Alliance Partnership to deliver ‘state of the art’ facilities for pharmaceutical warehousing, packing and logistics – AstraZeneca and BES

Constructing Excellence

BES are design and construction specialists of regulatory environments for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science sectors. Together with our long-standing client, a global biopharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, we delivered the £50 million project to upgrade and future-fit the warehousing, packing and logistics facilities – which form the central hub for AstraZeneca’s European distribution network. Having adopted One Team/ One Goal approach, we worked as an integral part of the AstraZeneca’s team to deliver this complex facilities in compliance with rigorous Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards throughout.

In order to ensure ‘Business As Usual’ was maintained, we carried out the project in three carefully planned phases over a four-year period. The new facilities include: The 30 metre high Warehouse It is a fully-automated storage facility to enable increased stock holding at the Macclesfield site. In order to maintain the integrity of the pharmaceutical products, the high bay warehouse had to be temperature and humidity controlled throughout its 18,000 m2 floor plate and 30m height. It also had to be suitable for use by sensitive robotic picking equipment and  incorporate a sophisticated fire safety system. Low Bay Refurbishment Executed in a series of discrete phases, we completed all the works to exacting standards, bringing the refurbished areas back into operation as a fully GMP compliant facility. Global Packing Centre (GPC) The new packing centre takes packing operations at Macclesfield to a new level and lays the foundation for future growth. The GPC delivers a standard of product containment that minimises the potential for cross-contamination when product is exposed. It also helps to introduce new ways of working which encourage productivity and collaboration. BES are proud to have worked very closely with AstraZeneca for the last 17 years, designing and building clean rooms and other facilities for research and manufacturing within the UK.;

We’ve developed this shared ethos of collaboration over the years and this approach led to completing this project to the highest standards and maintaining best in class safety performance. Site based, a fully integrated project execution team including all key internal and external stakeholders and a Plan-to-Do Review (PDR) process helped drive this project to the success.

Constructing Excellence

Why we are entering the awards:

We are very proud of our collaboration with AstraZeneca which enabled us to deliver many technically complex and strategically important projects over the years, including the latest one which is described in this submission.

We would like to raise awareness and share our experiences of collaborative methods of working and their effectiveness in the industry.

Constructing Excellence

It is an exciting project for the North West Region:

The new facilities are located at AstraZeneca’s second largest manufacturing site and their European centre for packing. Some 1,800 people are employed at
their Macclesfield site, where they manufacture, pack and distribute their medicines to 130 global markets. It’s also its second largest global  manufacturing facility for medicines such as legacy prostate cancer drug Zoladex. We believe that through our consistent performance over the years and the way we work together with AstraZeneca, we demonstrate the leadership in sustaining our collaborative approach across the industry.

About BES Ltd

• Founded in 2002, BES ( are design-led construction experts who work with world-leading organisations in the highly regulated sectors providing multidisciplinary specialist engineering services to create cutting-edge cleanrooms and other complex environments

• AstraZeneca ( is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, employ over 50,000 people and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

Constructing Excellence

Key achievements

Collaborative Success

From the early concept phase of the project through to detailed design,
installation, commissioning, qualification and our soft-landings approach, we have been able to work collaboratively with all our Client’s stakeholders including:

  • Operations staff,
  • Maintenance teams,
  • Quality Control,
  • Qualification team and
  • Project Control teams.

The most powerful factor in this collaborative effort is the sharing of goals. The reasons for the projects critical success factors (maintaining business as usual, quality, safety, time, budget) are clearly communicated enabling everyone from the designers to the maintenance staff, from the installers to the qualification team to understand and buy-in to these goals and therefore to drive and support each other in achieving them.

All teams are encouraged to see the success of the project from the
ultimate customer’s point of view – that is from the patient’s perspective, rather than just to satisfy the Project Manager who is signing the final account. Success is only achieved when vital medicines are able to be processed in the new facility and distributed to those who need them.

Client Satisfaction

We pride ourselves on our high rate of repeat business which, in itself,
demonstrates a high degree of Client satisfaction. We have carried out some of most highly specified, prestigious projects for AstraZeneca over many years and this builds mutual trust and understanding of each other’s needs and capabilities. This underpins any collaborative relationship and so Client satisfaction is of paramount importance in ensuring that a customer
feels that they can return to us, and that their project will be in a ‘safe pair of hands’. All phases of this project have been recognised by the Client as being of excellent quality and carried out in a highly professional manner. Importantly, this isn’t just a message from the Client’s Project Manager but also from the Users and Maintenance teams who will live with these facilities for many years to come. While they are impressed with the increased finishes and level of
environmental control obtained within the refurbished storage areas, they expressed great satisfaction with the new, state of the art, Packing facility describing it a s the best facility of it’s type they’d seen. For our team members who have lived and breathed the project from beginning to end, this is the most gratifying message that they could receive.

Maintaining Business as Usual

As previously described, this facility is arguably the most important on the site, being the central hub for the distribution of all the medicine’s produced. It’s continued operation was the most critical of all the projects identified success factors. Any deterioration in the environment of a working space can result in vital medicines not being able to be sent out to the patients who need them. We are extremely proud that throughout the entire construction and  commissioning of this complex facility (which included heavy structural work adjacent to operational spaces), we had no unplanned interruptions to existing operations due to the intricate planning, communication and site controls employed.