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Health innovation centre wins property award


The £27.5 million Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) building has won a prestigious property award.


RILD is born out of a partnership between the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation. Judges of the Michelmores and Western Morning News Property Awards commended the building as a “real asset” for Exeter. They praised its “brave design” and “dramatic” interior, as well as its low carbon footprint. Judges also felt the facility would help attract high-end jobs to Exeter, as well as improve the standard of healthcare, research and discovery.


The new building enables researchers to test patients, analyse samples, design and carry out case studies and communicate with clinical colleagues all under one roof, putting Exeter right at the heart of healthcare innovation world-wide.


Professor Angela Shore, Head of Research at the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “I’m delighted with this award, which recognises the vision and hard work of a large number of people from across the University and the hospital working together with the design and construction teams to create this excellent building. RILD is all about innovation in healthcare, so it’s fitting that it should have a bold and modern design, as well as a the latest efficiency features. We’re really proud to be a key partner in bringing this pioneering facility to Exeter.”


The new facility, on Barrack Road, is connected to the Medical School’s existing building. It encompasses the Postgraduate Education Centre, the Wellcome Wolfson Medical Research Centre and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Exeter Clinical Research Facility. In addition, RILD has a strong focus on multi-professional learning and development. Its seminar rooms will be used by the Trust’s learning and development team to train managers and a wide range of other non-medical staff.


Julie Blight, Projects Manager Capital for the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won such a prestigious award. A lot of hard work has gone in to RILD to make it a building that not only looks stunning but also has excellent eco credentials and provides an outstanding working space for a range of multidisciplinary staff working across both the RD&E and the University.”


The centre has been built to the highest design specification. It replaces the old RD&E Postgraduate Education Centre, and 90 per cent of the demolished building was recycled. The spectacular building pushes the boundaries of eco-friendly design by combining renewable energy, heat recovery and an external solar shading solution – the external “fins” which control light, heat and glare levels. The building has high levels of natural light and spaces specifically designed to encourage integration among occupants, to promote collaboration. It has been awarded a BREEAM excellent rating in the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings.


Paul Martin, Senior Project Manager at Interserve Construction: “We are delighted that the building has won the Commercial Project of the Year award at the recent Michelmores and Western Morning News Property Awards. To have been part of the team to deliver this stunning world leading research innovation learning and development facility for two highly regarded clients in Exeter is something that I am very proud of. The whole project team worked collaboratively together and it is the input and expertise of every single member of this team that has ensured the success of this unique building.

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