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Morgan Sindall Professional Services have designed and managed construction of a state-of-the-art laboratory complex for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Les Ulis, France. Sustainability was a key element of the project; from consideration of the environmental impact of construction through to minimising energy use and running costs of the building through its whole lifecycle.
The innovative facility uses “flexi-lab” principals to reflect the changing needs for automated screening and chemistry in discovery research. Morgan Sindall Professional Services were involved from inception, through all design stages, to construction and handover. The resulting complex accomodates 144 scientific and support staff and will support GSK’s R&D and manufacturing programmes.
The building was designed around an innovative “flexi-lab” concept, which recognises that laboratories require regular upgrades as scientific practice changes. By allowing future refits to be undertaken without the need to modify the building and services, the physical disruption, embodied energy and financial costs associated with future upgrades are all reduced.
Following investigation of several potential sites, a brown field site was selected adjacent to an existing GSK premises. This made maximum use of available land and minimised the need for travel between sites and for the staff.The use of materials was reduced through choice of a building design based on repeatable parts or ‘modules’. This meant whole sections of the building could be pre-manufactured off site, keeping disruption and noise around the site itself to a minimum.
Waste was segregated into 21 waste streams. These were re-used onsite use where possible, with the remainder shipped offsite for recycling. The building itself was designed and constructed to meet a GSK global standard, nominally equivalent to a BREEAM Excellent rating. It was designed around passive design principles, which focuses on trying to maintain comfortable internal temperatures whilst reducing the need for heating or cooling. The building was oriented to provide excellent daylighting, and the design incorporated a façade to provide external shading. The heavy floors and walls provided a large thermal mass to help regulate internal temperatures. Finally, the building was made as airtight as possible and use of insulation maximised to minimise heating and cooling demands.All electrical equipment inside the building was chosen with energy-efficiency in mind, further reducingthe energy demand.
Procurement of construction materials used local supply chains where possible, with the intention that the same suppliers would continue to work with GSK over the lifetime of the facility.
Not only is it sustainable from an environmental perspective, the building has also been designed to be financially sustainable and have a low lifecycle cost. Despite the innovations, the cost of design and construction were constrained to normal levels.This means Morgan Sindall Professional Services have delivered a building that is expected to be cheaper to run and modify for the client, withno extra upfront cost.
"Morgan Sindall Professional Services totally understood our brief, they were in at the start of the project and used their previous engagements with R&D, bringing allof that experienceto the table."Steve Hartles
Capital Projects Director, GSK