Cardiff University Biobank

Project name:  Cardiff University Biobank

Sector: Medical

Location: Cardiff

Client name: Cardiff University

Supplied by: Wernick Buildings

Accommodation type: 1-storey modular building

Size: 12 modules

Features: Laboratories, phlebotomy room, offices, canteen, toilets, storage, concrete reinforced floors


Biological samples are the cornerstone of many medical research projects, but obtaining these samples can be difficult and time consuming. Cardiff University were looking to consolidate 8 different biobanks across their estate to facilitate researchers accessing samples. The dedicated facility would bring the biobank team together, and allow them to ensure samples were collected, catalogued and stored safely.  The building would have to accommodate specialist equipment, including ultra-low temperature freezers and vapour phase liquid nitrogen sample storage.


Wernick Buildings were awarded the project via a competitive tender process. The design was based around flexibility, with the ability to add a second storey to the building if required, and concrete reinforcement pre applied to rooms should they need to be used as freezer storage rooms in future. Wernick and the client communicated closely to ensure a smooth installation on a busy hospital site.

The project was finished in plenty of time for the official opening by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething. The single storey building features two dedicated storage rooms, with concrete floors used to support the weight of the equipment. It also contains laboratory space, open plan and individual offices, kitchen, phlebotomy room, toilets and storage cupboard.

Client feedback:

“I think another benefit of the building is that working together in our own dedicated space has helped to create a real team ethos that would have been difficult to foster otherwise.” Biobank Manager Kate Shires.

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