Lighthouse Laboratory.

Plymouth, UK

Supporting the fight against COVID-19.

Image credit: ©Tim Pestridge (photographer) and Kier Group. 

The newly completed Lighthouse Laboratory in Plymouth is a dedicated COVID-19 testing facility that joins the United Kingdom’s largest network of diagnostic hubs, boosting our nation’s testing capacity.

An expeditious programme.

The Department of Health set an 11-week programme. With the support of the University Hospitals NHS Trust, an existing warehouse in Estover was chosen and completely transformed.

With a rapid design and construction programme, a monumental collaborative effort was needed to turn this concept in to a reality. Teams from across our firm worked collaboratively, utilising our expertise in both Healthcare and Science & Research to deliver the precise environmental controls required.

Demanding specifics.

The facility required exacting conditions to ensure accurate testing. We delivered tailored mechanical and electrical system that considered the individual requirements for each respective space. This included the calculations for the standby generators that matched the site-load capacity and a complete artificial lighting system embedded throughout the building.

The laboratory required specific ventilation requirements and its 24-hour nature meant creating a pleasant internal environment for employees was paramount. Central supply air handling units and extract systems were used to ensure full fresh air with no re-circulation. Air flows / pressure regimes were controlled to ensure CL2 containment levels were achieved. Temperature and Humidity control were needed to enable robotic / automated testing equipment to operate. Heat recovery air source heat pumps were also adopted that provide simultaneous heating and cooling future proofing for low carbon, electrically led operation.

A tangible impact.

The recent pandemic has seen high demand for testing, with the service becoming part of our everyday lives. Plymouth Lighthouse Laboratory plays its part in the UK’s efforts to build and scale its testing capacity, capable of testing 20,000 samples a day.

The project truly demonstrates what can be achieved when a project team has one true common goal.

Take a look inside.


Key Figures
20,000 daily tests
7.38 acres