NG Bailey has been awarded a £4.3m contract to bring to life what is poised to become the world’s most advanced factory for aerospace research. The UK’s leading engineering, IT and facilities services specialists has been tasked with delivering all M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) design and installation work for the University of Sheffield’s £43m Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Factory 2050.
Working alongside international support services and construction group Interserve, the project’s main contractor, NG Bailey will pool the expertise of its Engineering, IT Services and Offsite Manufacture divisions to create a world-class centre of engineering excellence built to BREEAM “Excellent” environmental standards.
NG Bailey’s work is spearheaded by the installation of a major ground-source heat pump package, which eliminates any need for a boiler or chiller plant. NG Bailey helped to develop the final design for the heat pump after carrying out research of its own using thermal modelling to assess and understand the building loads required.
This is the first facility to be created on the site of the former Sheffield airport, and the AMRC Factory 2050 will drive innovation to meet the future needs of aerospace and other high-value manufacturing industries. Work will begin onsite early in 2015 and is scheduled for completion by October 2015. The timescale will be accelerated by drawing upon NG Bailey’s Offsite Manufacture division to create pipework modules ahead of their swift and safe installation onsite.
The AMRC Factory 2050 will have an area of around 4,500 square metres and will be built largely from glass to showcase the advanced manufacturing technologies being developed within. The creation of the facility is supported by a £10m grant from the Research Partnership Investment Fund, managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Andy Morley, Operations Director, Engineering, NG Bailey, said: “As a company with strong roots in engineering, we are delighted that our work will support the engineers at this facility in taking forward their own global reputation for manufacturing research into an exciting era. The biggest challenge we faced was meeting the University’s demands for the centre to be both future proof and flexible - the bespoke approach we are taking reflects that.”
Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean, University of Sheffield AMRC, added: “This will be the most advanced factory in the world. It will give us a home for the R&D work associated with building next-gen aircraft and energy technologies. The aim is to be able to manufacture any component as a one-off, and instantaneously switch between components. This will be a totally reconfigurable factory, one of the goals of the advanced manufacturing research strategy.”
Leading manufacturers including Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Spirit AeroSystems are also committed to supporting the project.