Can a building be 'based' somewhere?

Free London paper Metro today carries a news story with an interesting boxout on the 'Diamond Light Microscope'. It starts:

This building, based in Oxfordshire is a giant microscope and is as big as five football pitches. It can produce the brightest light in the known universe – 10billion times brighter than the Sun.

No, I'm not going to talk today about the use of commas, or about proper nouns. Instead I want to ask: is it possible for a building to be 'based' somewhere?

People, businesses and organisations can be 'based' somewhere, using that base as a "centre of operations" (OED). But buildings? Surely there are 'located', 'situated', or just 'are'.

Of course Metro could have steered clear of verbs entirely, and simply written "This Oxfordshire building" or "This building in Oxfordshire"...


Jacqueline said...

I agree with you.

A building is not 'based' somewhere because the word 'based' in this context implies a possibility for movement.

You can move a person, a business or an organization, but I doubt they are going to move a microscope the size of 5 football fields!

Anonymous said...

"an Oxford-based building" is just stupid. No, it can't be based there.

I hate the "-based" construction even in terms of companies and service firms.

My pub does "New York City-based florist" all the time.

Look, every florist will travel if you pay them enough. Just call them a New York City florist.

(speaking of "located"--when I was at a technology magazine, I got pissy over sentences that said: Sun Microsystems is located at"

No, it's not--it's located wherever its corporate headquarters are. On a real street, w/ grass growing in the cracks, where you can walk in the door and speak to a receptionist or somebody.

It is located ON THE WEB at

Gloom Raider said...

Well, "-based" does have its uses (not, however, in the quoted sentence).

In the case of chain businesses, it can be helpful: your complaint about the returns policy at a Greenville-based chain will more likely be heard if you take the time to write to Greenville instead of screaming at a manager near you.

Anonymous said...

yes, but if it's a chain, don't you know it has a headquarters somewhere else?

The Ridger, FCD said...

A Greenville-based chain's headquarters are in Greenville. That's what that means. "We're the Knoxville store of a Greenville-based chain."