Willmott DixonScape Procure


Computing our way to technical excellence

In a fast moving digital age where the demand for data is common place, meeting the needs of customers is increasingly challenging. However, this is something we have been rising to the challenge of.


After completing the world’s quietest laboratory – the Nanoscience & Quantum Information facility in Bristol and the leading satellite testing facility at Harwell Science Campus in Oxfordshire, in 2016 we increased our reputation as a constructor of specialist science buildings still further by building a home for the Met Office’s new ‘supercomputer’. The computer gives unrivalled expertise in climate models and weather forecasting, making the UK a world leader in meteorology.

This futuristic Exeter building is designed for BREEAM “Excellent” certification and sustainability is an important part of the project. The south-facing elevation has been turned into a living wall containing 3,500 plants.

In collaboration with The Met Office we have generated over £2 billion of social economic benefit and helped to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in climate and weather analysis with advanced science research. More sophisticated data processing is necessary for big science and we have been fortunate to have played our part.

The new centre is focused around two buildings and is now home to one of the 25 most powerful computers in the world – capable of performing up to 14,000 trillion calculations per second, which is the equivalent to 2 million calculations per second for every man, woman and child on the planet.

The IT hall is a steel and concrete building with a reinforced concrete floor slab. A raised access floor conceals the network of M&E services and equipment that feed and supply the banks of server modules that make up the supercomputer. The building, inspired by the film Tron, won Project of the Year (£20-£50m) at the Construction News Awards 2017 and also provides office accommodation for Met Office clients keen to lease space and work with the supercomputer.