Under the plan, the existing 1960s built Darwin laboratory tower will be refurbished and re-clad.
Works also include building a three storey extension, which gained planning earlier this year. This will house a lecture theatre, seminar spaces meeting rooms and a cafe.
The total project cost is understood to be worth up to £90m.
Wider site enabling works are being carried out by Robertson Construction and are due to complete this year, while specialist contractor Duct Clean UK is finishing up an extensive two-year asbestos strip out of the 10-floor Darwin tower to prepare for the upgrade.
The existing tower will be reclad using a double-skin cladding system to enhance both the building’s appearance and energy performance.
This building will also be extensively refurbished to provide 170,000 sq ft of high-quality research space by Autumn 2020.
It is architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ first major commission in Scotland. The design team also includes Belfast-based architectural practice Ostick and Williams, for their lab expertise, and by WYG for all engineering services.
When completed, the New Biology Complex will integrate existing and new buildings into one mini-campus with a total of 320,000 sq ft of research space housing more than 800 scientists.