Abcam's complex and specialist move from three facilities to one - Crown Workspace UK
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Case Study

Abcam’s complex and specialist move from three facilities to one

Achieving global sustainability standards


Previously operating from three separate buildings at The Cambridge Science Park, Abcam looked to improve staff experience and promote open collaboration between departments and external organisations, by investing in a single state-of-the-art facility on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

The new building was developed to meet global sustainability standards, achieving a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’, and provides 75% more space – in total 100,000 square feet of fully flexible laboratory and research space. The building’s design supports agile working and aims to enhance employee wellbeing for the 550 staff.

All three sites were migrated over a four-week period, with the sustainable clearance of existing sites taking a further three weeks.

Meticulous planning to ensure a smooth relocation

We provided a management team to plan and oversee the implementation of this specialist relocation project, ensuring that the move was logistically viable, well communicated and resourced effectively.

During this meticulous planning phase, we prepared a comprehensive laboratory relocation plan, carried out risk and contingency planning, liaised with OEMs, compiled a full inventory of hazardous materials and managed all ADR/DGSA requirements.

Over 20 vendors were engaged over the period of the project, from obtaining the quotations to arranging the works. Our teams supported many of the vendors with packing and relocation support, reducing the client’s costs considerably.

Prior to each move, the Moves Manager met with the relevant groups to confirm details of the OEM timetable and ensured staff were provided with crates, packaging and labels to effectuate a smooth move.

As this challenging relocation project included many specialist laboratory items, we increased staff training and made a significant investment in an additional specialist fleet to enable in-house delivery and ensure the consistency of staff and resources.

Specialist moves

The Abcam Project Team provided us with an equipment list that required specialist consideration when moving.  We expanded this into a full database to identify the precise location for collection along with specific handling requirements for each individual item, some of which were extremely sensitive, hazardous, oversized or heavy.

Compound machines

We worked closely with Abcam’s Logistics Team & TTP Labtech to ensure the compound machines and carousels containing vials were relocated in an efficient and risk-free manner while minimising downtime.

The machines were successfully moved and set up to continue operation in their new environment within the allocated timeframe.

Specialist relocation

Across the project, we relocated up to 11 classification types of chemicals.  The week prior to the move, our ADR teams carried out an inventory of chemicals, ensuring they were separated into their correct hazardous classifications. We carried out specialist packing, operating in line with all handling and transportation regulations to ensure that items were packed and labelled in full compliance with legislation, double-checking each inventory against the initial plan.

Following live tracked transportation, all chemicals were immediately unpacked and placed in their appropriate hazardous storage units. We worked with a partner to deliver the relocation of liquid nitrogen, in order to comply with the necessary health and safety requirements of this particular element of the move.

The procedures utilised were in full compliance with the guidance received from our Dangerous Good Safety Advisor (DGSA) and appropriate trained ADR drivers were used at all times to provide added security and comply with legislation.

Fridge and freezer relocations

An integral part of this project was the live relocation of the laboratory fridges and freezers which were critically required to be kept at their sub-zero temperatures. Each unit was packed out securely with bubble wrap to ensure there was no internal movement.

The freezers were loaded onto the generator vehicle individually and once the temperature was maintained, then the next freezer was loaded and powered up. All freezers were protected with Plastazote foam and secured to the vehicle with specially designed ratchet straps.

IT relocations

A key part of this major project involved the planning, delivery and management of all IT equipment. The relocation covered the decommissioning of 600 docking stations, PCs and associated monitors. At the new site, all monitors had to be installed onto desk mounted arms.

Our IT Team also pre-installed a large number of new monitors in advance of the moves. All equipment that was relocated was also cleaned prior to staff occupation.

Sustainable clearance

As the client had to engage with contractors for dilapidation works, we were required to ensure each building was cleared of all freestanding furniture and equipment within one week of each staff move.

Our team worked with resale and equipment partners to ensure a fair rebate for a large proportion of the unwanted office furniture and the surplus laboratory equipment. The remaining items were allocated to our charity network, the Giving Back Project, via the Renew Centre for reconditioning. Any final items were recycled according to the waste hierarchy.

The sustainable clearance service provided made a huge carbon footprint saving as well as a financial impact on clearance costs.

To find out more about our commercial relocation and sustainable workplace solutions, and how we can help you with your workspace move, get in touch.

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