Cardiff University Medical Discovery Institute

Constructing Excellence

Knox & Wells were appointed Principal Contractor for the Medical Discovery Institute on an NEC3 form of contract under Cardiff University’s Framework.  It required the construction of Laboratory facilities on a live site within Cardiff University’sMain Building’. The Laboratories are heavily serviced with 16 new fume cupboards fitted into a restricted space.

The working areas were within two teaching and research floors, with a large rooftop plant-area. The Plant-area presented significant hazards; craneage, fragile roof-lights and toxic emissions from live fume-cupboards. Cardiff University assessed the area as highly hazardous ‘Red Roof’, a designation that imposes severe access restrictions.

Our challenge was to undertake the roof-plant installations safely and to the programme, whilst maintaining essential research linked to the live fume-cupboards. It was evident that a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach would be needed to meet this challenge.

So, to overcome this challenge, we drew upon our collaborative H&S processes, involving the whole Project team in developing a comprehensive risk control/mitigation methodology. This was underpinned by the team approach fostered by the NEC contract and site knowledge gained and shared from being Framework Partners with Cardiff University and M&E specialist, Lorne Stewart.

We followed our PLAN – ACT – CHECK – REVIEW process:-

  • Team hazard identification – risk assessment
  • Team risk reduction meeting developed risk mitigation options
  • Team tested options on-site with workforce leaders, concluded appraisal
  • Selected option had collaborative actions by Client, K&W and Lorne Stewart to remove hazards
  • Drafted hazard/risk control – method statement – team agreed safe system of work (SSoW)
  • Tool-box talk briefed the workforce on SSoW
  • Site level implementation of SSoW
  • Weekly briefing/feedback at Stakeholder ‘Look-ahead’ meeting
  • Daily briefing with workforce
  • Inspection, review and feedback

Outcome – Work completed successfully. 

The following photographs illustrate the ‘Red Roof’, the noted hazards and mitigations undertaken.