Engagement through collaboration — the key to a successful laboratory build

Amicus Labline
Thursday, 15 October, 2020

For close to two decades, Star Scientific has been working on how humanity can transition to a new energy economy. With recent growth of their breakthrough technology, the ‘Hydrogen Energy Release Optimiser’ — creating limitless, efficient, affordable, clean and reliable power and heat — Amicus was engaged to develop their new office space in Berkeley Vale, converting the existing warehouse into a multipurpose laboratory environment.

The brief was to create a professional, high-quality space comprising a control room, wet laboratory, material preparation laboratory, material analysis laboratory, XPS room and administrative room. Amicus has a longstanding relationship with Star Scientific, having successfully delivered 5 laboratories in 2016 at their former premise at Mayfield West.

Amicus continued its close working relationship with Star Scientific, managing all aspects of the project from design, council approvals, construction right through to handover. Having relocated from a 150sqm space to a 670sqm space in Berkeley Vale, the key driver for the move was to not only replicate the services at Mayfield West, but to provide flexibility for impending growth, futureproofing the space.

In many laboratory environments, there is an emphasis on function over the aesthetic; however, Star Scientific wanted a creative and sophisticated design, reflecting their brand and ethos to their team and clients. With a focus on flexibility, the concept was modular by design, providing an abundance of workspaces and moveable joinery pieces, also repurposing some existing furniture. It was important we understand the workflow process and how adjacent laboratories integrated. Due to our level of detail, we were able to effectively provide solutions, overcoming challenges, to ensure the design was compliant and fit-for-purpose.

Our understanding of our clients’ vision, having analysed the function of their existing laboratory spaces, meant we were able to effectively incorporate design tweaks to improve functionality and performance within the new space.

Complementing their expansion, an experimental bay was added to the scope during the construction process. We delivered bespoke fencing and furniture including Terrazzo balance benches, purpose-built gas cages and fume cupboards. This space also included power, data, hydrogen and oxygen services. Due to the combination of these highly volatile gases, strict adherence and coordination with a dangerous goods certifier was required, who assisted with compliance and design.

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Originally published here.

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