Nottingham University leads the way in sustainable labs

Published: 10-Nov-2016

Delegates at S-Lab's Labs of the Future event were invited to tour the ground-breaking Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. Susan Birks reports on its unusual design and HVAC systems

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Chemistry labs have traditionally been demanding in their need for energy and natural resources, and heavy in terms of their impact on the environment.

Extraction of potentially toxic fumes resulting from experimental work in fume cupboards is generally an energy intensive process and re-purification of chemically contaminated water can create a huge cost burden.

Rising costs and environmental concerns, however, have led to a push for not only greener chemistry in the lab but also more sustainable laboratory designs.

The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park is the latest in a line of research facilities looking to be environmentally benign while fostering an outstanding research environment for students.

The laboratory, on Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus, was constructed in partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and ‘Impact: The Nottingham Campaign’, the University’s largest ever fundraising appeal to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.

The Campaign facilitated a £12m grant from global pharmaceutical company GSK as part of its greener chemistry commitment, announced in 2010.

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