Lighthouse Laboratory, Plymouth

  • Location

    Estover

  • Client

    University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

  • Value

    £12m

  • Completion

    2021

  • Size

    5655m2

Existing warehouse transformed into Covid-19 testing facility in 11 weeks.

Plymouth Lighthouse Laboratory is an emergency Covid-19 testing facility constructed within an existing warehouse in Estover, Plymouth.

Led by Kier Construction, the facility was designed in nine weeks and constructed in eleven weeks to meet the Department of Health’s fast-track programme.

The facility meets Containment Level 2 (CL2) laboratory requirements, providing the exacting conditions needed for accurate testing. The labs have been designed to suit the required sample testing workflow whilst adhering to social distancing requirements throughout.

The labs are constructed from cleanroom panels within half of the existing warehouse. This strategy allowed for quick construction and enabled the M&E servicing to be installed rapidly, leaving a clear unobstructed route for access and construction. At points in construction there were up to 80 mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) operating at any one time.

The laboratory will be managed by University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust, operating with just over 100 people, 24 hours a day.

The temporary facility is expected to be in place for up to 18 months and will be repurposed when testing is no longer required.

The nature and pace of the project required significant teamwork and collaboration with all consultants and sub-contractors within the team.

It was a pleasure working with the Stride Treglown team on the Plymouth Lighthouse Laboratory (UHP). The team had a “can do” attitude and were very always proactive and engaging. From the very outset the whole design team and contractor had a collaborative approach to ensure the facility would be fit for purpose and delivered at a pace to meet DHSC expectation. It was essential the nation’s capacity to test for COVID 19 was achieved through this fast track programme. Stride Treglown and other designers stepped up to provide innovative ideas to ensure the overall goal.

Karsan Vaghani, Programme Manager University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust – Site Services Department

Image credit: ©Tim Pestridge and Kier Group