Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Modular complex to house scientists after St Andrews University fire

St Andrews University fire
Image caption The building's design stopped the fire from spreading

New purpose-built modular buildings will restore world-leading research facilities at St Andrews University following a devastating fire.

The blaze ripped ripped through two labs in the biomedical sciences building on the North Haugh in the Fife town on 10 February.

Although the building's design stopped the fire spreading, the operation to douse the flames caused water-damage.

The temporary lab will now be constructed on North Haugh.

The complex will mean research can be restarted while the building continues to be recovered.

Image copyright St Andrews University
Image caption The 44 Portakabin modular units fit together to create a laboratory complex

The purpose-built modular building complex will accommodate biology teaching and research laboratories alongside bespoke office spaces.

The specialist modular units are built by Portakabin at their factory in York.

Installation of the new facilities will begin later this month with construction and specialist internal fit out works due for completion by mid-October, at a cost of £9m.

From Monday, for five days, the 44 Portakabin modular units, which fit together to create a laboratory complex, will be transported from York to St Andrews and craned into position.

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Media captionThere were reports of suspected hazardous materials involved in the fire

Professor Tom Brown, Dean of Science at the University said: "The fire at the biomedical sciences building was devastating to not only the researchers, students and staff here in St Andrews, but was also felt across the whole scientific community."

"The construction of the temporary lab facilities ensures that the ground-breaking research carried out within the biomedical sciences building continues and lets the world know that we are open for business, delivering results of real global significance."

The full extent of the fire damage to the biomedical sciences building is still unknown.

Following the clearance works undertaken in the building, including the careful removal of the chemicals and equipment, a full assessment of the damage will take place over the next few months.

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