Barry Callebaut UK

New Chocolate Training Academy, Banbury

The Opportunity

Barry Callebaut, a specialist chocolatier required a hub to present their product range and innovations.

This required a New Chocolate Training Academy as their current facility was well utilised but unable to deal with market demand for artisan chocolatiering, customer expectations and performance criteria.

Austin were approached by Barry Callebaut to provide a Feasibility & Concept Study with a ±25% estimate to consider investment viability. This was followed by a Preliminary Design and Engineering Study with a ±10% estimate for corporate approval to implement the project.

The new Academy needed to provide a customer experience and demonstrate innovative chocolatiering and the following success criteria were identified:

  • Move from a single function to multifunctional Academy: preparation, teaching for 8 to 12 persons and customer visit/demonstration area for 30 persons with the potential to operate simultaneously.
  • Provide a dedicated customer laboratory for chocolatiers to experiment and demonstrate the art of chocolate making and its use.
  • Accommodate the increased demand for artisan bakers and chocolatiers.
  • Enhance the opportunity to encourage bakers and chefs to incorporate natural chocolate into their recipes through the use of live streaming and social media.
  • Innovative use of audio-visual systems to visualise and communicate new product development and live activity sessions.
  • Provide a stylish, attractive focal point with improved image for the whole site whilst optimising the existing footprint.
  • A building to reflect leadership in chocolate products development and augment the Banbury site.
  • Deliver the requirements within a prescribed limited budget on a prime cost reimbursable basis.

The Solution

Our team worked with Barry Callebaut to understand and develop the functionality, operations for efficient people and materials flows, user requirements and the envisaged customer experience.

Our in-house multidiscipline design team developed a “simple” cost effective solution of a single storey pavilion. This sits at one end of the existing car park, outside the main site allowing easy access for visitors and customers. The site was analysed using land and tree surveys and a traffic analysis with a car park utilisation study.

The siting allows the use of a wide variety of ingredients including nuts. This inspires the further development of chocolate products.

Efficient space planning created a multifunctional Academy that successfully supports the requirements for concurrently operating, teaching, preparation and demonstration activities.

The design incorporates Barry Callebaut’s established image and branding, using colour schemes logos with compelling design. The variety of branding available from the world’s largest chocolatiers has been utilised from the car park to the outside of the building into the customer spaces.

The Academy provides an enhanced profile for Barry Callebaut’s leadership of the UK market by providing flexible accommodation to suit a variety of customer focused development opportunities and innovative solutions.

Barry Callebaut UK

Barry Callebaut is among the world’s largest cocoa producers with sites worldwide. Within their Banbury site, there was a need to convert an existing cacao roasting facility into a liquor melting facility by stripping out the existing winnowing and roasting equipment and providing a new food safe liquor block melting facility with new equipment for an entirely new upstream production process.

The roasting process would be relocated/consolidated with an existing operation at another site.

The planning and construction work associated with providing the new melting facility ensured that cross contamination did not occur with the rest of the site, which was to remain in production during the works.

The completed facility had a requirement to be food safe and contamination free.

Due to the limited supply of liquor during the conversion period the programme and completion date was business critical and could not be missed without severely impacting on operations and potentially stopping ongoing production.

Austin developed a preliminary design, programme and a cost estimate (±10%) for the works allowing Barry Callebaut to assign funds and engage specialist supply chain both prior and during the works, to allow the rest of the manufacturing facility to remain in production.

The project comprised the design of a facility with segregated areas for storage, unpacking and melting of the liquor blocks. Procurement of the works comprised stripping out the existing equipment, washing down and decontamination of the existing facility. The new works included providing a new protected forklift and truck unloading area, installing new food safe flooring and partitions, rapid roller doors, mechanical ventilation, power, lighting and plumbing.

Due to the limited time availability the project was delivered as a complete turnkey solution; design, construction, commissioning through to hand over within a specified budget and an onerous program. The critical time line, delivery and budget were achieved through collaboration during design, engineering and procurements with all parties including subcontractors, the client’s team, specialists and the Austin construction team to fast track the delivery.

The facility was developed to include a walk-on ceiling over the melting areas which was propped in advance of first fix mechanical and electrical works. This allowed both services to be installed above and below ceilings simultaneously. This unique solution reduced the initial programme by at least two to three weeks.

The completed facility is considered by the client to have set a new standard. It was delivered on time and within the budget.

“I thank the Austin team for their great skill and efforts in delivering the requirements within the constrained time scale and exceeding our expectations on cost, quality and program” – Mike Parkins, Chief Engineer, Barry Callebaut UK.

Dairy Crest

Dairy Crest had identified the need for a new QC building to support their cheese manufacturing operations at their facility at Davidstow, Cornwall.

Due to the requirement to have the new facility operational early 2015. Dairy Crest had approached the supplier of a modular, prefabricated building to meet their identified needs.

On receipt of an initial design, Dairy Crest commissioned Austin to undertake a peer review of the design for the new modular facility. This review raised a number of suggestions to reflect the user  equirements and enhance the design to provide an optimum and more efficient layout to match the work flow patterns.

Parallel to this review, Austin reviewed alternative locations for the facility on the Davidstow site, to determine the best location to serve the ongoing manufacturing processes efficiently.

Following  the location study, a preferred location for the new QC building was identified and agreed. This enabled the final design for the new building, with respect to orientation, access, flows  and incoming utilities to be finalised.

The peer review of the original design for the new QC facility undertaken by Austin, identified a number of modifications to enhance the layout and provide a  more economical and efficient building to suit QC operations. Austin were able to draw upon their experience from similar completed QC facilities to test, and then improve the design. This also  included a detailed review of equipment to be incorporated into the new facility, which included detailed equipment layouts, servicing, access and environmental requirements.

Design  enhancements included replanning the internal layout to better reflect people and material flows around the building and physically separating the plant (HVAC) area from laboratory areas to minimise adverse effects on sensitive scientific equipment from vibration.

Following the peer review exercise, Austin were commissioned to undertake the detailed design and construction of the new 260m², single story modular laboratory. Austin worked in close liaison  with the chosen modular building supplier, with the internal fit-out being governed by key dimensions of the modular building units.

Accommodation included staff entry, sample receipt, microbiology (ACDP 2), wet chemistry, instrument and flame free laboratories, together with chemical and consumables stores, office and staff welfare facilities. Austin provided full architectural, mechanical, electrical and structural design together with project and construction management during the build.

“Austin brought a customer focus to our project, listening to our requirements and providing expertise which has added value to the end result. I have been impressed with their ability to deliver, attention to detail and quality of build”. – Paul O’Neill, Procurement Controller, Dairy Crest Limited.

Cadbury World

Cadbury World is a unique and world leading facility providing an experience of chocolate enjoyment. Based in Bournville it is adjacent to the centre of excellence for the development and production of chocolate in the UK.

This high profile facility attracts visitors from all over the world throughout the year. Visitors range from young families to grandparents and the range of customer facilities needs to respond to a  very broad demographic.

Front of house facilities are particularly important and these include toilet and baby change facilities.

Austin was selected to assist Cadbury World in the upgrade and enhancement of their existing customer facilities.

Cadbury World is so well renowned that it has very few days when it is closed to the public. This created a real challenge to the refurbishment of this key function within the facility.

The Austin delivery strategy incorporated the provision of high quality temporary toilet accommodation to ensure the smooth operation of Cadbury World whilst providing the opportunity to  isolate the existing toilets for construction.

Construction activities were closely managed to minimise disruption and segregate construction activities to the 4,000 visitors daily. The project was undertaken in normal working hours during the client’s busiest period, coming up to Christmas.

The design maximised the opportunity within the existing toilet footprint and constraints of the building. This required utilising existing infrastructure and services, in particular the drainage  connections.

Both male and female toilets are spacious to accommodate high volume turn around and equipped with wash troughs to improve flow and enhance cleaning protocols. Wider than normal cubicles have been designed to allow space for parents and children. Ambulant access cubicles are also provided.

Centrally located for ease of use, an access toilet is provided fully equipped with statutory support rails and other equipment.

Two purpose designed baby changing and baby feed rooms with soft  furnishings create a comfortable environment for mothers and children.

To meet the requirement for visitors with Profound  and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) a changing places room was incorporated and registered.

This specifically designed room includes a height adjustable changing bench, toilet, basin and hoist. This facility can make all the difference to someone with PMLD and improve the whole experience and enjoyment of visiting Cadbury World.

Austin provided complete multidiscipline design and construction services to provide a turnkey project delivery.

The completed design provides an extensive range of facilities to enhance the visitor experience yet with a high performance and robust specification.

The whole facility was delivered successfully within very stringent time and cost constraints.

“Thank you to everyone at Austin involved on the Cadbury World project for all your efforts and professionalism, well done” – Gerrard Baldwin, General Manager Cadbury World

“Austin  performed beyond my expectations and managed it well – I would not hesitate to recommend Austin to others” – Tim Gimbert, Cadbury World Operations Manager

“I wouldn’t hesitate using or  recommending Austin Group and their personnel as even after 12 months the service has been outstanding” – Tim Gimbert, Cadbury World Operations Manager

National Category Facility Award  Winner (Platinum) 2014


Due to increased pressures on their existing quality assurance (QA) facility, Cadbury identified a need to create a new, state of the art facility that would provide both a QA focus and a “centre of excellence” at their historic Bournville manufacturing site.

The new facility would be capable of increasing through-put, and include multiple laboratories to undertake differing activities whilst maintaining required control and segregation. The facility would comply with the latest QA principles, meet the latest regulatory standards, be physically separate from the main manufacturing complex and be capable of future expansion should the need arise.

To optimise utilisation, the new facility had to be designed to allow minimal disruption during maintenance to the critical environments and ongoing scientific activities.

Cadbury commissioned The Austin Company to provide its experience and expertise in the review, design and construction of the new QA facility and to ensure that during the design and construction works, critical ongoing site operations were maintained without disruption.

The Austin Company’s commission was to carry out a concept study followed by Preliminary Engineering Study and concluded with detailed design and construction of the new state-of-the-art facility.

The building has a footprint of 720m² and incorporates a concrete mezzanine plant floor over the office and stores area. The laboratories have an accessible walk-on ceiling which is accessed from the plant mezzanine. This allows unhindered service distribution to the laboratory areas above ceiling level.

A centralised air handling plant provides conditioned air to the microbiology laboratories which employs a cascade pressure regime for containment. Constant volume boxes are employed on branches with terminal HEPA filtration to maintain the desired room pressure regimes.

Energy savings are achieved on the HVAC system using an indirect runaround coil arrangement and high efficiency modular boiler serving a variable volume heating system.

There are two microbiological and one analytical laboratories. The microbiology laboratories are designed as Containment Level 2 (CL2) which are positively segregated, with individual change lobbies equipped with sample pass through hatches. The building is configured to support the analysis and test flow with each laboratory layout reflecting the particular function requirements.

The electrical services included:

  • High electrical load density requiring HV supply distributed by a packaged HV/LV substation switchboard.
  • Clean room/laboratory requiring easily cleanable luminaires and accessories.
  • Security comprising intruder detection and CCTV surveillance.
  • Access control system to selected doors to create segregated secure zones within the building.
  • Fire detection to P1/L1 category for property and life protection.
  • BMS, security, CCTV, dire & sata services which are linked to the central site facility for monitoring.

Austin’s efforts were complemented with an award from Birmingham City Council in association with The Chartered Institute of Building and the Centre for Construction Excellence, for the Best Built-in Quality Project in Birmingham.

Cadbury / Kraft

The rationalisation and development of a number of areas of the business at Kraft led to the requirement to provide additional facilities at the Bournville site.

The requirements included relocating pilot plant equipment from another site into a new GMP super-module, creating a new Innovation Kitchen and upgraded office accommodation.

The centrepiece is the Innovation Kitchen, a high profile space where VIPs, industry peers and public consultation can take place in a flexible multi-use space.

Austin provided multidisciplinary design, management and construction services to carry out this refurbishment project at Bournville.

The site in Bournville is a centre of excellence for chocolate in Europe, with a focus on creativity, innovation and a testing and presentation centre for new products.

Cadbury – Microbiology and Analytical Lab – Bournville

Cadbury - Regional Microbiology and Analytical Lab - BournvilleA specialist new building consisting of a suite of three laboratories together with associated store areas, open plan office, meeting room, break-out and welfare facilities. The new single storey building with a footprint of approximately 900m2 will incorporate a mezzanine plant floor over the office and stores areas of 320m2 allowing optimum services distribution to the new laboratories below.

The stand-a-lone building consists of a main steel frame, clad in composite steel cladding with a curved aluminium roof together with a projecting glazed “feature” entrance and meeting room. The building is designed to complement the “historic” location recognising the history of Cadbury’s association with Bournville, yet provides a modern image commensurate with the functions to be undertaken within the facility. The new facility will also comply with the latest energy conservation requirements required under part L2A of the Building Regulations.

Austin undertook the brief development, concept and preliminary design stages in 2008 undertaking the subsequent detailed design stage, with construction due to commence October 2009.

Although this project was not required by the Client for BREEAM rating, it includes all features that would be needed for a “Very Good” category.

British Bakels – Site Expansion – Bicester

British BakelsThe Austin Company studied the feasibility of three alternative solutions to expand the capacity of the existing factory.

Expanding on three sides of the existing factory and extending the plant and service rooms over the existing plant and production areas. Complicated construction programming allowed Bakels to retain plant and production areas in operation until sufficient parts of new areas could be released or plant re-positioned in prepared, but partly completed, areas. Managed constructive co-operation between client, Austin and subcontractors, created a positive attitude on the site, resulting in early identification of possible problems and solutions.

The challenge here was to treble the production space of the factory to enable Bakels to capitalise on their growing business for the foreseen market opportunities.

In addition we had to maximise the land usage of the site and use development capital efficiently, apply the Austin integrated design, management and construction method to maximise benefits whilst containing cost within a target figure.

We constructed a new larger factory for the migration of existing production equipment, thus enabling the existing wet production area to be upgraded in future for other production. By replacing the existing QC laboratory with expanded capacity and improved the facility.

The size of the covered loading bay was doubled including a tank bund, tanker loading bay and an IBC washing facility to improve lorry access and circulation on the site.

The staff canteen and changing rooms were trebled in capacity and incorporated additional hygiene facilities to meet customer upgrade expectation.

This project succeeded in meeting the client’s imperatives for capacity, continuity, quality and cost.

Nestlé Ltd – Product Technology Centre – York

Nestlé Ltd - Product Technology Centre - YorkNestlé R&D Centre was located on its own site within the Nestlé main factory in York.  This facility was originally constructed in two phases in 1988 and 1990 by the Austin Company with provision to extend the Pilot Plant to the North up to the site boundary.

Nestlé identified a need to extend and adapt the Centre to accommodate additional staff, to enlarge Pilot Plant Halls, improve storage capacity and material flow, an increased hygiene regime and provide better conference and meeting facilities.

Nestlé also required the facility to be upgraded to a similar standard to other Nestlé Product Technology Centres around the World.  Extensions to a total of 19002m. were constructed to provide additional space.

The major planning complexity was to provide a sufficiently large area to accommodate the increase in office staff all in the same area.  The solution was to relocate the existing ground level laboratory.

Nestlé remained in occupation for the duration of the construction period, so works had to be very carefully planned and carried out in phases.  In some instances construction work had to be implemented in four different areas at the same time, requiring careful supervision and coordination.

The replacement laboratory was completed first and fully fitted out to allow the original laboratory to be vacated.  As each successive section was completed, this was re-occupied by Nestlé, thus vacating another area.

The Austin Company provided feasibility studies, preliminary design, detailed engineering, procurement and construction management services, to carry out the works.  Throughout the design period the Austin Company collaborated with Nestlé Head Office in Switzerland and their consultant architects to ensure the corporate image was incorporated in the works.

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