The European Bioenergy Research Institute facility, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Aston University, will be powered by renewable energy.
This will come from pilot scale photo bioreactors harnessing algae, and a 0.4MWel small scale industrial power plant.
The plant will generate heat and power from biomass, including sewage sludge, wood, algae and agricultural waste.
John Sisk’s building contract is worth £7.5m will take approximately 54 weeks to complete.
It will involve fitting the extensive mechanical and electrical installations required for the biomass plant and the specialist equipment needed for its bioenergy research.
This research will include generating biomass by-products including hydrogen power for low carbon vehicles or fuel cells and Biochar for use as an agricultural fertiliser and a source for decentralised hydrogen production.
Professor Andreas Hornung, Director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute, said: “EBRI’s new £16.5m laboratories will showcase to industry how we can produce real-life solutions to tackling waste, with both environmental and financial benefits.
“One of our long-term research aims is to create a ‘thermal ring’ of small scale industrial power plants around Birmingham. This could divert biodegradable waste away from landfill and incineration and feed energy back into the National Grid.”
Kim Shevyn, Regional Construction Director for John Sisk & Son, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our Birmingham team.
“Not only will we be delivering a challenging project that requires some highly specialist skills but we have the chance to contribute to the University’s work towards developing low carbon technologies.”