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WSPs Helen Buckingham discusses building transformation

WSP's Helen Buckingham discusses building transformation

 February 03, 2022

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Helen Buckingham is a Senior Project Manager at WSP, and her work helps the company thrive. 

She co-wrote a thought-leadership article about how ultra-fast-track project management can transform industrial buildings into labs in record time by retrofitting industrial buildings - a key necessity amidst the global pandemic.

The superstructure of a building typically accounts for 60-70% of its embodied carbon, so retrofit is a major pillar of the construction industry’s response to the climate crisis. Industrial buildings with large, clear spans lend themselves to retrofitting with modular, offsite construction techniques and enable contractors to work inside whatever the weather. With more funding for life sciences developments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK can fast track their response by rapidly retrofitting industrial buildings into state-of-the-art labs.

As part of the UK Government’s response to the pandemic, WSP and HOK worked with MACE to fast-track the transformation of the former Axiom warehouse in Royal Leamington Spa into an ultra high-throughput laboratory – a megalab. The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory is one of the largest diagnostic testing facilities in the world, incorporating nine separate lab lines capable of processing thousands of tests a day.

Compressing a programme from 30 months into an extremely short timeframe of less than a year might not be possible for every project outside times of crisis, but WSP believes there are still plenty of lessons that can be applied to future projects. And the biggest of those is that the traditional marathon approach to design needs to become a sprint.

Read the full article co-written by WSP Senior Project Manager ,Helen Buckingham.

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