This field facility for The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) in Staffordshire will enable scientists to conduct a 10-year experiment to study the effects of global warming on a mature temperate deciduous forest ecosystem. It is anticipated, however, that the facility will remain operational for a more extensive period of time should further research funding be procured. The study observes and measures the effects of elevated CO2 levels on a variety of conditions such as trees, temperature, climate, nutrient supply, and interactions with pests and pathogens. The elevated levels of CO2 will be provided by a complex arrangement of FACE (Free-air carbon dioxide enrichment methodology) towers arranged in tall rings throughout the forest.
The unique nature of this project presented a number of new challenges to GNA not faced before. In a highly sensitive environment, the experiment stipulated that construction must have minimal impact on the existing site to ensure no external contamination influence the experiment results. Consequently, GNA explored various construction methods and designed a modular build which allowed pre-fabricated units to be constructed off site. We utilised materials that would be both sensitive to the site and reflect the nature of the project.
GNA worked closely with the local planning authority and building control and as a result, have delivered a project that the client, contractor and local council are all exceptionally proud of.