University of Leeds laser laboratory


The University of Leeds wanted to refurbish laboratory space on the ground floor of the School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering to provide accommodation for a new laser laboratory.

I&G was appointed to carry out the work following a competitive tendering process. Continuing in our long-standing relationship with the university and portfolio of delivering quality projects, I&G were the one to call!

The solution

Before work began on site, meetings were held with the university and design team to establish the logistics plan and confirm the scope of works, ensuring everyone involved was happy with the approach to the project.

The site was in the middle of the main electronic and electrical engineering campus, so it was difficult for access for trades and materials, with one-way delivery and allocated delivery times needed.

Health and safety were a major consideration before work began, to ensure the day to day university activities were not impacted. Areas were segregated and cordoned off to manage footfall with clearly marked walkways and signage put in place.

The Electrical and Electrical Engineering Main Campus serves as a live university environment, and the site’s location necessitates that university staff will require access through our site to the Molecular Beam Epitaxy Laboratory, to ensure minimal disruption to the university’s daily operations. This meant the scheme had to remain extremely organised and to a high standard of cleanliness at all times to allow the university staff unprohibited and safe access.

An I&G technician walks past some I&G branded vans

The challenges

Key milestones of the project included:

  • Existing air con system and associated controls to be protected during strip out works to serve the new laser lab facility.
  • Removal and install of service trenches and associated mechanical and electrical services.
  • Reconfiguration of internal walls to facilitate a bigger laboratory for new research equipment.
  • Preparation of concrete floor to receive bespoke vinyl flooring to service practical work.
  • Fire stopping works to new and existing ducts and service openings, with new fire rated doors.
  • Installation of suspended ceiling grid system for height clearance.
  • Redecoration of the existing ceiling grid.
  • Installation of hygienic white walling to laboratory requirements and standards.
  • Traffic Management: restricted vehicle access to site, deliveries needed careful co-ordination.
  • Dust control.
  • Ensuring unrestricted access to nitrogen canisters vital for the ongoing university operations and safety needs.

The result

University of Leeds now have an updated and adapted laboratory fit for research, adding to the suite of research and engineering labs for the School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering.

The new room allows for use of the complex laser systems, including safety works to ensure the lasers were contained and enclosed within the room, and changing the ceiling level to accommodate services to operate the high-powered lasers.

This adds to previous work carried out by I&G at the University of Leeds, including the installation of Duct 15 and refurbishment works to Roger Stevens Lecture Theatres and Food science and Nutrition laboratories.

I&G managed relations with all internal stakeholders excellently during a project which comprised of the refurbishment of an existing laboratory landlocked by other specialist lab spaces.
The works were completed on time and budget with minimal disruption. During the works the site and commercial team maintained regular contact with the project team with regular updates provided.
The quality of workmanship was excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the contractor for similar commissions.

Adam Ives, Senior Project Manager, University of Leeds