Net zero centre for Natural History Museum planned

The Natural History Museum (NHM) has appointed Mace as its preferred main contractor to build a new sustainable centre in Reading.

The centre at Thames Valley Science Park will be constructed with the lowest-possible environmental impact, using responsibly sourced materials and services, aided by Mace’s sustainability experts. The team is committed to achieving a net-zero carbon building in both construction and operation.

Mace has been appointed to deliver pre-construction services including design and procurement. Other members of the project team include CPC Project Services, Arcadis, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and Ramboll.

Subject to planning permission, construction will begin on the sustainable new facility in 2024 and it is expected that the construction of the building will be finished in 2027.

By 2031, the centre will be operational, equipped with cutting edge laboratories, space for museum scientists and purpose-built storage for 28 million specimens. Transporting these specimens to Shinfield will be as big as any move of natural history specimens globally.

Keith Jennings, Director of Estates, Projects and Masterplanning at the Natural History Museum, said:

This new site will enable us to secure irreplaceable collections in a purpose-built storage facility, provide new scientific infrastructure to accelerate research and digitisation, and act as a base for new collaborations and partnerships.

We are very excited to see the project reach this stage and look forward to working with Mace under a pre-construction services agreement to further develop the project and prepare for the construction phase.

Gareth Lewis, Mace’s CEO for Construct, said:

We’re very proud to have been appointed to deliver this landmark scientific facility on behalf of the Natural History Museum. Together with our supply chain we will be raising the bar on sustainability and apply the latest digital thinking to deliver the project to the highest quality and safety standards.