A key milestone in the construction of a facility that will place the University of Aberdeen at the forefront of scientific research into nutrition and health has been celebrated.
Building work has reached the top of the institution’s new Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
The £37M state-of-the-art facility is being developed next to the University’s Institute for Medical Sciences, and will allow researchers and scientists at the Rowett and clinicians at Foresterhill – already Europe’s biggest health campus – to collaboratively progress their world-leading work.
The new building will boast the most advanced Human Nutrition Unit in the UK, in which volunteers will help scientists shed new light on the complex relationship between food, society, behaviour and health.
Set to open in 2015, the five floor, glass-fronted structure will cover 10,000 square metres, housing state-of the-art laboratory facilities and equipment.
The architectural design of the new building encompasses elements from the current Rowett Institute building in Bucksburn, including stained glass windows that depict the institute’s research breakthroughs and heritage.
A traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony to mark the construction milestone will be attended by University staff and guests, and representatives from Halliday Fraser Munro, who designed the building and Lend Lease, who are responsible for its construction.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said:
“We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone in the building of the new Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
“The breakthroughs in nutritional science being achieved by scientists working within the Rowett are already playing a crucial role in tackling the global health challenges of obesity, ageing and food security.
“This state-of-the-art research building and centre of excellence will further enhance this pioneering work and help us achieve our 10-year vision to become the foremost international research institute in nutrition.”
Professor Peter Morgan, Director of the Rowett Institute and a Vice Principal at the University said: “The new building will be the leading research facility of its kind in Scotland and the UK.
“The Rowett Institute is already at the forefront of the UK’s research capability in nutrition and its research outputs provide evidence for policy development and support the food and drink industry to produce healthier foods.
“However, with rapidly growing rates of obesity much more work is needed, particularly when it comes to understanding how and why people eat in the way that they do and what can be done to change eating behaviour.
“The new building will allow us to further expand research underway in this area, and many others which contribute to improved human health and nutrition, by bringing Rowett staff together with researchers, scientists, clinicians and patients at Foresterhill.”
Roy Allport, Lend Lease’s operations director, said: “We have been excited about working with the University of Aberdeen and architect Halliday Fraser Munro to create a building that is fitting to hold one of Scotland’s most important research facilities. Today’s topping out is a major step forward in the Rowett Institute’s construction programme. We are 31 weeks into the project and currently on programme to deliver the project to the Client by March 2015 as planned. 34,272 hours have been safely completed in the construction process to date and this is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the whole supply chain and workforce.”