The Whittle Laboratory
The New Whittle Laboratory will act as the UK’s Integrated Technology Accelerator and help to revolutionise the rapid development of ultra-low emission aircraft and low carbon power generation.
Housing the National Centre for Propulsion and Power, the state-of-the-art facility will provide 4,000m² of workshop, laboratory, research and office space, including a 5MW wind tunnel and a flexible high pressure experimentation chamber. The building will continue the University of Cambridge Engineering Department's move to form a new West Cambridge site.
"The New Whittle Laboratory will be situated in West Cambridge, close to the new Department of Engineering, the new Cavendish Physics Laboratory and the Department of Computer Science and Technology. The West Cambridge development brings together the University’s world-class science and technology expertise and is designed to support collaborations with commercial partners, innovation and entrepreneurship." - Professor Richard Prager, Head of the Department of Engineering
As part of our role, we are ensuring the M&E and environmental design follows the principles defined within the West Cambridge masterplan. The new Whittle Laboratory building will adopt a cost effective approach to achieving a low-energy, comfortable, and upgradeable building. We have undertaken comprehensive modelling and studies to ensure that the office ventilation strategy and the provision of heating and cooling are in line with these aims, while also optimising space provision, the façade, and the atrium design.
We have been addressing the implications of the considerable additional electrical capacity that will be required and how best to deal with the large heat load produced during experimentation. Options include making productive use of the waste heat via a variety of mechanical and natural ventilation approaches.
The associated acoustic impact on both the external environment, and on different types of internal working environments, is also a significant consideration for the building's design.
"Just 50 years ago, at the opening of the current Whittle Laboratory, Cambridge and its industrial partners faced the challenge of making mass air travel a reality. Now the New Whittle Laboratory will enable us to lead the way in making it carbon neutral. We must do what Cambridge has always done, and step up to the challenge." - Professor Rob Miller, Chair in Aerothermal Technology and Whittle Lab Director