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Project: Gas Detection System for Cambridge University’s Cavendish III Laboratories

Gas Alarm Systems has been awarded its largest-ever contract; a gas detection system project for Cambridge University’s new, state-of-the-art laboratory.

Project overview

The work involves the installation of 103 fixed gas detection systems for the University’s new science department building — the Cavendish III — encompassing four wings across four floors.

We were awarded the project by Bouygues UK on behalf of Cambridge University; the contractor was impressed by our demonstrated capabilities and the backing of our parent company.

A robust, comprehensive gas detection solution

This represents the largest ever laboratory and medical gas protection project that Gas Alarm Systems has worked on.

The Cavendish III building was approved by Cambridge University’s governing council in 2017. Work began in January 2019 and it is expected to be completed by 2022. The Cavendish III will replace the current Cavendish Laboratory, one of the most esteemed in the world, opened in 1874 and home to 30 Nobel Laureates. According to the University, the state-of-the-art facility ‘represents a renaissance of the way we carry out physics research and achieve our research goals’, bringing all research groups under one roof to facilitate collaboration.

Building design for the new Cavendish III.

Scientists at Cambridge University will be undertaking complex, long-term experiments involving a range of gases that need to be monitored. In such an incredibly important research and academia setting, no risks can be taken. Full protection from toxic, asphyxiant and flammable gases must be ensured.

The alarm systems will identify a depletion of oxygen from the supply of nitrogen and helium, protecting all of the laboratory users from the leak of harmful gases. The new systems will monitor all the laboratories as well as the ‘grey’ areas; this includes the cleanrooms. These are the controlled environments that must maintain an extremely low level of chemical vapours and other pollutants.

The students and staff at the new laboratories will be running a wide range of leading research experiments. As such, they require a very robust gas detection system that will not give any false alarms.

Our capability to deliver

Bouygues UK placed their trust in us to fully handle this sizeable job on the basis of our demonstrated capabilities; we offer a bespoke, turnkey solution for laboratory gas detection systems.

Our success in the competitive tender process was also assisted on the grounds we have significant backing from a parent company; that is, we were able to demonstrate a very low risk in the delivery of this project.

We were awarded the contract directly by the M&E contractor, as opposed to as a subcontractor through the medical gas supply company. As we’re part of a sizeable contracting division, Bouygues UK had full faith in our ability to take on work of this magnitude, with the low risk accompanying that. Our professional indemnity insurance, coupled with certain certifications and insurances we hold, mean we are able to bid for contracts of this size. 

Our expert team are delighted to be working on this project; we’re all looking forward to eventually hearing about how the scientists progress in the new Cavendish III.

Interested in discussing a laboratory and medical gas detection project? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialist team.

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