Neptune Test Centre, Newcastle


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Newcastle University
December 2015
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Training and testing centre for the subsea industry

The Neptune Centre, owned jointly by Newcastle University and BEL Valves, is a hyperbaric testing and research facility located on the North bank of the river Tyne in Wallsend. It sits in close proximity to the offshore oil manufacturing and production businesses located on Tyneside.

 Neptune hyperbaric testing centre

The building will test offshore oil components to understand their operational capacity under high pressures, similar to those exposed on the sea bed. It will provide much-needed test, research and development facilities for the North East of England and for the wider UK subsea community.

A major investment was made in a 4.5 metre long, 2.5 metre diameter hyperbaric chamber simulating the pressure of 4,500m of water – the largest commercially available chamber of its kind in the world.

Robertson North East constructed the building on the former Neptune yard on the banks of the River Tyne. It consists of a steel frame building, cladding and curtain walling; and houses a testing facility and teaching facilities.

An extensive suite of equipment

Newcastle University had detailed and particular requirements.

Robertson Engineering Services installed mechanical services that included: LTHW heating, hot & cold domestic services, gas, mechanical ventilation, natural ventilation, BMS controls and compressed air.

Electrical services included: switchboard, distribution boards and circuits; internal and external lighting with automatic control, emergency lighting, fire detection, intruder alarm, access control, CCTV, cat 6 structure wiring, induction loop, photovoltaic system and lightning protection.

 M&E services

An excellent environmental outcome

The M&E design and installation involved complex, technically advanced equipment. It required a carefully coordinated approach in order to integrate services into the building fabric.

Working with the design team, we achieved a BREEAM rating of 'Excellent' on the Neptune building.