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The National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) is the Waterfront Campus of Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton. NOCS is a centre for research, teaching and technology development in Ocean and Earth science. Founded in 1994 it has 750 undergraduates and 45 postgraduates.

The brief:

Ocean and Earth Science wanted to upgrade and enhance their largest teaching laboratory to give their students a more inclusive innovative environment that supported the University’s ethos for teaching excellence. The brief included a solution that would offer additional space for teaching, storage and movement around the perimeter of the room for setting up practicals and movement of technical equipment. It was also of vital importance that a solution was found to house the large amount of rock samples that were stored in the student benches. The client and architect – HNW Architects were introduced to the concept of powered mobile shelving and felt this solution would be the most effective for the area. Not only is it the most space efficient way of storing it also offers a smooth open and close system and is very practical with students who are often carrying trays containing materials.

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

The solution:

Rackline provided two Powertrak Systems that are fitted around the perimeter of the room and one large system at the front of the study/ teaching area. All of the Powertrak Systems included aisle automatic lighting, pin coded access and a locking system. Within the storage systems Rackline designed two trays for the varying collections, the first is a pull out tray system that would allow students to pull out the tray and take it to the benches, the second was a fixed tray system that was designed for staff use only. Steel End Panels were fitted to the perimeter systems and an attractive Vinyl finish to the front of the system. With all the storage situated around the outer areas of the room it allowed the bench system to be turned through 90 degrees and modern benches and stools purchased. The client cleverly co-ordinated the finish on the end panels with the stool and bench system.

“We are very pleased with our new powertrak storage system, it provides a practical solution to our storage requirements enabling our laboratory and study areas to be used more effectively.” – Stephen Hayward, Ocean and Earth Science