Lift-off for CRC space technology project


Work has begun on a project that will include 15 cleanrooms

Cleanroom design and build specialist Clean Room Construction (CRC) has started on site to build a £2.7m cleanroom facility for RAL Space.

The 1,372m2 facility at the space and technology centre in Oxfordshire is one of the tallest cleanroom facilities to be built by CRC. When completed, the suite of 15 cleanrooms and five changing areas will be used for the assembly and testing of satellite instrumentation.

CRC is working in collaboration with Willmott Dixon Construction to deliver the challenging project in a 26-week timeframe. The specification includes the construction of cleanrooms with walk-on and suspended ceilings, some of which exceed 12m in height and a requirement for self-supporting modular wall panels including 6.5m x 6m roller door access. Three of the cleanrooms will have a black finish to enable optical testing and laser alignment projects to take place within the rooms. Facilities comprise Class 5 and 6 cleanrooms for the assembly, integration and testing of space hardware, including the largest thermal vacuum calibration facility in the UK.

A project like this requires the highest standards of design and construction

Plasteurop partitioning, for which CRC has the exclusive UK rights, form part of the specification in addition to fan filter units, flush electrical and gas services provision, oxygen depletion alarms and door, laser and window blind interlocking systems.

CRC will also be responsible for the testing, validation and commissioning of the facilities.

RAL Space, which is the space department of the Science Technology Facilities Council (STFC), is located on the Harwell Oxford Science and Innovation Campus in Didcot, and provides world-leading research and technology development, space testing facilities, instrument and mission design capability.

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CRC Managing Director Steve Lawton said: 'A project like this requires the highest standards of design and construction from our experienced team of designers, engineers and managers. Clean Room Construction is the most experienced cleanroom design and build specialist in the UK and we are very proud to be working in partnership with Willmott Dixon Construction to deliver a space-age facility for a leading technology centre.'