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’ largediameter 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 Sector: Higher education/Science and Technology Organisation: North East Technology Park (NETPark) Research Institute Location: North West 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).
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I would like you to pass on my sincere thanks to all of the team who participated in Durham University’s move from the NETPark Research Institute. Moving the entire contents of the building has been quite a project but one that you have carried out professionally, competently and courteously at all times. The communication has been excellent throughout and where small delays or unexpected situations did arise, you and the team have resolved them quickly and without fuss.I will have no hesitation in recommending Restore Harrow Green to my colleagues within the University and throughout the wider astronomy instrumentation community. I sincerely hope you and your team will be available to move us back into the Institute next year.
Paul Clark BEng (Hons) CEng MIET - Head of Engineering for the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation NETPark Project
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