The Met Office Supercomputer

We are very excited about this new investment in UK science. It will lead to a step change in weather forecasting and climate prediction.

Rob Varley | Chief Executive, The Met Office

Completed
ccs
42/50
Considerate Constructors Score
users
9/10
Client satisfaction
commercial
BIM
Level 2 achieved

"A spark of science fiction in the West Country.”

The Met Office needed a high-specification, modern building in which to house their supercomputer.

Overview

The design had to maintain the best operating conditions and be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the computer’s chip enhancement.

Additionally, they wanted an energy and space efficient open working area to be developed, to facilitate collaboration between users.

Delivered via the Scape National Major Works framework by Willmott Dixon and supported by a high specialised local supply chain, completed the project 100% on time and on budget.

Innovative cooling technology, inspired by the human circulatory system uses water instead of air to maintain the optimal operating conditions. This makes the building 40% more energy efficient.

A vertical garden delivers a variety of environmental and health and wellbeing benefits as well as increasing local biodiversity. This high-profile green statement reflects the Met Office brand and supports their values.

Challenges

An extensive array of technical aspects tested the delivery team but through effective programme management and careful redesign, potential time impacts were mitigated.

Extensive ground works involved close liaison with Exeter Science Park and their respective consultants.

Visualising a project of this nature required the merits of a BIM environment. Through this 3D survey, the team could visualise any unforeseen challenges early, enabling forecasting of any additional costs and programme implications.

Outcomes

The building is already providing the Met Office with measurable cost savings through energy and space efficiency and a comfortable, pleasant environment for members of the public and staff alike.

Described as “a spark of science fiction in the West Country,” the building delivers on visual appeal and functionality.

The vertical garden utilises less floor space than a traditional garden and delivers enhanced environmental benefits including; increasing local biodiversity, reducing flooding by absorbing rainwater and delivering enhanced air quality.

It also provides improvements in the health and well-being of staff and visitors, by improving concentration, productivity and mood.

Delivered by

PROJECT STATISTICS

Project value

£20m

Sector

Commercial

Local labour within 40 miles

75%

Local spend within 40 miles

76%

Waste diverted from landfill

100%

BREAM

Excellent Rating

Customer satisfaction

9/10

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