• Oxford Biomedica

    Oxford Biomedica is a pioneer of gene and cell therapy and a world leader in lentiviral vector manufacture and research. Darke & Taylor was engaged
    by Walter Lilly to refurbish and upgrade one of Oxford Biomedica’s key sites.

    Hero Oxbio

Project challenges

LIVE EXPERIMENTS

The building was configured in such a way that all of the works took place around the outside, with live labs located at the centre of the building. These labs had to be kept running 24 hours a day, without any risk of power supply interruption.

Solution: Darke & Taylor (D&T) was directly involved with the client as well as working with Walter Lilly − this involved up to three client meetings per week. D&T was also constantly checking and communicating with Oxford Biomedica (OB) staff on a daily basis, ensuring that no ‘mission-critical’ supplies would be turned off.

REAL-TIME ELECTRICAL DESIGN

The electrical contractor employed by OB was responsible for the electrical design work. However, this had not all been completed before the start of the project.

Solution: In addition to OB and Walter Lilly, D&T was in constant communication with the electrical consultant to update and revise the electrical design on a real-time basis using D&T’s years of experience.

NOISE POLLUTION

Owing to the high energy requirements, D&T installed a new distribution board along with a huge generator which needed to operate around the clock but without any attendant noise pollution.

Solution: The new generator was housed in a purpose-built, sound-proof enclosure at the rear of the building. D&T ensured that all the cabling, entry and exit points were sound-proofed to a similar standard.

MEDICAL LAB CONDITIONS

Some of the rooms D&T was working in were both sealed and air-locked. Materials and equipment had to be sanitised and washed down after each use.

Solution: Due to the sensitivity of the research and processes within certain labs, D&T had to take extra care to ensure areas were adequately protected. Additional PPE had to be worn, for example: medical suits and hair protection, to ensure the surrounding environment was not compromised.

Gallery

“Owing to the high energy requirements, Darke & Taylor installed a new distribution board along with a huge generator which needed to operate around the clock but without any attendant noise pollution.”

Technical overview

Darke & Taylor was engaged by Walter Lilly to refurbish and upgrade one of OBs key sites. This involved upgrading the mains supply, installing small power, emergency lighting, and back-up generators.

This project was made particularly challenging by the need to adhere to medical-grade conditions when working in ‘white rock’ rooms; i.e. those with a special finish which can be washed down after each use. The need for constant power and working in a live environment meant that a number of complex electrical issues had to be overcome, such as attaching new monitoring system to the freezers, which could not be turned off, to ensure a constant temperature.

Project details

CLIENTWalter Lilly
PROJECT DURATION8 months

Similar projects