University College London

University College London.
Darwin Building – Major refurbishment.

Project cost - £2,100,000.00 (Services element)

  • Description of Project

    The project included refurbishment of the 300 seat Basement Lecture Theatre, conversion of Part Ground floor from a museum to laboratory space, refurbishment of First and Second floors laboratories and office space.

    Three new roof mounted chillers, air conditioning systems, modifications to above ground drainage systems, heating systems, chilled water and domestic water services, laboratory fume exhaust systems, general ventilation systems, medical gases, natural gas, compressed air and vacuum lines, BMS control systems, modifications to existing LV infrastructure, general lighting, self-test emergency lighting systems, small power, structured cabling, fire alarm and indicating, security systems and lightning protection.

    The project brief was to provide the scheme on budget and to programme. Both objectives were successfully achieved.

  • Services Provided

    Fowler Martin was appointed as the employers M&E consultant and undertook the following duties:

    • Design of the mechanical and electrical services to stage E and produce Employers Requirements for tender documentation
    • Liaising with Client and End User
    • Attend design team workshops and meetings
    • Assist with Building Regulations submissions
    • Review contractor design proposals
    • Attend project progress meetings
    • Witness and sign off commissioning
  • Key Challenges

    The first challenge was to comply with the clients brief and installing new services within occupied building. This provided many difficulties with disruption services existing, noisy works and the logistics of moving materials and labour around safely.

    The second challenge was to ensure sufficient ventilation could be provided to the basement Lecture Theatre. The solution was to install displacement ventilation with new plant located below the seating area. To achieve this existing redundant cold water storage tank, built into the structure, where converted to plant space.

    A third challenge was the adequately balance the inherently unbalanced electrical loads of building between the two risers. The solution was to accurately assess the final circuit loads and apportion the circuits effectively.

    The final challenge was the changeover of services during occupancy which was carried out efficiently and without problems.

  • Team Integration

    Fowler Martin played a vital role as the Clients M&E consultant and ensuring the brief was met. This was achieved by continuous discussions with the contractors design team and attending design team meetings.

    It was important that both the clients and contractors team had a good relationship and could agree the design principles. This enabled the project to progress and meet the programme without delay.

    Additionally, it was important that the end user knew exactly the impact the project would have on their building. This was communicated clearly between Fowler Martin and the end user in frequent Client liaison meetings.

  • Sustainability

    Fowler Martin is committed towards sustainability and the environment and ensures that any new design complies with Building Regulations and obtains approval's from the Local Authority.

    The design included the use of inverter driven motors, energy metering systems, automatic lighting control systems, BMS control to ensure continuous monitoring and early warning of faults, efficient LED light sources.

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