University of Manchester – Kay Kendall Laboratories Project
University Of Manchester
Recom were appointed as Client-Side Project Manager to manage the re-configuration and refurbishment of laboratory space within the Kay Kendall Laboratories on The Christie Hospital Estate. This was on behalf of Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute (CRUK-MI), a partnership between the University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK. This project was a direct result from a tragic fire incident that resulted in the displacement of CRUK-MI from their research facility in the Paterson Building at The Christie Cancer Hospital in Manchester.
The majority of CRUK-MI was moved to a new research facility in Cheshire, due to the Paterson building no longer being habitable, at the Christie Hospital Estate, following the fire. Over 300 researchers across more than 20 different departments and research groups were displaced to Cheshire on a temporary basis whilst some of the institute remained in the unaffected MCRC Building located across the road from the Paterson Building. To ensure CRUK-MI could continue to be one of the worlds leading research institutes they needed to continue with critical research nearby to The Christie Hospital, a world leading Cancer Hospital. Recom were approached to lead the project and deliver new research laboratories and office space within a ‘Live’ building on the Christie Hospital Estate.
What we did differently
With an agreed budget that could not be exceeded and a desire to keep construction costs to a minimum, decreasing any potential cost implications to the client, on this unexpected but required project, Recom looked at proposals to decrease the costs of the project once on site. With additional variation costs implicating the budget, Recom re-utilised existing materials and furnishings from the CRUK-MI building that were not affected by the fire. This included laboratory ceiling tiles, light fittings, doors, laboratory shelving and benching and scientific research equipment such as Class II Cabinets and -80 Freezers.
To achieve the ambitious and aggressive programme Recom decided to split the works into 2 contracts, awarding an enabling contract to allow soft strip and demolitions to take place whilst the main contract designs were completed. This reduced the overall construction programme by 4 weeks.
There was a constant site presence to act quickly if any decisions were required to progress works or manage any communications received from the neighbouring hospital users. Recom ensured management presence during any night and weekend works to ensure prompt action could be taken if the hospital requested works to stop. All stakeholders were aware that the works would create vibration and noise around the hospital and it was agreed that works could take place as long as their was a clear communication channel should the hospital need works to stop.
Programme: When the client brief was issued, the main project driver was to design and build out the scheme as quickly as possible to allow CRUK-MI to re-commence with research. Recom developed an aggressive phased programme, detailing how the design team would progress through the RIBA stages whilst the area was stripped and made ready for the construction works to be completed, all within 14 weeks from receipt of client brief. Recom procured an enabling package within 2 weeks and negotiated the works with a framework contractor to ensure the programme could be achieved. The project was successfully completed within the agreed programme.
Project Constraints: There were a number of constraints and limiting factors on this project including:
■ The site was located within a ‘Live’ Christie Hospital building, with the main Operating Theatres and Theatre Recovery positioned on the ground floor directly underneath the site location. Recom developed a project execution plan detailing how works would be completed, ensuring no negative impact on the hospital theatre operations or general operational activity. This then needed to be authorised by the Christie Estates Management prior to works commencing.
■ Asbestos removal & extensive confined space works were both required on this project. This added further complexity to a programme that was already under pressure to deliver.
■ Access / Egress to the area had formerly been through the fire damaged Paterson Building. To utilise the space a new independent access was required. Recom had to liaise with local planning officers and gain planning permission whilst commencing works at risk. The formation of the new entrance required significant structural alterations that were programmed in for night shifts due to noise and vibration caused. New construction methodologies were introduced to ensure the works caused minimal disruption to the hospital users.