Ambient Cluster Lab, Maxwell Centre – University of Cambridge - Case Study

Based on the West Cambridge Science and Technology Campus, the Maxwell Centre provides a centrepiece for industrial engagement with the physical scientists and engineers. Built in 2016 it enables research scientist from industry to occupy laboratory and desk space alongside their university collaborators.                                         

In late 2017 Kershaw Special Projects Division were appointed to undertake the enabling works for a laboratory fit-out for the new Ambient Cluster project. 

The works involved the supply and installation of the new M&E services, including the BWIC items associated with the project. It also required the removal of existing services to allow the wall removal, ceiling modifications and making good, new resin floor works, re-positioning of the existing laboratory doors, removal of existing doors, new gas detection and oxygen depletion services. Furniture removal to allow the works, fume cupboard re-positioning and re-positioning of the hand wash station was also required.

Given that the team were working adjacent to an operational environment, suitable fencing and signage were displayed to ensure the large number of student - both pedestrians and cyclists - were prevented from accidental access to working areas. It was also vital that noise and dust disturbance was kept to a minimum – this is especially important given the research being undertaking in the adjacent laboratories and the machinery stored within. 

As with all projects health and safety was a key priority. Daily site checks were carried out by the Site Supervisor and weekly site visits to monitor health and safety on site were carried out by the Contracts Manager.

Paul Harris, Kershaw Mechanical Services – Special Projects Division “One of the slightly unusual health and safety factors on this site was that the laboratory adjacent contained a powerful magnet that could have been harmful to persons with a pacemaker or similar.” “This and any other risks were recorded in the site RAMS, which were vital to ensure the safety of our team, other contractors, staff and members of the public.”

The team also ensured formal health and safety inspections were carried out by their Health and Safety Advisor on a fortnightly basis throughout the project with Inspection reports being issued following each visit.

Working within a live environment meant the team had to ensure deliveries and the removal of debris was carried out with minimum disruption to the other users. All deliveries were scheduled in good time avoiding peak hours where possible in a bid to avoid increased congestion in the local area. The larger deliveries were planned and coordinated with the Client and booked in before delivering to the site.

The project ran from late October 2017 through to late January 2018. Upon completion, the lab became home to the custom-built Ambient Processing Cluster Tool.