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UCL PEARL Research Facility

VolkerFitzpatrick completes the construction of UCL’s world leading Person-Environment-Activity Research lab (PEARL).


  • Reconfigurable space, to house life-sized simulated environments
  • 100m long facility
  • Portal steel frame, with bespoke Kingspan and Coreten cladding
  • Entirely column-free experiment space
  • 500-person retractable seating area
  • 2,500m2 of storage space
  • Building features a reception, offices, kitchen, workshop, social and study areas
  • Mezzanine plant decks
  • High-level specialist lighting gantry
  • Dedicated sound laboratory
  • Project has exceeded local authority social value targets
  • Spare timber from the site recycled and crafted into benches for a neighbouring café
  • 41% of on-site labour sourced from the local area
  • Achieved the UK's first 'fully-fitted' BREEAM Outstanding building under new guidance (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, ‘New Construction 2018’ guidance)


VolkerFitzpatrick understood the needs of the client from the start of the project and has worked hard to deliver this exceptional facility safely, on time, and to budget in the middle of the pandemic; a fantastic achievement. PEARL is UCL’s first carbon neutral facility in use and will enable research, into accessibility and mobility in modern cities. A great accomplishment by all those involved.

Neil Turvey, UCL estates development assistant director