The Warwick Manufacturing Group is a public and privately funded research centre based at the University of Warwick. The Warwick Digital Laboratory provides a high quality research and knowledge transfer environment allowing researchers to develop techniques that will place consumers right inside a “mass customization” production process for a vast range of future products.
The building is purpose built for the demonstration of digital technologies to facilitate the testing of products, the development of virtual tools to enhance medical diagnosis and care and to facilitate innovation in techniques of visualisation and e-security. Funded in part by the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands, the Warwick Digital Laboratory is part of the regional development plan to reinvigorate industry, manufacture and enterprise in the local area.
DQI highlighted positive and negative aspects of the existing building which fed directly into the development of the design for the new building and the ways that individual requirements affect others.
Features of the building include exposed thermal mass and under floor heating to maximise energy efficiency, natural ventilation facilitated by open plan space, movement sensitive lighting and the utilisation of the use of natural day light. The sedum roof helps to reduce excess rainwater runoff and by providing good insulation reduces heating and cooling requirements.
DQI was used on an existing building at the University of Warwick, as a post-occupation evaluation. The positive and negative user perspectives were then used to inform the development of the design for the Warwick Digital Laboratory. This is the second building constructed for Warwick Manufacturing Group based at Warwick University.
Stakeholders expressed their opinions on an equal level and their engagement was recorded in a meaningful way that could be easily analysed. In-use evaluation was important to evaluate a building already onsite.