Laboratory services accommodation

Laboratory services accommodation

The new laboratory services accommodation for Forensic Science Northern Ireland was developed to provide capability to implement advanced DNA profiling methodologies, specifically DNA-17.

The new 4,000m² building has a full-height plant floor above the whole of the operational laboratory floors, enabling easy access to all major plant, and facilitating the easy maintenance of filters. The internal fit-out of the laboratory areas, containing category 1,2 and 3 laboratories, utilised a clean room system which provides the robust construction to meet the stringent air tightness standards required.

The building features an air pressure cascade system that forces air through the DNA recovery laboratory into a gown lock changing area and outward into general circulation areas. Doors into the gown lock and into the recovery bays are all interlocked. This ensures that, in high care areas, only one door is open at any given time, limiting and controlling any possibility of airborne contaminants entering a recovery bay.

Sustainability has been designed into the building with a CHP powering the building supplemented by PV cells on the roof, rainwater harvesting for utilities, and a building management system to monitor and manage automatic lighting systems.

The building has been hailed as the best facility of its type in the UK and perhaps Europe and, despite the high containment requirements, has achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Our role

Currie & Brown was appointed to provide cost management services. Initially, the design options involved four separate sites, and we provided robust costings of the individual and potential site locations, to assist in the selection of the optimum site. Subsequently, a number of design options within the preferred site were tabled, and the design team once again provided detailed option analysis incorporating cost advice, to assist in the selection of the optimum design.

Our team worked closely with the client’s scientific personnel, and produced the project cost estimate to comply with their requirements. We were part of an integrated project team including client user personnel, architects and engineers with experience and knowledge of similar high-containment facilities. We actively led the cost planning stages pre-contract, and in the latter stages undertook post-contract cost control and agreement of final accounts.

Laboratory services accommodation