First look at the Henry Royce Institute


The state-of-the-art Royce Hub Building was handed over by Laing O’Rourke in March 2020 and the first operational staff were just hours away from moving in before non-essential facilities closure was initiated in line with government guidance. New images were released last week by The University of Manchester, providing a first look inside the building.


The Royce Hub Building based at The University of Manchester will draw together facilities and expertise from the Institute’s partner organisations: the National Nuclear Laboratory, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Imperial College London and the Universities of Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and Sheffield, as well as engaging widely with UK academics and industry.

Extending across 9 floors and located at the heart of The University of Manchester's campus, it will foster world-class collaborative research in tandem with industry to act as an international convener for materials research excellence.

The building will host £45 million worth of new equipment at Manchester for biomedical materials, metals processing, digital fabrication, and sustainable materials research. Alongside this will be collaborative space for industry engagement, helping to accelerate the development and commercialisation of advanced materials for a sustainable society.

Mark Platt, Project Leader at Laing O’Rourke said: “The Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials was a logistically challenging project. Being based in Manchester city centre meant that we had limited space and strict timings. Working as a unified team, together with our own in-house supply chain including Crown House Technologies, Select, Expanded and our Geotechnical piling partners we provided a seamless and cohesive delivery. The success of this build is a testament to the upfront planning that took place during the 18-month pre-construction service agreement.

“The basis of the build has been focussed around off-site manufacturing, which has provided flexibility for the University of Manchester when it comes to how the building is used. An example of the benefits derived from off-site can be illustrated through the delivery of the MEP strategy. By first installing the largest Megariser that has been manufactured at our Crown House Technologies factory in Oldbury, the team was then able to deliver the building surrounding it. As the Megariser was manufactured off site and in a controlled environment we were able to reduce the traditional 16-week installation period to just two weeks.

“Utilising these modern methods of construction meant that we could avoid congestion on and around the site through ‘just in time’ deliveries and immediate installation of components.

“Laing O’Rourke is proud to have been selected as part of the University of Manchester Framework Construction Scheme and look forward to continuing our work with the University of Manchester over the coming years.”