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Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture


Area of Application: Plant Growth
Product Types: Standard Growth Rooms, Plant Growth and Insect Research - Special Projects

The Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) organisation has responsibility for providing scientific evidence for the implementation and enforcement of legislation and regulations in the areas of crops and environmental protection. It provides scientific advice and support on a range of agricultural and environmental topics to the Scottish Government.

SASA relocates with a new Controlled Environment

Weiss Technik UK were approached by the Architect and Service Consultants at pre-tender stage to advise on the requirements of a Controlled Environment (CE) as part of the new design and build of headquarters and laboratories in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

The contract was awarded to a main contractor who chose and specified which main subcontractors would be used for various specialist works. SASA approached five main contracting organisations. All five contracting organisations approached Weiss Technik UK to tender for the CE.

The building contract was awarded to Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. Weiss Technik UK were contracted to advise and supply the consultation, design and manufacture of CE facilities within a clear area with associated services.

The contract encompassed the design, build, commission and installation of 31 bespoke CE rooms (of 25 different types) and six drying cabinets.

Seeds and development wing

Weiss Technik UK provided Fitotron® CEs for Plant Growth, Seed Storage, Soil Storage, Nematode Preparation and short and long-term storage for plant material.

Weiss Technik UK services included:

  • Project management
  • Commissioning
  • Installation
  • On-site installation management
  • Full user/client co-ordination
  • Integration into local Building Management System (BMS) and other facilities
  • Training of customer’s own operating and service personnel

Prior to the commencement of works, formal contract procedures were required for information requests and the approval of drawings. The project was built stage-by-stage and thus dictated the design and build sequence. All information requests were required to follow a strict schedule to ensure the timely availability of information to all parties.

Value-added technical expertise

Weiss Technik UK were called upon to resolve a number of technical issues. Weiss Technik UK technicians held a vast amount of knowledge to questions that other parties were unable to answer.

To assist with technical issues and to ensure a smooth operation, Weiss Technik UK employed a full-time Site Manager through to completion and beyond. This greatly effected acceptance and completion of the rooms to agreed timescales.

Saving energy costs

Weiss Technik UK provided post-order advice to the client to help save energy costs in certain areas. A central chiller system with dual chillers was suggested, each chiller having 100% spare capacity.

This was a change to the original specification of DX refrigeration units. The advice was accepted after Weiss Technik UK provided supporting calculations to demonstrate energy savings.

From the outset, there were only informal specified test and acceptance procedures. Weiss Technik UK therefore supplied the final version.

The final version was the accepted and supporting documentation was provided to prove the equipment specification following testing and commissioning on-site by Weiss Technik UK.

Types of rooms supplied include:

  • Fitotron® Standard Growth Rooms
  • Multi-tier illuminated shelving tissue rooms
  • Cold store rooms
  • Incubator rooms
  • Quarantine room for insects
  • Copenhagen tank room with temperature control
  • Freezer room at -10°C
  • Storage rooms (short and long-term) with library type mobile racking
  • Soil drying cabinets

Completion of the project at SASA confirmed the position of Weiss Technik UK as the leading global provider of CE facilities to the scientific community. The project demonstrated the ability of Weiss Technik UK to work with principal construction companies to deliver specialist elements within broader projects.