McLaren Production Centre receives Judges Special Award at the 25th anniversary British Construction Industry Awards
The McLaren Production Centre (MPC) has received the Judges Special Award at the 25th anniversary British Construction Industry Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, and attended by the elite of the construction and engineering industry.
Opened in November 2011 by Prime Minister the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, the McLaren Production Centre is the manufacturing base of McLaren Automotive and the focus of an £800million investment by the McLaren Group in designing and building a new generation of high-performance road cars in the UK. Designed by Foster + Partners, it shares a family of architectural details with its near neighbour, the multiple award-winning McLaren Technology Centre (MTC).
The British Construction Industry Awards are an established and coveted industry accolade recognising overall excellence in the delivery of building and civil engineering infrastructure projects. The rigorous judging process includes a visit to every shortlisted entrant by members of the expert judging panel; the Judges Special Award is chosen from an elite shortlist and given to a building or civil engineering project of any size which the judges consider to be particularly inspirational.
The McLaren Group and its partners faced many challenges during the design and construction of the MPC, from tight planning constraints on the brownfield site to the accelerated time frame of the build process. The floorplan of the MPC is large enough to accommodate three jumbo jets or 2569 Formula 1 cars, and yet the building itself is largely invisible to passing traffic and was opened just two years after planning permission was granted. It is a highly functional environment, but designed to the same refined aesthetic standards and built with the same microscopic attention to detail that underpins all the McLaren Group’s activities.
Inside the MPC the production floor itself is fully flexible, with all electrical cabling and compressed air lines concealed under removable, interchangeable tiles so that the equipment can be relocated to suit future models. The logistics and much of the heavy machinery are located on a separate floor below ground level – below the water table, in fact – to reduce clutter and noise. The result is a production area which is as calm and clean as an operating theatre.
180,000m3 of soil excavated during construction was retained on site, then re-used in landscaping. This negated 25,000 lorry movements, achieving a huge saving in potential carbon emissions and minimising disruption to local residents. The wheels and chassis of all vehicles leaving the site were pressure-washed to prevent mud and debris being deposited on local roads.
The MPC’s exterior is finished with Qbiss high-performance cladding which is self-supporting, waterproof, and recyclable after its planned life cycle.
“Attention to detail was everything on this project,” says project manager Adrian Brooks. “In the McLaren methodology you do it once and do it properly. Completing any building on time and on budget is extremely satisfying, even more so when it is as sophisticated and ambitious as the McLaren Production Centre. I’m very pleased and proud that this commitment to excellence has been recognised by the judges of the British Construction Industry Awards, and that they found the MPC as inspiring as we do.”