THC 2 Laboratory, Building 102 R&D Facility, Milton Park

The Opportunity

Global pharmaceutical group Ipsen’s ambition is to be a leader in specialty healthcare solutions for targeted debilitating diseases. This strategy called for the consolidation of their research in the heart of leading biotechnological and life sciences hubs.

Ipsen required additional THC2 (toxic handling criteria) laboratories to be provided within an area of fallow space in their R&D facility in Abingdon and engaged Austin, who had previously undertaken Phase 1 extension and fit-out of this facility to carry out these Phase 2 works.

In order to develop this opportunity and assess the feasibility of these proposals, Austin initially undertook a concept study to define Ipsen’s detailed requirements. Subsequently Austin developed the opportunity into a viable detailed design in order to deliver this important facility to support Ipsen’s global aspirations for this building.

The Solution

Austin collaborated with Ipsen to design and deliver a state-of-the-art flexible laboratory conforming to Ipsen’s toxic handling criteria THC2 standard for working with non-toxic biologics. The laboratory accommodated analytical equipment to support analysis of in-house samples and improve product and process understanding.
This entailed:

  • an airlock lobby to link the laboratory and the existing second floor THC2 laboratory suite.
  • a refuge lobby from the laboratory with an exit directly to the central staircase
  • an equipment store room to support laboratory functions
  • provision of a dedicated ventilation system allowing the THC2 laboratory to be constructed without interruption to the main building systems.
  • a rigorous security philosophy to meet Ipsen’s and the Home Office anti-terrorism legislation.

Part of the success of this facility is directly attributed to:

  • Austin’s previous experience, during the design and delivery of the Phase 1 works, which gave consideration to the future development of the fallow area on the 2nd floor.
  • close collaboration between Ipsen and Austin which facilitated early identification of challenges.
  • designing in 3D using Revit (BIM) to provide certainty on delivery and maintenance requirements. This meant there were very few site changes and therefore more control and certainty on cost and time.

Challenges presented included:

  • carrying out construction work on the second floor which already accommodates a fully operational laboratory facility with stringent containment protocols.
  • minimising access into functional occupied areas to implement services “tie-ins”.
  • optimising the available space at roof level for the dedicated ventilation plant.
  • architecture
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • structural
  • public health
  • construction
  • management