The North East Technology Park (NETPark) houses innovative, high-tech companies and provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate their growth into global markets. The NETPark Research Institute was the first building opened at NETPark. Commissioned by Durham University, it houses two world-class research groups from the University:
- The Advanced Inorganic Materials Group ‘grows’ large-diameter crystals to develop high-energy, colour X-ray imaging technology.
- The Centre for Advanced Instrumentation creates advanced astronomical instrumentation for major telescopes around the world and has helped Durham University to achieve a worldwide impact on space science research.
For this large and complicated move, the entire contents of the building (which houses advanced scientific projects) had to be moved to another site in the Science Park. As well as moving their office furniture and IT, we used specialist techniques and materials to pack and move their huge array of scientific equipment including microscopes, Nanotech equipment, cryogenic chambers, optical tables, a 350 FG Ultra-Precision 3 Axis Free Form Machining System, wavefront sensors, optical interferometry equipment, a Zygo measuring system and a Bode Flexure rig which weighs approximately 12 tons.
To allow movement of the larger items of equipment and machinery, we used 7t forklift trucks and specialist handling kit including a genie hoist, machine skates and pump trucks. Crash deck scaffolding was installed to allow the movement and installation of optical tables through a first-floor access area, to allow them to be manoeuvred into position within the temporary facility.
The technical equipment moved had a total replacement value of £4.5 million.
This move needed highly specialised knowledge and experience. We have carried out equally complicated projects before, and have a wealth of knowledge of the equipment and techniques needed, so the client chose us to carry out their extremely complex move.
We completed this massively complex move with no problems. All the equipment, however large or delicate, was carefully transported and installed in place, precisely as requested by our client.
We planned everything carefully in full liaison with our client and the other necessary contractors, succeeding in a real team effort. There were some changes to our client’s programme of works but we took these in our stride, and our expert team completed the project on time and within budget.
Our client was particularly impressed by our flexibility, our diligence, and our efficiency, and we have been asked to give a quotation for the move back in a year’s time (after essential work to the building has been carried out).