With the completion of the construction contract with local company JF Finnegan as of November 2020, we are now one step closer to operation.
The construction contract for the Translational Energy Research Centre has been completed as of November 2020, a significant step for the project. The building, based at the University of Sheffield Innovation District on Europa Avenue, is now ready for infrastructure to be fitted and equipment to be installed, ready for world-class research into low-carbon technology.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the £21 million centre is part of the University of Sheffield’s Energy Institute. The Translational Energy Research centre will work with industrial and academic partners to carry out research into – and accelerating the development of – low-carbon solutions to the biggest energy challenges, including creating sustainable fuels, looking into the generation and use of bioenergy and hydrogen, and further research into carbon capture, utilisation and storage.
Contractors JF Finnegan handed over the principal contract to infrastructure specialists Geoffrey Robinson Ltd as the installation of complex, bespoke infrastructure elements becomes the focus for the remainder of 2020 and into early 2021. The building project remains on schedule, with the facility set to open to users in June 2021.
The 20,000 ft² building features two laboratories, research equipment testing space and a 28,000ft² external space to the rear of the building where a number of larger pieces of pilot scale research equipment will be fitted. The centre also includes office space, meeting and study spaces and a viewing area so users can oversee the large-scale research and testing taking place. As a result of high standards of environmental and sustainability credentials, the building has achieved a BREEAM rating of excellent.
Additionally, the Translational Energy Research Centre has already started working with regional partners within the Sheffield City Region, offering free support to local businesses who are looking to become more sustainable. A variety of events inviting local business people to learn more about low-carbon practices and technologies are on the horizon as the centre looks to boost the green credentials of Sheffield’s industry.
Speaking about the completion of construction, Project Manager for the Translational Energy Research Centre Matthew Jee said: “It is fantastic to have seen the building rise from its foundations to its final shape as we complete the construction phase. The fact that we are on time and have an excellent result despite these challenging times is a testament to all involved, and we thank JF Finnegan for their work. We look forward to the next phase of the project – the installation of specialist infrastructure and our exciting research equipment.
Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management at the University of Sheffield, said: “It’s great to see another successful development at the University of Sheffield Innovation District site. This adds further to the success of our academic engineering research and AMRC activities which attracts businesses to locate in the Sheffield City Region.
We are delighted to have completed the building within budget and timescales despite the pandemic.”
Gary Smith, Managing Director at JF Finnegan commented: “We are delighted that this is the 4th High Quality unit we have constructed for The University of Sheffield on their Innovation District on Europa Avenue, Sheffield. Our project team have had to manage not just the project but also the implications of the Pandemic and the new safe working guidelines and requirements this has created. We are proud to have completed the scheme in accordance with our client’s requirements.”