4,050m2 research & development centre

4,050m2 research & development centre
Case study

Client Requirements

The client is an innovative company that is using advanced biomanufacturing techniques to develop fuels from waste. The company emerged out of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology in 2015 and is at the forefront of developing sustainable aviation fuel.

Its sustainable C3 Kerosene fuel is cleaner and performs better than traditional kerosene, and because the fuel is like conventional kerosene, the technology can be dropped into existing engines without modification.

As the company was expanding and ambitious it needed to create a state-of-the-art research and development centre so it could prove C3 Kerosene could be manufactured on site and demonstrate production could be scaled up as demand in the product increased.

Keen to be located near the intellectual capital centre of Manchester and the Institute of Biotechnology, the company was looking for the R&D centre to be developed nearby.

In addition, as per all start-ups, budget was a key consideration, so alongside finding a construction and engineering partner that had the capabilities to build a world-class laboratory, the client was looking for a partner who had a proven track record in delivering projects to budget.


Following recommendation from the engineering consultancy, Otto Simon, BGEN was appointed Principal Contractor. And BGEN’s support started immediately, going above and beyond and actually providing the client with advice around the planning application.

What followed was a seven-month example of a true partnership working to its fullest potential. BGEN delivered the project using its trusted supply chain alongside its in-house design and construction delivery teams. This included BGEN’s sister company, Norwood, installing a sustainable fire grade partition solution.

During the project, the team overcame a number of challenges including commencing work on initial Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies alone, working with equipment purchased by the client in advance of works commencing, alongside constraints posed by the building and location such as the building fabric, and the location and limitations of the utilities.

Innovation was evident throughout the project with BGEN fabricating the extraction towers off-site, and installing an intuitive lighting system, thermally insulated lighting system and modular walling, alongside the creation of bespoke extraction system.

Client Benefits

The client now owns a state-of-the-art 4,050m2 research & development centre on the outskirts of Manchester. It has working capacity for 20 people, storage & equipment for handling hazardous substances, and it has been designed in a way to support future expansion.

Since its development, the centre has hosted a number of senior delegation visits who have got to experience the manufacture of C3 Kerosene first hand.

BGEN is now working with the client on supporting its future expansion plans.

The project in numbers

  • 27,500 person hours
  • 232 operatives (Direct & Sub-contract)
  • 21 Tonnes of structural steel
  • 19,964m of cable (12.2 miles)
  • 2,737 metres of pipework (1.7 miles)
  • 90 tonnes of cement-based aggregates
  • 1,138 Sqm of modular walling

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