Case Study: Environmental Fate Facility
This new-build, state-of-the-art, BREEAM-assessed facility combines two floors of research laboratory and specialist CT rooms, a library and break-out areas on the third floor, and a fallow ground floor for future development.
Designed in line with cGMP requirements, the project value was £3.4m.
This is the first major development on the site for a number of years, and replaces an out-of-date facility which had to be demolished to make way for the new construction. All works were carried out within very tight budgetary constraints.
Our role in this project was to lead and deliver the concept/detailed design and installation of the complete internal fit-out, which included electrical, mechanical and HVAC services together with all of the internal room construction and clean internal envelope finishing requirements.
The concept, detailed design and co-ordination of the internal envelope, with M&E services of all aspects of this work, was undertaken in our Middleton office with regular video-conferencing, telephone-conferencing and site visits enabling us to stay in close contact with the client and to ensure user input opportunities were never lost due to distance.
Given the nature of the client’s day-to-day work, sustainability and minimising the environmental impact were two key performance indicators. Therefore, studies were undertaken to assess the viability of CHP, voltage reduction and stabilisation and sea-water cooling. Anther key performance indicator was for the new facility to be user-friendly and, above all, flexible, keeping pace with legislative changes in the testing and safety of pharmaceuticals in the environment.
The vision for the project was one of functionality and flexibility without excess, and therefore only the CT rooms (which are variable set-point temperature-controlled areas for environmental impact testing) have ceilings; all other areas are finished without ceilings, and all services are visible.
The flexibility of gas, power, data and process extract was assessed, and a simple but novel solution was developed to provide vertical and horizontal versatility of supplies to bench-mounted scientific equipment. This has been achieved through close co-operation with key supply-chain partners.
On-site works were complicated by the business need for continuity of environmental testing and long-term studies while demolition took place. In order to minimise risk, decanting works were scheduled, which included new temporary laboratory cabins and extensive works within the operational facilities themselves. This was especially challenging, as major refurbishment works had to take place adjacent to sensitive long-term environmental studies. Our alliance methods of open and honest communication and co-operation between all parties ensured that the impact on testing was negligible and that no studies were lost.
The new internal fit-out of the laboratories and CT rooms included vinyl flooring, state-of-the-art cleanroom panel walls, and walk-on ceilings complete with integrated services routes together with high-quality doors. The walls between the write-up area and laboratories were fully glazed to enable views over the harbour from inside the laboratories. The use of ceilings were limited to the write-up areas and offices.