An animal testing facility is under construction as part of a £95m extension to the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge
The 27,000 m2 laboratory will increase the research facilities of the Sanger Institute at Hinxton, which mapped one-third of the human genome. The animal testing facility will be one of the biggest in Europe.

Tony Forbat, a partner at property consultant Fuller Peiser, which is acting as project manager, said security would be a top priority because of the threat from animal rights activists. Measures will include an magnetic field that will warn guards of trespassers.

Forbat said: "The security has to be unobtrusive because it is an open academic institution, and it is important to preserve the greenfield setting. All buildings on the site are designed to withstand five minutes of frenzied attack – for example, from somebody using a sledgehammer."

The extension includes a data centre to store genetic information, and will cost £3000/m2, largely because of the extremely high-spec services. Forbat said: "The heat loads on the Genome Campus are 2000 W/m2, which is three or four times the maximum you get in City dealing rooms. The equipment is compact, so it is hard to get airflow for the cooling system."

Construction began last November and it is expected to be finished in April 2005.