Atkins-designed buildings part of plan to improve accuracy of forecasts

Atkins Met Office

A scheme by Atkins to house the Met Office’s new supercomputer that will improve the accuracy of forecasts has been given the green light by planners in Exeter.

The new building will feature a large IT Hall, which will house a major part of the Met Office’s new £97m computer, while a separate two-storey building, where research into weather data and climate change will be carried out, will also be built.

The computer will improve forecasting and climate modelling and will work 13 times faster than the current system.

Both buildings are designed to be Breeam Excellent and will go up at Exeter Science Park.

James Harrison, an associate director at Atkins, said: “We wanted to create an instantly recognisable building which articulates the importance of the project and the pioneering work being undertaken by the Met Office.”

Atkins and Faithful + Gould are providing design through to RIBA stage 3 including architecture, civil and structural engineering and mechanical and electrical engineering design.

The first phase of the supercomputer will be operational in September next year and the system will reach full capacity in 2017.