The University of Groningen will give the Linnaeusborg on Zernike Campus, home of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a thorough upgrade. This should create room for the prestigious Chemical Building Blocks Center (CBBC). The CBBC research centre, which is headed by Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa, is a collaborative project between the universities of Groningen, Utrecht, and Eindhoven, and several large corporations, including Akzo Nobel. It focuses on fundamental chemistry research, mainly aimed at figuring out how the world will have to deal with the increasing demand for resources.
The CBBC was founded in 2016, but is expanding rapidly, which is why it needs more lab space. The Linnaeusborg has that space, but the building’s ventilation system was at maximum capacity.
Lab space, fume hoods and ventilation system
The entire renovation will take place on the eighth and ninth floor of the Linnaeusborg. The currently empty laboratories on the ninth floor will be modified to meet the demands of the chemists who will be working there. The job will cost almost seven million euros, and the board of directors will pay six million for the renovation costs. The rest of the money will be spent on fume hoods and other interior needs.
Almost six million of the renovation costs will be spent on expanding the capacity of the air filter system, the air supply, and the cogeneration. The other residents at the Linnaeusborg will have to shack up. There are currently 595 people working in the building, but this number will increase to 645 by 2023. Especially the Gelifes biologist will have to make do, as their room will shrink while their employee number will increase. Several of the workshops will move from the eighth to the second floor.
The project starts in the fall of 2019. According to planning, the whole upgrade is to finish in 2020. ‘The new lab interiors have to be put in before the end of the year’, says Faculty of Science and Engineering housing manager Andrys Weitenberg. ‘We want everything to be operational by April of next year at the latest.’