National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) – Bingham Site Redevelopment


KJ Tait Engineers were commissioned to carry out the full design of the Mechanical and Electrical Services installations and provide BREEAM Assessor services for the £25m redevelopment of NIAB’s Bingham site in Cambridge.  NIAB was founded in 1919 and works to promote agriculture, horticulture and arboriculture anywhere in the world by charitable means. With an expanding crop research programme and extensive experience in seed and variety evaluation, NIAB is working hard to help address the urgent global need to produce more food with a reduced impact on the environment.

The project involved the redevelopment and consolidation of existing facilities and the construction of new buildings to create a new campus, with offices, state-of-the-art laboratories, growth room facilities and meeting rooms to provide a new headquarters for NIAB.

The new Crop Sciences Building, comprising basement car park and three floors of laboratory space, will be occupied by NIAB and the University of Cambridge Department of Plant Sciences to enable collaboration between the two Institutes, with flexibility for other partners to occupy space. A critical element of the Crop Sciences Building were the high specification Plant Growth Rooms, requiring a bespoke design to suit the cutting-edge research.  In conjunction with the Users, KJ Tait developed the project specific design requirements and specifications, with the rooms developed, designed and installed by an approved Specialist Contractor.

Crop Sciences Building achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating and has been designed from the outset to be low energy. The low energy MEP strategy includes natural ventilation to offices and adiabatic cooling to the laboratories, with renewable energy requirements met through a roof mounted photovoltaic system.