Cost: £3.5 million (about $4.9 million)

Size: 800 sm

Project team: Oberlanders Architects (architect); RSP Consulting Engineers (M&E engineers); Waterman Group (structural engineers); Christie & Partners (project manager and QS); Morrison Construction (main contractor)

Description: Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, has recently opened its new suite of science and food laboratories. Designed specifically to support both the undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Forensic Science, Biomedical Science and Food and Drink, the labs feature the latest technologies for enhancing learning as well as study and social space.  

Significantly, the laboratories also include a food product development laboratory and consumer experience laboratory designed to support the Scottish food industry in both process and product development, as well as for the understanding of sensory perception of foods, which is critical to success of the food business. The laboratories have been designed to enhance the industry-informed teaching programs and to be a focal point for local, regional and national business and enterprise.

The suite includes a Consumer Experience Laboratory, which is unique in Scotland and comprises 12 climatically controlled booths designed for the sensory analysis of food. It has a preparation and serving room linked to a kitchen, as well as a waiting room which can be used for consumer experience testing, student tutorials and small group working.

The New Product Development Laboratory is well-equipped with a range of equipment for pilot scale food manufacture schemes across a range of food processes and industries. Designed to food manufacturing and environmental health standards, the zone features a controlled barrier, change area, walk-in cold room and store.

A teaching area features two new labs used by the forensic science and biomedical science students. Both are linked, equipped with two high-tech fume cupboards and designed specifically to accommodate 30 students each. Features include a controllable camera, independent monitors and display screens which can be operated collectively or independently by teaching staff and students.

The suite contains 15 flat screens, an 84-inch touchscreen and cameras in each lab for presenting and recording, using Kramer's VIA's software, which allows remote and wireless sharing and presenting of information using any laptop or mobile device. Students and tutors can view, edit and share files with fellow student either individually or collectively simultaneously.

The facility also includes a multi-purpose learning/social area with an 84-inch screen and seating; a link corridor around all of the labs has seating and lockers, equipped with the latest IT; viewing galleries into all the laboratories which allow visitors to view safely the work undertaken inside the laboratories.

The labs have four distinct areas to support the teaching and research of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology, which includes the Division of Food and Drink and the Division of Science. In addition to providing a cutting edge teaching and learning space, the labs support external business projects such as food testing and product development.

Completion date: February 2018

Contact: Graeme Bletcher, PR Manager, External and Corporate Relations, Abertay University, 01382 308142,