Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL)

Building Use


Procurement Method


Why buy from portakabin

Project Features

  • Six laboratories
  • Offices
  • Drench showers and boot barrier
  • Ancillary accommodation for offices and locker rooms
  1. The Requirements

    Site clean-up contractor, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), needed an Active Analysis Laboratory at Dounreay in Thurso to help it comply with statutory and environmental monitoring requirements until the site is closed.

  2. The Solution

    The contract for the £9m building was awarded to a team led by off-site manufacturer and main contractor, Portakabin.

    The laboratory for radioactive material analysis was constructed using the Portakabin Design and Build solution and is one of the most complex and remote modular building projects ever undertaken in the UK.

    The 1,300m2 Portakabin production centre in York and craned into position at Dounreay in only four days to minimise disruption to operations.

    The scheme, which was constructed from 35 steel-framed modules, will remain in use for up to 25 years until the site decommissioning process has been completed. It will then be deconstructed, since the building modules are easy to disassemble, recycle and re-use elsewhere, making the approach highly sustainable.

The building has been designed in full compliance with stringent nuclear industry regulations for ionising radiation and to withstand the rigours of a highly exposed marine environment. Its facilities include six laboratories, offices, drench showers and boot barrier in the active area, with ancillary accommodation for offices and locker rooms in the clean area.

The building incorporates 36 fume cupboards, glove boxes and a specialised nuclear ventilation system, as well as acid and non-acid fume extraction, HEPA filtration and a discharge stack. Each laboratory has one-hour fire containment to the entire building fabric – a first for the modular building industry.

The Portakabin Design and Build solution is very good and has resulted in a really excellent facility. We are impressed with the finished building which feels spacious and solid and benefits from outstanding thermal insulation. You would definitely never know it was built in a factory. We are looking forward to having the facility fully operational after the active commissioning phase.

Maryrose Bailey, Senior Project Manager, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd

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