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Life Science Office I Collen Construction: ICE Awards 2020: Fit Out or Refurbishment Over €5m Finalist

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Over the past number of weeks Surety Bonds has been showcasing the finalists of the Irish Construction Excellence Awards 2020 in the Fit Out or Refurbishment Category. So far, we have brought you 7 of the 10 shortlisted projects in this prestigious category which we are very proud to sponsor. Today, we invite you to take a closer look at the Life Science Office. This fit out project was completed by Collen Contruction in collaboration with lead architect – Henry J Lyons.

Life Science Office | Collen Construction

Life Science Office, fit out project completed by Collen Construction in collaboration with lead architect Henry J Lyons
Science Life Office. Image Source:

Project: Life Science Office, Dún Laoghaire
Contractor: Collen Construction
Client: Confidential
Lead Architect: Henry J Lyons
Contract Value: Confidential

Collen Construction was appointed Management Contractor on the redevelopment of a pharmaceutical facility incorporating administration and laboratory facilities. The works included improvements to the external walls and roof envelope and the facility included open plan and cellular offices to accommodate over 350 staff. In addition collaborative work areas, meeting rooms, ‘town-hall’ meeting area, staff fitness centre and laboratories were provided.  

Life Science Office 'town-hall' meeting area - Image source, Collen Construction
‘Town-hall’ meeting area. Image Source:

Excellence in both planning and execution

This Facilities Upgrade Project demonstrates construction excellence in both planning and execution. The project involved very significant interventions into a live aseptic pharmaceutical plant in order to carry out very significant modifications to the existing building structure and fabric, effectively stripping back over 50% of the building to bare structure and starting over.

The works required significant demolition, strip out  and reconfiguring of internal layouts to accommodate the new layouts within an operational pharmaceutical campus. The project included decanting and multiple phasing to accommodate the staged relocation and expansion of the laboratories and office uses within the redeveloped facility.  

Life Science Office - new 'local cafe' creating a link between the practical research area and a new social hub.
Image source:

It was a high-risk capital project

The level of planning and coordination was very significant. This involved, Contractor, Design Team, Client Team & multiple Stakeholders. The potential for, and risk of, a significant business interruption was huge. During the construction phase, the project was identified by the client as the most high-risk Capital Project being undertaken in any of their facilities worldwide.

Design wise, Henry J Lyons says that “inspiration was drawn from the clients “Biology First” approach, using science and technology to study biological mechanisms in search of therapies to cure diseases.

A glazed partition between existing laboratories and the new ‘Local Café’ creates a link between the practical research being carried out in the labs and collaboration happening in the new social hub. Closed meeting rooms, open creative collaboration spaces and individual focus booths surround the atrium forming a buffer between the atrium and the quieter work focused spaces beyond. Open plan seating hugs the perimeter of the building allowing maximum natural light through the new exterior glazed façade with mountain views beyond. Neighbourhoods are formed within the open plan space and are subtly defined with colours.

Henry J Lyons – Lead Architect

This collaborative approach contributed greatly to the success of this project and demonstrates real construction excellence. This project was a collaboration of Collen Construction with lead Architect Henry J Lyons and Civil & Structural Engineers, BMCE The team at Surety Bonds wish all those who have contributed to this project the very best in the ICE Awards.

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