Sir David Read Controlled Environment Facility

Opened in 2004, the Sir David Read Controlled Environment Facility is the culmination of a £10.4 million investment by the Joint Infrastructure Fund. It represents a world-leading climate controlled plant growth facility. The 32 individual units are independently able to simulate the majority of terrestrial environments from Tropical to Polar regions as well as past and future global atmospheric environments including elevated and sub-ambient CO2. These revolutionary facilities provide the basis for Sheffield’s ground-breaking contributions to World food security research.

A further recent infrastructure investment of £3.6 million in 2016-17 as part of P3 has led to the installation of a further 22 state-of-the-art controlled environment chambers and rooms. Based in both the Sir David Read Controlled Environment Facility and the Arthur Willis Environment Centre, these are equipped with the very latest technologies and the ability to track worldwide weather stations.

Recent adoption of cutting edge LED lighting allows researchers to simulate a wide-range of lighting conditions. This is much closer to natural sunlight than traditional fluorescent/halogen lighting used in most plant growth facilities. By controlling the Red:FR ratio of the light, researchers are able to accurately mimic natural sunrise and sunset conditions, and promote shading responses. The LED bars allow high light intensities up to 1000umol m-2 s-1 to be achieved.

To find out more about our facilities contact us.