Menstrie Research and Laboratory Facility

In 2017, Diageo identified a requirement to develop a new state-of-the-art technical centre of excellence for Diageo’s scientists to blend and test recipes for the company’s portfolio of Scotch whiskies, as well as other spirits owned by the group, at their site at Menstrie in Clackmannanshire.

Location: Menstrie
Client: Diageo
Cost: £6.8m
Completion: 2019

Diageo appointed Blyth & Blyth as PM/Lead Consultant, Civil & Structural and Building Services Engineers alongside Michael Laird Architects.

The new building is located adjacent to the existing Diageo buildings and included new building and associated external ancillary buildings, provision of new parking and access roads.

The building design whilst meeting the clients specific brief for the specialist nature of the user requirements, was also careful to consider the wider needs of the occupants, and collaboration space was incorporated with extensive staff areas, and breakout zones.

The new building provides 2 floors of accommodation with external plant enclosure and associated external works, car parking, access roads. All laboratory, storage and industrial functions are located at ground floor level with a double height industrial test space located at the eastern edge of the plan. Office, meeting and social functions are placed at first floor level on the western side of the building, to take advantage of views and natural light.

Key challenges

Site ground conditions required a piled foundation solution to be adopted. Precast piles, installed to depths in excess of 40m were utilised to support the suspended ground slab and superstructure.

Foul drainage systems were connected to the existing site drainage system, with local pumping stations adopted into the design due to the constraints of the existing drainage levels. The existing site foul drainage system was upgraded as part of the works to provide a new biodisc treatment, replacing historic septic tanks at the site. SEPA approvals were sought to reflect the updated drainage proposals for the site.

A new surface water drainage system, adopting SUD’s proposals were designed into the build including the use of new car parking areas for attenuation and treatment of water, re-using existing site discharge.

Early engagement and dialogue with each of Laboratory Teams facilitated the M&E designs to be developed to meet both immediate and future requirements.


The Technical Centre at Menstrie is a crucial part of Diageo’s business plan globally, for delivering excellence in science and innovation. The specialist nature of the work carried out by Diageo meant that no other business’ will be linked to the project when complete, but clearly the specialist nature of the facilities is critical to the ongoing development of the Diageo brand, and as such the new facility provides a focal point for the ongoing success and development of their worldwide brand..