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Francis Crick Institute

Francis Crick Institute

The making of a world-leading centre for biomedical research and innovation in a new London Hub

Sector: Biomedical and Health
Location: King's Cross, London
Size: 1,000,000 sq ft
Project Value: £650million
IT & AV Budget: Undisclosed
Professional Team Members: Arup, HOK, Laing O'Rourke, PLP, Turner & Townsend, CBRE, FTI

Photo credit above: Wellcome Images

The Project:

IT and AV Visioning, Strategy, Design, Procurement and Project Management for Europe’s largest single site medical research facility employing 1,500 staff including 1,250 scientists.

Technologies & Innovations:

Highly collaborative Smart Building with high performance Data Centre facilities, SCS and IIM, LAN, WAN, JANET, AV, Multimedia and Room Control.

Key Facts:

  • 1m sq ft of floor space – equivalent to 17 football fields
  • 185,000m3 of soil removed – enough to fill the Albert Hall, twice over
  • 1,533 Rooms – twice as many as Buckingham Palace
  • The ductwork serving some basement rooms is large enough to drive a transit van down – sideways!
  • The laboratories have been fitted out with over four kilometres of lab benching
  • Over 100km of mains power cables installed (equivalent to the distance from London to Southampton)
  • and 120km of pipework (equivalent to the distance from London to Dover)
  • 25,000 sensors constantly monitor heat, light, pressure, humidity (four times as many as The Shard)

Technology Vital Statistics:

  • 1MW Data Centre – 44 Cabinets of 36kW each
  • 30,000 Cat 6a Data Outlets
  • Common Network Infrastructure
  • 483 physical Wireless Access Points
  • 2000 IP Phones
  • 22 Building Systems over IP Network
  • 400 Seat Auditorium (dividable into 2no. separate 200 seat auditoria)

The Challenge:

Francis Crick Institute was an ambitious project to create a world-leading biomedical research institute at the heart of London. Established as a charity, it was designed to bring together scientists, academics, doctors, social scientists, engineers, and others in an interdisciplinary medical research centre. 

The programme was supported by six of the world’s most influential and respected scientific organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London. The aim was to create a world-class facility that will keep Britain at the forefront of innovation, attract high value investment, strengthen the economy and improve people’s lives.

Francis Crick Institute technology for collaboration

The institute will be located amid a cluster of medical research expertise in hospitals and academic institutions in London, King’s Cross. From the new Francis Crick Institute facility, the organisation will pursue vital, ground-breaking research and turn discoveries into treatments for illnesses which affect families in the UK and around the world. Cordless Consultants was engaged to provide IT and AV Consultancy for the flagship new centre, which needed to provide:

  • World leading biomedical research facilities and science areas
  • Education and classroom facilities
  • Atrium and extensive auditorium facility
  • Open collaboration spaces and accommodation
  • Dedicated high performance Data Centre and off-site Data Centre facilities

Crick technology for innovation

The Solution: 

Cordless delivered strategy and visioning, full time multi-stream Project Management and technology development, design, specification, procurement and delivery coordination of to ensure the facility was equipped with modern, highly innovative IT and AV facilities. Cordless’ scope during its 7-year appointment included the following technical areas:

  • Structured Cabling System including an Intelligent Infrastructure Management solution
  • Passive LAN design and WAN coordination including JANET connectivity
  • Audio Visual, Multimedia and Room Control facilities

Cordless also managed the converged systems group, made up of all sub-contractors who connected to the converged LAN so that the process integrated into the main contractor’s program. 

The Results:

The project has seen the creation of some of the most innovative scientific facilities in the world. The new building is a highly collaborative smart building to share knowledge and promote serendipity, enabling ground-breaking new research and discovery. The converged network supports full IP connectivity within the building for users and building services – with the users benefitting from Unified Communications, digital signage and WiFi connectivity as they move around the building.  

Alison Davis, IT Director at Francis Crick Institute said:

“I am very proud of what we have achieved at the Francis Crick Institute, creating the largest individual centre for biomedical research in Europe.  A critical element has been to ensure that the information technology capabilities of the building would meet the current and future needs of the Institute.  A key factor is our ability to share information effectively, both within and beyond the organisation.  Cordless Consultants provided valuable input over the life of the project with regards to our integrated communications technology, coupled with professional and supportive project management and assistance to help us deliver against our strategic objectives.” 

Francis Crick auditorium AV

Francis Crick meeting room technology

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