Pre-qualified S-Lab Award 2017

A refurbishment of a research laboratory and clinical facility in a rural field station in The Gambia for The Medical Research Council has been shortlisted for the S-Lab award in the Best Refurbishment category. Selected from entries from around the world this is a prestigious accolade.

The award criteria recognised attention given to the three core assessment themes of Safe, Sustainable and Successful.

With temperatures ranging from 29°C to 43°C and humidity rising to 80% and 1.3 meters of rain in most of the country in the rainy season, this case study describes the considerable challenges in designing and building a 590m² research facility in Keneba. The facility needed to adhere to critical laboratory requirements relating to stable temperature, pressure, humidity, lighting and security. Furthermore the facility needed to comply with sustainability measures relating to energy and the environment and, as importantly, a design solution that recognises limited local engineering skills and suitable building materials and equipment in The Gambia.

The new laboratory and clinical facility has been a great success, impacting on the national and international researchers and the local population visiting the unit. Our experience has shaped the design of subsequent laboratory facilities in The Gambia including a new 860m² molecular biology laboratory currently in the design stage.


  • architecture
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • structural
  • public health
  • construction
  • management