A project to support the world-leading research carried out by the University of Cambridge’s Department of Physics.

The home of discovery

Students at The University of Cambridge’s Department of Physics have long been known for carrying out pioneering research. Famous names such as Ernest Rutherford, Francis Crick and James Watson worked at the university’s Cavendish Laboratory, with all three being awarded Nobel prizes.

Today’s students continue to push the boundaries of research at the Cavendish Laboratory, known as “the home of discovery”. Always committed to innovation, the university embarked on a complex relocation of the laboratory to a new site on the West Cambridge campus.

The new facility will house physics research groups, laboratories, and lecture theatres, with the building intended to host public events to support the program of work with schools and the general public.

Currie & Brown, Sidara’s leading project management consultant, partnered with the University of Cambridge to deliver this major relocation.

A true partner to the university

This is the largest single project for the University of Cambridge estates division team, and we acted as an extension of their team to help deliver a facility where students could tackle the problems of the 21st century.

The new location consisted of a new building for laboratories and teaching facilities, a shared facilities hub that included a library, kitchen and retail space, and supporting infrastructure works that included an HV upgrade and relocation of the mains water and drainage services.

The Currie & Brown team was responsible for the project management of every aspect of the scheme - from the start,they worked with the university to establish the project, setting up the team and agreeing on the right governance.

Partnering with the university team, Currie & Brown’s specialists helped to develop a project charter, which set the expectations of the project team, with a fundamental principle being collaboration.

In developing the procurement strategy to the main contractor appointment, we worked closely with the project quantity surveyor and the university to develop a robust and sensible approach. We also guided the project through the stakeholder engagement, briefing, design, procurement and approval processes to appoint a contractor to deliver the project.

As a major project, it attracts a lot of attention and scrutiny from a wide range of stakeholders. Because of this, we have built time into the program for governance and sign-off and made sure the right gateways were in place to avoid surprises and inconsistent messaging. At the board level, our team supported updates through our drone filmed footage, which demonstrated progress much more effectively than still photography alone.

Adding value through collaboration

Through collaboration, we built strong relationships with the client team, end users, contractor, and the consultants, helping us to negotiate several project challenges rather than simply following strict contact protocols. In several situations, this approach allowed us to reach positive outcomes between the university and contractors, to keep things running smoothly despite Covid and weather delays.

Ultimately, this resulted in all stages to date being successfully delivered and works are currently on program and within the approved budget.

Project Details

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Our Impact:

Our Specialist Brands:
Currie & Brown

Science & Technology

Cavendish Laboratory
Cavendish Laboratory Expand Image
Cavendish Laboratory Expand Image
Cavendish LaboratoryExpand Image

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