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Fri March 05 2021

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Bouygues on board for £300m Cambridge physics lab

17 Oct 17 The University of Cambridge has brought in Bouygues to help with its plans for a new physics laboratory.

Jestico + Whiles has designed the Cavendish III laboratory
Jestico + Whiles has designed the Cavendish III laboratory

Lynxvale, the development arm of the University of Cambridge, has awarded Bouygues UK an £8.5m professional services contract to provide preconstruction input on these two new buildings on the university’s West Cambridge campus. The scheme is the first to be procured under the university’s contractors’ framework. Bouygues UK won a place on the upper tier of the framework last summer.

Also on the team are Bouygues Energies & Services and design partners NBBJ and BDP. They will provide consultancy support to the university’s existing project team to develop proposals for a physics laboratory and a neighbouring shared facilities hub.

The commission encompasses a range of activities during RIBA Design Stages 3 and 4 and will run up to 18 months. Construction of the new facilities is set to begin in early 2019 with a target completion date of December 2021.

The £300m Cavendish III laboratory will be a purpose-built centre for research for the university’s Department of Physics, bringing several research groups together under one roof. Scheme design is by Jestico + Whiles with CH2M, and they remain client side. NBBJ and BDP are taking the design through to completion.

With a gross internal area of around 344,500 sq ft, 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 for equipment highly sensitive to vibration. There are also challenging criteria to be met in relation to temperature and humidity control and electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection.

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The independent 54,000 sq ft Shared Facilities Hub will provide catering, teaching, meeting, study and library spaces to the West Cambridge campus.

Bouygues UK is also the main contractor for The Triangle, the new home for Cambridge Assessment, the University of Cambridge’s international exams group, while Bouygues Energies & Services has a long-term partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council providing energy advice.

Bouygues UK chairman Fabienne Viala said: “This exciting project sees two of our group companies collaborating to apply their technical expertise to develop proposals for world-class buildings that are fit to support the high standards of teaching and research for which the University of Cambridge is so renowned across the globe. We relish technically complex projects and look forward to working with the university’s project team and our partners at NBBJ and BDP to create new facilities that incorporate the stringent criteria required of a physics laboratory that is set to be the base for internationally significant research.”

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