Nottingham's state-of-the-art low-carbon laboratory burns down

The timber-framed building could not be saved

An impression of the GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, which has been destroyed by fire

A devastating fire has laid waste to the UK’s first carbon neutral laboratory ­– designed to house the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Sustainable Chemistry – before it had chance to open.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus on Friday 12 September and were able to stop it spreading to other buildings on the Nottingham University campus, but the unusual timber-framed and cross-laminated timber-walled building could not be saved.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but Morgan Sindall, the company appointed to construct the building, said it was supporting the fire service investigation into the incident.

The centre, built with £12m provided by GlaxoSmithKline as part of its commitment to ‘green chemistry’, was to be a focus for world-leading research activity in sustainable chemistry and was to serve as a hub to catalyse new collaborations with industry.

The building's architects, the Fairhursts Design Group, based in Manchester, had attended the 'topping-out' ceremony for the zero carbon chemistry laboratory in June. The building was due to open in 2015.

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