Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre – CUBRIC
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) opened in June 2016 and is one of Europe’s top facilities for brain imaging. Built at a cost of £44m, CUBRIC is a state-of-the-art hub that brings together world-leading expertise in brain mapping with the very latest in brain imaging and brain stimulation.
CUBRIC has received significant attention since it was opened by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Most recently it was recognised with two RICS Award (Wales) wins. In addition to winning the prestigious Project of the Year accolade, CUBRIC also won in the Design Through Innovation category.
The creation of the building was the result of collaboration between CAPITA, architects IBI Group and main contractor BAM Construction. The new building has allowed CUBRIC to enter into an exciting new chapter of uncovering innovative research methodologies which could be fundamental in addressing key neuroimaging questions. They are already carrying out a range of innovative neuroimaging research and have received increasing numbers of expressions of interest from researchers to use the facilities.
The new building has also enabled collaborative relationships to develop further and push new boundaries. Although CUBRIC’s primary research is focused on neuroimaging, the equipment housed at the facility enables a wider breadth of research to take place.
Reflecting on the recent award success, a spokesperson for Cardiff University commented:
“The award is industry recognition of an exceptional building and the success achieved from a clear client department vision. It also recognises development of that vision into an innovative and elegant solution by the architect, and engagement of a collaborative team working tirelessly together to deliver the end result.
“The building will be a springboard for further innovative research and development. CUBRIC has now won several awards since it opened, which helps the University to highlight the centre as a world leader for research in areas such as psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience.”
The centre is part of Cardiff University’s Maindy Park site – a redevelopment housing a range of buildings promoting the university’s ambition to be a world-leader in research and innovation. It was completed in phase 2 of the development.
The 6,500 sq m building incorporates a host of facilities including those for a mix of medical research, such as an NHS standard medical suite with drug trial unit and specialist MRI and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanning suites, laboratories, office accommodation and large seminar facilities with outside garden terrace.
Four Siemens MR Machines are installed in the building – a MAGNETOM 7-T, a MAGNETOM Connectom 3-Tesla scanner with 300 mT/m gradients and two MAGNETOM Prisma systems.
The building is four times larger than the university’s previous facility and will enable staff from different departments to benefit from being housed under one roof, allowing for increased collaboration and innovation. Sensitive to the local vernacular, the building design employs energy efficient features geared to achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
At the heart of CUBRIC is 100 tonnes of Shufflebottom structural steelwork, some of which supports the timber for special aspects of the design. Shufflebottom’s role was rewarded with the 2017 Best Building Award from RIDBA, the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association.
Moving forward, CUBRIC will continue to enable work of global importance to provide insights into brain disorders that will lead to the development of better treatments.
BAM Construction is part of BAM Construct UK which is one of the country’s largest construction services organisations with a turnover of more than £900 million. The company operates throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Their European parent company is Royal BAM Group which employs over 25,000 people worldwide and has a turnover of €7billion.
For more information on CUBRIC please visit sites.cardiff.ac.uk/cubric.