Arcade. Law says: “It’s called the Arcade because you do walk along it but it is also a three-storey atrium, with open galleries looking into it and containing the vertical circulation.” With the facility’s main entrance at one end and a cafe/bistro at the other, Law says the Arcade plays an important role in “pulling the building together.” The use of glass here and numerous glass partitions elsewhere in the facility, produce a trans- parency that provides visual connection between different areas, as well as an ambience of space and light. On the other side of the Arcade is the office area spanning three floors. Not only does this office space look out onto landscaped parkland but internal glass partitions mean staff in this space can also view the processing hall and top-floor labs across the Arcade.

This transparency is repeated elsewhere. A glazed partition on the north side of the blood processing hall allows views through a tree-lined courtyard to the tissue and cell labs beyond. All this glass, says Law, helps achieve the social aim at SNBTS of making the Jack Copland Centre not only a pleasant place to work but also a place that makes people feel “connected to each other and to the countryside outside.”

Pressure to succeed

While glass partitions ‘dissolve’ boundaries visually, they still provide the required separation – indeed, many of the lab spaces need to be airtight. Not only that, different activities stipulate different air pressures. Law explains. “In some labs staff may be working with samples that could contain something nasty which you don’t want leaving that lab in the air, so we negatively pressurised that lab relative to the spaces around it. In other labs SNBTS is guarding against anything coming in so they will be positively pressurised.” Eventually, you need to return, via a ‘pressure cascade’, to ambient pressure in places like the Arcade. Following discussions with SNBTS this was achieved by putting extra doors across corridors to create ‘air locks’.

Specialised glass with specific detailing has been used for higher-grade clean rooms and labs, while a carefully adapted standard glass partition system is used elsewhere. Another technical requirement demanded of the building design was the need for a dedicated area for staff to change into special clothing and ensure a sterile



environment. The solution is to have one starting point for all employees – helping to connect people from different functions – before they progress through further levels of the ‘changing regime’ as appropriate to their work zones and the tasks they perform. Structurally, while the majority of the SNBTS facility features a steel framework, the three-storey office element has a concrete skeleton. The concrete contributes to the natural cooling of the office area, along with louvered vents above windows that are controlled by the sophisticated building management system. It is hoped that this natural ventilation – plus photo- voltaic panels, combined heat and power systems and enhanced insulation – helps the facility achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating.

On the outside, most of the facility’s facades feature a brick cladding. Law

The Arcade (above and left) features open galleries looking into it © Reiach and Hall


• Total floorspace of the facility is 11,500 m2

. The blood

processing hall alone is 1,000 m2

• The facility is the workplace for 400 people working in shifts with around 200 people there at any one time

• Resilience measures include fuel storage for the SNBTS fleet of 26 vehicles, water supply and back- up arrangements to safeguard power and IT systems


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