Middlesex University
26 June, 2024
Transforming chemical and robotics labs at Middlesex University
Getting the technicalities right in a state-of-the-art education space.

The challenge              

To create a highly technical chemical and robotics lab at the North London university, against a tight deadline.

The solution            

Working in partnership for specialist providers where necessary and coordinating with university schedules so as not to disrupt students, we worked at pace and to exacting requirements.

The result            

A state-of-the-art education space with specialist facilities, which were delivered in time for the new student intake at the start of the autumn term.

Middlesex University is a public research university in Hendon in North West London, which first approached us to deliver a fast-track laboratory space renovation 2022. It was such a success, they termed it their ‘Christmas miracle’, and led to a second project, also rapidly updating part of the university to become a new chemical and robotics lab.

Middlesex University

Building trust with Middlesex University  

The first project began in November 2022, when we were tasked with designing and renovating laboratory space for 75 students to use in time for the start of the second term in January. This resulted in a positive and collaborative working partnership that’s inspired a vision for the future of Middlesex University. The next project then began in earnest, developing a specialist lab space over summer holidays, ready for the new academic year in October 2023. 

High tech specifications 

The second brief for Middlesex University was for a functional laboratory and technical room within their Hatchcroft Laboratories – a world-class science, research and teaching space for bio and medical engineering, professional healthcare sciences, computer science and more. Located at their site in Hendon, it is also the first educational building in the Borough of Barnet to use renewable energy sources.

The lab was set to be a chemical and robotics teaching space, involving the reconfiguration of five rooms. This included:

  • Reconfiguration of a lab on the ground floor.
  • Stripping out the existing space, installing new flooring, ceilings, lighting, partitions, power and ventilation and decoration.
  • Modifications of a robotics lab on the first floor with a clear glazed frontage and a glazed cross wall, specialist conveyor belt room as well as the installation of a new high level powered track to support their mobile operations.
  • On level two we were tasked with creating a new teaching facility in the chemical departments, complete with 22 fume cupboards.  
Middlesex University

Specialist skills

The co-ordination and installation of 22 fume cupboards and associated air handling unit for the controlled use of chemicals and gases was a particular challenge that needed to be handled with care.

This pivotal part of the build meant working in tandem with a specialist provider, which involved understanding the department requirements coupled with the physical needs of installing the new air handling unit. 

Of note was placing this on a mezzanine level within a space with double height ceilings and extracting fumes by replacing curtain wall glazing with louvres to the university’s existing flue zone. 

Middlesex University

Supporting the future of science at Middlesex University

Once again completed on time and to the exacting requirements needed for a world-class education space, the result is an inspiring space for the UK’s aspiring scientists.

“The project was a highly specialised one, working with the university to deliver a space that’s fundamental to a state-of-the-art scientific teaching facility. With works having largely taken place over the summer holidays, it was an exciting new opportunity for students to return to.” 

Richard Green, Technical Director at Maris Interiors

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