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At a glance

Client/project partners: University of Manchester

Duration: Complete

Location: Manchester

Engaged from the outset CHt was responsible for the design, procurement. manufacture, installation, commissioning, handover, and aftercare of the complete mechanical and electrical services scope. Extending across 9 floors and located at the heart of The University of Manchester's campus, it will foster world-class collaborative research in tandem with industry to act as an international convener for materials research excellence.

Using DfMA to deliver complex MEP services

More than 50% of the internal fit-out budget was allocated to services, which included six ventilation systems, category 5 laboratory water, process chilled water and PHX. The basement level has nuclear characterisation with double-knock sprinklers. MEP for each storey is bespoke to meet user requirements, and our distribution strategy connects all floors via a central steel-framed ‘mega riser’ which serves the building, split into five parts. Exposed services have been laid along the slab soffit with a level of quality enhanced by use of BIM coordination and offsite manufacturing.

Tracking and maintaining quality

Our manufacturing team in Oldbury used Field View a mobile tool that captures real-time field data to log progress and manage the quality of the MEP modules produced. The site database also captured real-time field view data, automatically updated every 24 hours at midnight to reflect the ‘live 'status of the whole package; ensuring information was never more than 24 hours old. A 3D model evolved with each new engineering drawing, to maintain accuracy, identify clashes and enable tasks like swept path analysis to be undertaken.

Key statistics


weeks before commissioning, the Mega riser was installed , allowing 70m2 of space to be used for a 4.4x6.0m hoist


MEP distribution modules


tonne mega riser