Major Milestone Reached on the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Physics Laboratory

A major milestone has been reached on the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish III physics laboratory and a neighbouring shared facilities hub with the appointment of Bouygues UK as the main contractor. AECOM’s specialist cost management team in Cambridge has been advising the University on cost, risk and procurement for the purpose-built laboratory for world-leading research since 2016.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and located on the West Cambridge campus, Cavendish III will be a purpose-built laboratory for world-leading research for the university’s Department of Physics, bringing the large number of research groups in the department together under one roof to encourage collaboration. With a GIA of around 354,000 sq ft (33,000 sq m), Cavendish III will house a range of laboratories, offices, clean rooms, workshops and multiple lecture theatres. The basement area will incorporate specialist acoustic and vibration treatments to achieve the stringent control criteria necessary for operating equipment highly sensitive to vibration. There are also challenging criteria to be met in relation to temperature and humidity control and EMI protection. The independent Shared Facilities Hub, with a net area of approximately 50,000 sq ft (4,700 sq m), will provide catering, collaborative teaching, meeting, study and library spaces to the West Cambridge campus. The hub will bring academic, support and research staff together with the undergraduate and PhD communities.  Both buildings have been designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Nick Flanagan, director and leader of the cost management team advising the University of Cambridge explains: “We are delighted to have continued our long-term relationship with the university through our cost management role on the highly complex Cavendish III laboratory and the shared facilities hub.  The laboratory has been designed to a very high specification which has been a challenge that our team has risen to and we are particularly pleased to have reached the stage where our expertise has facilitated the award of a single construction contract to build both facilities.”

Professor Andy Parker, Head of the Cavendish Laboratory at The University of Cambridge, said: “This is an exciting step forward for the new Cavendish Laboratory, which will serve as a home for physics research at Cambridge as well as a first-rate facility for the UK as a whole – much of the specialised research equipment in the new building will be made available to other institutions. This world-class facility will meet the educational needs of future generations of students much better than is possible at our existing site and its design also facilitates public events, enabling us to continue our extensive programme of work with schools and the wider public.”

Construction on the two buildings is set to begin in early 2019 with the projects being brought to completion over the next four years.