The new building, designed by architect BDP, is on the university’s West Cambridge science and technology campus.
The project follows the merger of the university’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the Institute of Biotechnology. The new building will bring the two departments together and give them room to grow.
The project is expected to be completed in June 2015.
Morgan Sindall area director Bob Ensch said: “As you would expect from the University of Cambridge, the new laboratories will be of a standard best described as world class. The West Cambridge site blends academic and commercial buildings and provides the physical space that allows the University to create state-of-the-art facilities which not only compete with other leading international universities but also act as a pioneering centre for collaborative research with industry.”