Marine Biological Association – Phase 1, North Labs

Phase 1 of the redevelopment at the Marine Biological Association, located on Citadel Hill in Plymouth, involved both the construction of new facilities and the refurbishment of existing structures. This initial phase focused on enhancing the laboratory spaces to meet the latest standards in building and comfort, accommodating state-of-the-art research into oceanic environmental changes. The project included the demolition and reconstruction of the existing lean-to extension, comprehensive internal refurbishments across multiple floors, and updates to the southwest area of the ground floor. These renovations aim to provide MBA staff with modernised facilities suitable for advanced marine research.






The Marine Biological Association



10 months


Our Approach

  • Compliance and Design: Adhering strictly to the Employer’s Requirements, statutory building regulations, conditions for planning and ensuring sensitivity to the site’s historical significance as a Scheduled Monument.
  • Construction and Refurbishment: Executing demolition, alterations, and construction of a new extension at the rear of the north labs, including the installation of a new single-story steel staircase.
  • Enhanced Facilities: Upgrading internal layouts with new linings, walls, and doors, and applying new finishes to ceilings, walls, and floors.
  • MEP Installations: Comprehensive mechanical, electrical, and plumbing updates, including the addition of air conditioning to lab spaces and a water source heat pump.
  • External Enhancements: Conducting external works involving surfacing and drainage, alongside the installation of roof plant enclosures and firestopping measures.

Community impact

The redevelopment of the North Labs not only enhances the research capabilities of the Marine Biological Association but also contributes positively to the local community. By modernising these facilities, the MBA can continue to lead in the study of marine biology and the impacts of environmental change, fostering better understanding and conservation of oceanic environments and the life they support.

The project supports local economic development by employing regional contractors and suppliers, and by attracting top-tier researchers and collaborative projects to Plymouth. Moreover, the upgrade includes educational and engagement opportunities for the local community and visitors, integrating public outreach into the MBA’s mission. This phase of development underlines our role in delivering cutting-edge research facilities that respect both heritage and modern scientific needs.

The project also set a goal to achieve a BREEAM score of ‘Excellent,’ reflecting our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility in construction practices.


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