The building

Located within Bedson Building at Newcastle University, McQuillan laboratory forms part of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR).

NICR undertakes bench to bedside development & trailing of anti-cancer drugs. In the latest Research Excellence Framework Assessment 84% of NICR’s research was classed as world leading or internationally excellent.

The Project

McQuillan accounts for 50% of NICR’s laboratory space and consists of 2 adjoining rooms fed via a central air handling unit, dedicated fume cupboard extract systems, and centralised medical gas and domestic water services.

This project entailed upgrading one of the rooms to double the fume cupboard capacity from 9No cupboards to 18No cupboards without disturbing the important research in the adjoining room.
We were required to strip out and relocate 7 of the existing cupboards including the dedicated extract systems, medical gases and cold water.

Upon installation of the 9 new cupboards and the relocation of the 7 existing cupboards we installed 2No new fume extract systems, medical gases and cold water to all 18 cupboards. We also had to modify and uprate the supply air into the room to overcome the additional extract volumes without disturbing any research in the operational side of the laboratory.

We installed all pipework & ductwork without making final connections, this was then all pressure tested ahead of connections being made.

We agreed in advance with NICR when we could carry out the final connections & prior to isolating any services we liaised with the staff to ensure no experiments were ongoing.

The connection downtime was time critical meaning we had to complete works/testing/balancing all within the agreed periods.

Thankfully due to good planning, communication & co-operation all switchovers were carried out without incident.