SASOL INFRACHEM LABORATORIES
Sasol Infrachem required a new laboratory facility to conduct process quality assurance analyses for the chemical industry. This 16 500 sqm development incorporated a modular planning concept to permit flexibility for reconfiguring the laboratories over the life time of the building. Full flexibility for reticulation of services was a requirement to enable the expected changing laboratory needs to be accommodated. Gas pipe reticulation (18 500 running meters) for 36 gases (including hazardous and rare gases) were installed with numerous other liquid services, de-ionised water, oily water drainage, chemical drains and fume hood extraction.
The potentially hazardous environment presented a risk to staff. Emergency HVAC shut down sensors for gas vapours in the atmosphere, with sealed Emergency Gathering Rooms (equipped with oxygen candles) were provided.
The Research and Development required 70 ton microscope bases, isolated from the structure. With the exception of experimental units, these microscopes are amongst the most powerful globally available. Air-conditioning to the microscope laboratories required electro-magnetic field cancellation and radiant panel cooling to reduce the flow of air to nearly un-measurable rates.
Roof plant area of 3000 sqm is densely engineered to accommodate plant and services. Planning allows for maintenance to take place outside the operational areas of the laboratories to permit uninterrupted 24 hour/ 365 day operation.