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UK’s First Testing Megalab Installs Wilson Flowgrids

Mar 29, 2022 |

Our Wilson Flowgrids have been used in one of the world’s largest and most innovative diagnostic facilities, the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory in Leamington Spa. This was the UK’s first testing megalab and was constructed as part of the UK Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from the urgency, the lab design brief set out several challenges, including the incorporation of new technology and innovation for the diagnostics process, to deliver the infrastructure in record breaking time and provide a safe, sustainable, and productive space for those who will work at the facility.

The subsequent world-class facility processes hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 samples every day to rapidly detect new variants and help stop the spread of the virus. It was created within an existing 225,000 sq ft warehouse building and was also designed to reduce carbon emissions during its delivery and operation.

About the Design

The internal area is concentrated around a series of duplicated 75-metre laboratory lines for processing COVID-19 test samples. These are arranged in air-locked, pre-fabricated, CL2 enhanced containment modules which have been designed around the various stages of the sample preparation, extraction and subsequent testing. These are simultaneously serviced by linked waste and clean corridors.

We provided fully welded Wilson Radial Flowgrids mounted in pre-fabricated duct sections, each with matched DPTx transmitters to provide real-time flow rates to the BMS. Given the importance and significant time pressure of the project, some of the lines were supplied with “enhanced velocity” transitioned systems at no additional cost or lead-time in order to maximise the controllability and accuracy of the systems.

Andrew Hamshere, Managing Director for Sensing Precision, said:

“We collaborated with the multidisciplinary team assisting with the design and delivery of this vital project that is playing a key role in the Government’s response to COVID-19, and our resilience to future pandemics. Our equipment has played an integral role ensuring air flows on this prestige project showcasing the next generation of diagnostic facilities”

Part of the UK’s NHS Test and Trace network, the laboratory is the biggest of its kind in the UK.  It uses cutting-edge technology to process tests and adopted the pioneering new genotype assay testing to quickly identify variants of concern and new mutations. This helps the UK’s disease detectives take action to supress outbreaks using tools such as surge testing.