The Challenge:

Alfred H Knight (AHK) is an independent market leader in commodity analysis and mining support. They have offices and laboratories placed strategically in the world's major mineral and metal sourcing and consuming locations. AHK appointed Kier to provide full design team services, cost management and Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) advice for the construction of a new laboratory and office building at King’s Business Park in Knowsley.

The main aim of the project is to provide more efficient and sustainable laboratories that will meet the client’s requirements. The new development comprises a state-of-the-art laboratory and office building, with a gross internal floor area of 5,274m2. The site also included separate facilities management building and small single storey outbuildings. The building needed to be designed to facilitate the operation of laboratories and staff activities with the right room layout and flow of internal spaces.​

The Solution:

AHK required the new building to be aesthetically pleasing despite its functional use. Our design features subtle colour and remains sympathetic to the surrounding area, maintaining its own identity.

The façades of the main and facilities management buildings are finished in dark and light grey panels to complement nearby buildings with elements being highlighted through standing seam cladding. The windows, cladding pattern and deep window reveals promote a modern

Our in-house cost management team also built the cost plan into a Building Information model. This allowed rapid quantification of the design as it developed and simple assessment of financial implications of alternative proposals.

The Impact:

This project was completed and handed over on time.

The 32,660m2 site includes 159 car parking spaces with five disabled parking spaces and 22 spaces designated for bicycles. By developing an MX model, the team were able to minimise the amount of cut and fill on the site, significantly reducing the costs to the client.

The main building has a green roof and adopted a sustainable drainage strategy to manage surface water. This includes specifying permeable paving materials in the car park and hard landscape areas along with swales and other water features.

" An innovative approach to the zonal fire strategy was adopted due to the requirement to provide continuous ventilation and power to certain areas in order to protect samples and highly sensitive machinery. "

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