Completion of the £90million Laboratory Medicine Facility at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow has created one of the largest diagnostic laboratories in the world. The new facility processes the majority of NHS laboratory practices for Greater Glasgow & Clyde and houses the core components of Blood Sciences, Genetics, Pathology & Microbiology along with a new robotic NHS national distribution centre and one of the largest mortuary facilities in Europe. Covering an area larger than a premiership football pitch the building comprises over 28,000 sqm of accommodation that is critically designed around the absolute needs of the end user and diagnostic sample processing. Now fully operational, the facility houses over 800 scientists, clinicians and consultants, and will be able to process and screen over 12.5 million blood samples a year in just one area of the building.
Our detailed experience and understanding of highly serviced buildings coupled with a critical understanding of stakeholder needs allows BMJ to advise our services consultants of the best M&E approach. Vertical plant pods and a horizontal rotational services strategy was implemented to ensure resilience, all lab areas are serviced from the same floor through overhead service zones and within extra deep serviced external walls.
In-Built Embodied Flexibility: Bearing in mind the highly process driven brief, BMJ Architects were able to to develop a flexible and efficient laboratory planning module that is able to cater for the diverse and ever-changing needs of science.
Fostering multidisciplinary integration by providing opportunities for collaboration at different levels of formality e.g. including “chat” pods and team breakout spaces;
The success of this project was heavily dependent on the thoroughness and completeness of the design team lead briefing of all client requirements. The design team recognised at this early stage the potential for equipment transfer from existing facilities and developed processes to capture at briefing stage, information relating to equipment condition and expected life span. This has proved invaluable affording the client the ability to quickly focus on the timely transfer of equipment, enabling the contractor to install and commission facilities prior to the external consultant lead final commissioning and validation of laboratory areas.
The building has been designed in close collaboration with the NHS GG&C, Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Police and Architecture & Design Scotland. The office pod features a striking curved design with a green copper exterior and vertical panels of glass. The glass both gives a bold design statement and gives a feeling of transparency to reduce the private and highly technical nature of the building. The new building contains highly specialist facilities while maintaining highly sustainable credentials incorporating environmental features such as an exposed cast concrete superstructure that absorbs warmth during the daytime and keeps internal temperatures controlled at night. Other features include robotic systems that ferry goods and clinical stores from the national distribution centre on the ground floor to the new hospital via a network of underground tunnels.