Extreme Photonics Applications Centre, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

  • Client

    Science Technology Facilities Council (STFC)         

  • Contractor

  • Value


  • Completion Date

    March 2022

The Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) building is a new purpose-designed facility that will house cutting-edge equipment required for a unique, state-of-the-art high power / high repetition rate laser system.

The project is a partnership between UKRI, MoD, academia and industry. It brings together world-leading interdisciplinary expertise to develop and apply novel, laser based, non-conventional accelerators and particle sources which have unique properties. It is hoped to produce scientific breakthroughs and stimulate new solutions to challenging problems to help advance UK science and technology, helping to keep us safer, improve our healthcare and support a cleaner, more productive economy.

The Challenge

The science and technological application required us to place 7500cu metres of a specially designed low carbon concrete mix to create 3 reinforced concrete ‘laser target areas’ as a homogenous ‘crack-free’ structure.

The Solution

To achieve the ‘crack-free’ structure required the advice of one of the best structural minds in the world combined with technical expertise from renowned locally based ready mix concrete supplier. The structural solution was successfully delivered hailing it as one of the most important structures in Europe outside of the nuclear industry.

The Results

The project achieved a 48% (or 1372.5 tonnes) carbon reduction using structural concrete with a composition of 75% Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) and slag cement replacement (blast furnace bi-product) in place of 100% Portland Cement. The concrete design was based on its radiation shielding properties, high density aggregates and reduced cement content to reduce the risk of thermal cracks. Specifying this concrete mix enabled the site team to maintain control of the curing temperature to ensure minimal cracking and achieve the specified oven dry density for shielding purposes.

Redefining the Boundaries of Science and Discovery at Harwell Campus

450.8 weeks



SME Spend


Added Value


Client Satisfaction


Health & Safety

Client Testimonials

“As we said at the topping out, working with you has been an absolute pleasure…by continuously working very closely with Mace and the team in a flexible way rather than a traditional way.

If you get the partnership right and the people right, it works and takes years off the overall project delivery process. We have collectively managed to get that right.”

Contractor Performance | Commitments


All payments in accordance with the fair payment charter.




450.8 apprentice training weeks, 80 trainee weeks, 292.3 graduate trainee weeks.


Client provided an 8/10 score for the buildings building’s future maintenance and running costs, including energy efficiency.


By using 75% GGBS the project achieved a 48% carbon saving. This equates to 1372.5 tonnes of carbon (in comparison with using 100% Portland Cement).

SCF Framework Manager

James Wright 

Email: james.wright@hantsgov.uk

Phone: 07761 330560

Contractor Framework Manager

David Chambers

Email: david.chambers@macegroup.com

Phone: 07789 514895