23rd February 2021
The project comprised the refurbishment of a 54,500 sq ft two-storey building originally constructed in 1991 which had been dormant for four years prior to the refurbishment to form new laboratories and office accommodation for SGS UK Limited.
Within the new facility, we created 15 laboratories including: instrument calibration laboratory, gas detection laboratory; Bitumen laboratory; engine laboratory; wet laboratory; GCMS laborator; microscopic laboratory; HPLC laboratory; combustion laboratory; LC laboratory; ICP laboratory, XRF laboratory and a general prep laboratory. Additionally, a total of 138 gas lines were installed across the building.
Our scope of works included creating a new reception area, refurbishing corridors and stairwells, the replacement of ceiling, wall and floor finishes, replacement of new internal door sets and alterations as well as all M&E installations to both floors.
The M&E installations included isolating existing services, access control systems, CCTV systems, intruder alarm systems and disability assistance system from the ground to the first floor.
The external works included the installation of external lighting, a barrier entry system, barrier hoops and below ground drainage repair works.
Delivering a Turnkey Solution
At the time of the project’s completion, the client had 2,600 offices and laboratories and more than 94,000 employees around the world and it was important to the client that this facility was a significant upgrade on their current laboratories and offices in the UK.
Partway through the project, our scope of works was extended to include the fit-out of the building which included kitchen facilities, lab benches and furniture, lighting and carpeting.
The fit-out works also comprised the full design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of specialist laboratory equipment and close consultation with the client throughout the project was integral to the successful and satisfactory delivery of the new facility.
The fit-out included the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of high-performance aerodynamic fume cupboards, 7nr nitrogen taps to all of the fume cupboards and all pipework to receive argon, nitrogen, helium, oxygen, hydrogen and compressed air.
Additionally, Tolent installed termination points and isolator valves in all three of the laboratories, providing a full turnkey solution.
Tolent installed Nederman FX2 arms on the worktops in the labs as an efficient and cost-efficient solution for the extraction of hazardous airborne contaminants.
Tolent liaised closely with the client to discuss their requirements and following consultation, the Nederman FX2 arms were identified as ideal for fume extraction in aggressive environments where corrosion resistance must be assured.
The extraction solution provided optimal efficiency and low noise and provided safe and quiet working environment as well as having an aesthetic design which didn’t compromise its durability and reliability which was very important to the client.
To ensure compliance, a dedicated supervisor was present on-site for the duration of the installation, testing and commissioning of the fume cupboards and extraction ventilation systems, who liaised directly with the site manager and the client.
The installation of all specialist equipment, furniture and systems were carried out in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, health and safety regulations, building regulations and national and international standards.
Furthermore, Tolent ensured that the client had the opportunity to inspect installations at regular intervals throughout the project.
This was the first time we had worked with the client and a close working relationship was fostered throughout the project, with the client taking a unique hands-on approach. In anticipation of the handover, we provided two copies of the O&M manuals, maintenance manuals for all laboratory equipment and office furniture to the client four weeks before practical completion.
Training for all of the M&E, furniture and equipment including the fume cupboards, boilers, fire alarms and disability assistance lift were provided at handover to the client and the end-users. Additionally, as the client was involved closely throughout the project, we provided demonstrations on the M&E, furniture and equipment etc. throughout the project.
The fit-out required considerate and efficient coordination between all parties which Tolent achieved through consistent and clear communication.
For example, the installation of the fume cupboards needed to be coordinated with the mechanical and electrical works to ensure the safe and compliant installation of the fume cupboards and to ensure zero defects at handover.
As the commissioning and testing of all the laboratory equipment relied on the mechanical and electrical works to be working, Tolent arranged for all subcontractors to be present on-site and efficiently coordinated the commissioning and testing of the various laboratory equipment and M&E so any issues were immediately rectified to ensure zero defects.
As the client had numerous laboratories throughout the UK, they were interested in seeing the project coming together. During the commissioning stage, when we were completing the final installations, we ensured that the client had the opportunity to personally inspect the installations to ensure they were compliant, of a high-quality and to their requirements.
The consistent communication and working relationship fostered between Tolent and the client ensured that the project was handed over with zero defects and to the complete satisfaction of the client.
The Tolent project Team completed the works in a professional manner and with due care and attention to detail, build programme and budget.
Aurora Court demonstrates Tolent’s ability to refurbish and reconfigure a disused building into modern, high-quality turn-key laboratories and flexible commercial space; whilst working collaboratively with the client to achieve their design ambitions.
54,500 sq ft