GW Pharmaceuticals

Phase 1 – Small Scale Manufacturing Facility B750

The Opportunity

Austin were approached by GW to undertake the design and construction of a new production and processing plant for the development of Cannabinoid medicines. In order to expand their existing manufacturing capabilities to meet increased demand, this new request was to be incorporated into a facility for which the Preliminary Design had already been concluded.

Austin undertook a conceptual design (Step 1a), which was then developed into a preliminary design (Step 1b) and followed by detail design and construction (Step 2).

Delivery had to focus on GW’s Critical Success Factors agreed at the commencement of Step 1a. This included a requirement to deliver the facility in two distinct phases to meet operational, production and business commitments.

The first phase included small scale extraction similar to GW’s current operations with new Decarboxylation system; Drum Handling; Basket Filling; CIP extraction booth and a dust extraction system. These required ATEX zoning and environmentally controlled rooms to align with the existing proved operation and Basis of Safety.

The Phase 1 works also included two specialist Supercritical Liquid Carbon Dioxide Extraction Units, each with its own independent control system for final extraction.

All operations had to be undertaken in controlled conditions utilising an efficient UV odour control system, sophisticated weighing equipment and material transfer systems to reduce manual handling.

The Solution

To reduce project time scales, Austin commenced groundworks very early in the design process whilst the remainder of the overall design was still progressing and being developed with users. This required close coordination with GW and their specialist vendors to meet their long-term objectives.

The design was developed to harmonise the existing building and site features, yet enhance the overall development so both existing and new buildings operate as one.

Phase 1 was developed using the same principles as the previous installations, incorporating lessons learnt with refinements to improve overall operations.

With the varied manufacturing equipment, process engineering, building services and the complex nature of the installations, the new extension was modelled using several platforms, all integrated in a single overall Revit (CAD) model to allow accurate coordination.

Integration of the new and existing buildings was undertaken during agreed shutdown periods to avoid disrupting ongoing production.

Phase 1 was successfully handed over for operations whilst construction of the larger Phase 2 project progressed.

“Phase 1 has been delivered on time and to a very high standard in terms of quality expectations.”
Noel Fenwick – Associate Director, Capital Projects, GW Pharmaceuticals.

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