The £7.5 million National College for Nuclear in West Cumbria has officially opened. Mott MacDonald provided multidisciplinary engineering services on the project on behalf of Seddon Construction and Lakes College.
Located within the campus of Lakes College, the facility is one of five national colleges designed to address the current and future vocational skills gaps for national strategic industries. The two-storey building will provide high-quality teaching and offer the curriculum and qualifications required to meet the future needs of the nuclear industry.
The college features virtual reality suites, which will allow those studying to experience nuclear installations in a virtual environment, science and radiation laboratories and specialised design and modelling suites. One of the facilityâ€™s stand out features is the double-height, glazed façade project workshop. Mott MacDonald undertook extensive solar analysis of this façade to develop a solution that provided both high-performance glazing and the required solar shading.
Mott MacDonald also provided civil and structural engineering design, as well as mechanical and electrical technical advisory services for the college. The consultancy specified sustainable drainage design solutions to safeguard against surface water flooding, while the use of a lightweight steel frame allowed flexible open plan spaces to be achieved. Additionally, Mott MacDonald deployed cutting-edge building information modelling technology to deliver a fully co-ordinated design, significantly reducing queries during construction.
Ian Besford, Mott MacDonaldâ€™s project director, said: â€śOur flexible structural solution was economical and took the constrained construction programme and challenging budget into account. The specification of efficient engineering solutions contributed to the successful delivery of this striking higher education facility, which is partially clad in corten steel to reflect the heritage of the site. The team has delivered a striking building which will facilitate training for the next generation of the nuclear industry workforce.â€ť