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.

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