National Automotive Innovation Centre; National Automotive Innovation Centre;

National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), Coventry

How do you create a shared collaborative space to inspire a new generation of engineers?

The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), located inside the Prof. Lord Bhattacharyya Building at the University of Warwick, is the largest centre of its kind. Officially opened by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in February 2020, the NAIC is home to 1,000 staff working across design, engineering and research.

Arup was appointed to provide structural, mechanical, electrical and public health (SMEP) services forming part of the design team that constructed this unique space. The partnership between Warwick Manufacturing Group, at the University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Motors European Technical Centre has resulted in an innovative, cutting-edge facility in which research and ideas can be shared between organisations, stimulating growth and future development.

The centre has been awarded the highest BREEAM “Excellent” rating in recognition for its environmental, social and economic sustainability performance, providing a space for organisations to explore and develop technologies that will reduce CO² emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.

Project Summary


33,000 development

1,900of photovoltaic roof panels

101,187kg/Co²saving from 868 roof panels

Creating a collaborative, open and inclusive environment

The building design is characterised by collaboration - through the way in which it was developed and the working spaces. Alongside the client team, Arup designers partnered with architects, engineers and consultants from specialist firms to create a vision for the project:

  • To foster innovation and collaboration across disciplines 

  • To connect academic and manufacturing research 

  • To inspire a new generation of engineers 

  • To showcase forward thinking in British engineering and design 


Transforming transportation

Together we set out to build a global powerhouse of automotive research to reimagine and revolutionise the future of transportation and mobility that will deliver the skills to keep the UK globally competitive. The project team looked for simplicity, and strength of purpose - a ‘big picture’, while editing the thousands of detailed decisions that are made by a large team of clients and consultants. We consulted with hundreds of academics, research engineers and automotive designers to be able to develop a design with these experts to house all their teams and meet their objectives.

The building had to be a flagship world-class facility and therefore Arup’s design input was of a very high standard. ” Mark Barlett Mark Bartlett UKIMEA Advanced Manufacturing Business Leader

Utilising technology to improve energy efficiency

Sustainability and energy conservation were essential. The team examined several low and zero-carbon technologies during the design stages to determine the most suitable components to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. The optimal combination for energy reduction was then selected. 

The NAIC incorporates energy-efficient features including a back-up heating system, mechanical ventilation systems, ‘chilled beams’ and 1,900m² of photovoltaic panels to place less strain on energy systems.

Developing a digital twin

Using 3D simulation, Arup enabled the client to visually see and walk around the spaces in the building and comment on both the architectural and engineering elements enabling direct feedback to the design team. This formed part of the detailed multiple stakeholder engagement process through the design stages, leading to a truly intelligent digital twin that exists today of the facility.

NAIC will play an important role in shaping future mobility. The finest minds of academia, suppliers and OEMs will work together to define our vision of ‘destination zero’ – zero emissions, accidents and congestions’. ” Professor Dr. Ralf Speth CEO, Jaguar Land Rover

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