The £130 million UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is a pioneering concept in the race to develop battery technology for the transition to a greener future.
It’s a key part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, a government programme to fast track the development of cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries.
UKBIC appointed Office Principles North to deliver workplace consultancy, design, branding and furniture installation services at the complex state-of-the-art facility in the West Midlands.
UKBIC is a publicly-funded battery product development facility that welcomes manufacturers, entrepreneurs, researchers and educators, and can be accessed by any organisation with existing or new battery technology – if that technology will bring green jobs and prosperity to the UK.
The new development comprises a 200,000 sq ft process production warehouse hall with associated 20,000 sq ft office accommodation.
We delivered an in-depth workplace analysis project for UKBIC, that informed the space plan and design of the new ground and first floor office areas.
A scheme was designed to fit out the new facility, that afforded the very best opportunity for the client’s goals to be achieved in helping to ensure the UK fully prospers from the transition to electric vehicles.
The programme encompassed the delivery of new office accommodation and furniture, including meeting hubs, collaboration spaces and café breakout areas.
With the advent of COVID-19, an emphasis was placed on the introduction of innovative touchfree technology and AV provision, to ensure the safety of our delivery team and supply chain partners on site.
Our role in the delivery of the new UKBIC development was completed on time despite the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and an extensive and highly complex M&E requirement.
The facility comes complete with fire rated glazed viewing galleries that communicate the two very distinct warehouse and office spaces.
In addition to the main project, we supported the client and its project manager with subsequent out-of-scope requirements, including but not exclusively:
- Mezzanine structures within the warehouse process hall.
- Gantry and bridging access from first floor offices to provide ‘shop floor’ management offices and training facilities.
- Further campaign rooms, as well as exhibition and presentation areas, workshop spaces and welfare facilities at ground level, all of which were fully compartmentalised for fire protection of occupancy between office and warehouse.
- Provision of building fabric cladding penetrations for coordinated M&E services installations, particularly ductwork extraction systems.
- Security installations and cordoned off temporary enclosures, to provide installation engineers with safe shop floor working arrangements.
The entire project – including our involvement – was delivered at least two years ahead of its nearest international rival, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Following completion of the physical building fabric, the fit out was delivered in spring 2020. It was officially opened by The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister in July 2021.
We are incredibly proud to have been part of the delivery of this world-leading facility, that emphasises Coventry and Warwickshire’s growing reputation as a global leader for battery technology. It’s a very exciting time for UKBIC and this building lays the foundations for a planning application for a Gigafactory in the region. This was a project that presented unique challenges, which makes it all the more satisfying that we have worked successfully in partnership with UKBIC and Faithful+Gould to deliver all works on time.
UKBIC is a beacon of innovation and ingenuity- shining the way for a brighter, greener future for the battery sector in the UK. This facility will help to deliver green growth and jobs as industrial demand accelerates in the UK battery sector. With the technology and government backed expertise on offer right here in Coventry, I have no doubt that UKBIC will become world leaders in the industry.