The coldest spot in the Netherlands officially opened

The UMCG’s - University Medical Centre Groningen - LifeStore was officially opened last week. The LifeStore is the storage facility for the LifeLines project: a research programme that will monitor 165,000 inhabitants of Northern Netherlands for a period of thirty years so that an understanding can be gained into how people grow older and be healthier in the process. The research will also look into the factors that are important in the onset and progression of chronic diseases. Due to its size and data security, the LifeStore is unique on the planet.

For a full five years, Deerns worked hard on building the LifeStore. It is a modern building, with an ultramodern and automated freezer that is protected against earthquakes, floods, power outages, disruptions to the cooling systems and fire. Deerns was responsible for all the systems, from their design to supervising the construction of the new storage facility.

Mark Visser, Project Manager at Deerns: ‘The risk of disruptions has to be minimal. Mistakes can have catastrophic outcomes. For this reason, the LifeStore is linked to the UMCG’s new data centre. So the LifeStore can fall back on the data centre’s extremely reliable systems. This makes the LifeStore safe, sustainable and reliable.’

Since the beginning of this year, LifeLines has already stored almost 8 million small tubes with biomaterials (aliquots) in 120 freezers that keep the samples at a temperature of –80 degrees. The large quantities of biomaterials compelled LifeLines to computerise the storage process in an automated freezer facility. With the completion of the LifeStore, this requirement was fulfilled in an innovative way.

3 February 2016

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