KJ Tait

The Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

The Medical Research Council
Science & Technology

The prestigious laboratory building includes several specialist facilities including a containment level 3 suite, central biological support facilities, electron microscopy suite and NMR laboratory. Further facilities include a 250-seat lecture theatre, restaurant, library and office and administration facilities.

In order to minimise noise and vibration, all major items of plant were removed from the building and are housed in an external energy centre building containing heating and cooling plant, water treatment plant, high voltage equipment and emergency generators.  Air handling plant is housed in four remote full height plant towers. Underground services tunnels link the main building with the energy centre and the plant towers.


The building’s renewable energy requirement is delivered by an on-site ground source heat pump system providing heating and cooling energy via an array of closed-loop boreholes.  The system is estimated to save in excess of 800 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Energy recovery thermal wheels are incorporated into each main air handling unit, allowing thermal energy to be recovered from the building’s general extract system, greatly reducing energy consumption.


KJ Tait have recently completed a Post-Occupancy Audit for the LMB, which has highlighted a number of important ‘lessons learned’, although the overall impression from the building occupants is that “it is a fantastic place to work.”