Features of this project included:
Set over three stages and separable portions to enable the building to remain operational, workshops were undertaken prior to commencement with the client, PM and user groups to plan safe egress for staff and students who would be using facilities within the building throughout. Full height hoarding was erected and the first of our two week lookaheads was also provided in collaboration with all stakeholders to organise our works around live experiments, teaching and events.
Stage one included the demolition of existing wet labs and creation of new that better met the operational needs of the users. Post tender, we brought our experience of delivering complex laboratory projects and included some Stage three works into Stage one which were necessary for operational needs. This including the extension of the steel mezzanine to span what was the warehouse, including a lift. The mezzanine was extended to house the new mechanical plant and comms room as well as provide vital storage for the end users.
With Stage two running concurrently over stages one and three, this area incorporated the full refurbishment of the warehouse to create laboratory space with new gas lines, research space and the installation of 20 extraction arms in this stage alone.
Stage three was the refurbishment and reconfiguration of the remaining spaces to create various laboratories, dangerous goods store and cool room, plus offices and amenities for the increased capacity.
In all, the completed project provided 13 new and highly specific laboratories, a new steel mezzanine, office spaces, dangerous good stores, gas cages and all the mechanical, electrical and hydraulics works associated to enable their operation. All existing gas lines were disconnected and demolished, with the installation of 35 new lines that met the users needs, the new layout and the additional laboratories.
During the course of the project we uncovered numerous latent conditions due to the unknown nature of the land beneath the buildings within Tech Park. Discovery of 600mm thick concrete slabs and hardstands which were documented as 160mm thick, required extensive demolition and the discovery of unknown services in these areas also posed problems, with our team providing workarounds and solutions to overcome these issues. Externally, we discovered a culvert with unknown services running through them. The inability to ascertain where these services began and ended meant that they needed to be frozen to allow our works to continue. Other issues such as discovery of asbestos, tanks and soakwells, structural steel that needed rectification and strengthening and other unknown services were a challenge but our team diligently worked through them with the consultant teams and our subcontractors to give best for project solutions.