address environmental and social grand challenges that face each and every one of us – from the quality of the air we breathe to the to shape, fate and sustainability of future of plastics. By co-locating and interconnecting expertise across the Environmental Sciences and Chemistry within the University of Birmingham, combined with state-of-art-facilities, the Molecular Science building provides the capacity and foundation to build on the University of Birmingham’s world-leading expertise in the Environmental Sciences.”

The new building is a sustainable hub, designed to offer the best possible laboratory spaces, and maximise energy efficiency throughout. 

Sustainability has been at the heart of the construction process. Over 150 tonnes of CO2 were saved by using innovative methods and materials, including innovations in flooring, and new approaches to ceiling materials and suspension systems.

University of Birmingham Director of Estates, Trevor Payne adds: “The Molecular Sciences Building is an important development for the University, not only in terms of furthering our research but also reflecting our ambition to create a sustainable campus for the future. The building has been designed specifically to facilitate greater collaborative working between the University colleagues, industrial and academic partners.”

This article was first published on 4 October by University of Birmingham.

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