Categories: Case Studies
Located outside of Coventry, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is a pioneering concept in the race to develop battery technology for the transition to a greener future. As we are becoming more aware of how our carbon footprint damages the environment, there’s going to be a massive switch from diesel cars to electric in the future, making this facility vital to ensuring this happens.
The Faraday Battery Challenge is the Government programme designed to fast track the development and commercialisation of cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries. The UKBIC is a key component, supporting battery technology scale-up in the UK.
The client quickly and easily appointed Faithful+Gould (F+G) as lead consultant via our Professional Services Framework. Using Lot 1 of the framework enabling them to access all of the professional services they required through the single appointment of Faithful+Gould.
F+G provided project management, cost management, building surveying, CDM advisor and clerk of works services on this significant £130m national project.
This unique facility provides the missing link between battery technology, which has proved promising at laboratory or prototype scale, and successful mass production. Based in Coventry, the publicly-funded battery manufacturing development facility welcomes manufacturers, entrepreneurs, researchers and educators, and can be accessed by any organisation with existing or new battery technology – if that technology will bring green jobs and prosperity to the UK.
Specific challenges included dealing with a multifaceted client (UKBIC, Coventry City Council and WMG – University of Warwick), working with experts from industry and academia with different requirements, and budgetary constraints. In addition, the building design needed to be considerably further advanced well before the process design was finalised. The challenge was to make provision for expansion and further change whilst minimising the impact on the overall programme.
Faithful+Gould also successfully managed a number of stakeholder steering groups on the project and were members of others. They integrated group views and ensured these were assimilated into the project delivery. Faithful+Gould liaised closely with the client’s internal project management team, contributing to excellent stakeholder management.
There were, as they say, a lot of moving parts. And, of course, they had to help mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the project. Ultimately the outcomes were highly successful: The Category B fit-out used offsite modular construction to deliver primary utilities to streamline workflow and reduce construction impact; a similar approach was adopted by the vendor responsible for delivering the controlled environment rooms. This reduced potential disruption with the concurrent Cat B works; since opening in July 2021, the facility now supports the development of batteries for a wide range of industries.
Photograph copyrights: UKBIC and Office Principles (Interior office photos)
Jonathan Oram, Head of Services at Pagabo, said: "We are proud that our Professional Services Framework was able to help our client find the right consultant, quickly and compliantly, yet again. Faithful+Gould have done a really impressive job in working closely with the client to deliver a project that will be very important in the future."
Colin Mitchell, Director of Business Performance at UKBIC, said: "We were highly impressed with the ‘can do’ attitude of the F+G team. Their wealth of experience and expertise has helped to make UKBIC a world-class facility that is second to none."
Peter Wright, Regional Director at Faithful+Gould, said: "The F+G team were delighted to help deliver this significant battery technology facility, which utilises high level technology and equipment, and is supporting the Government’s ambition in being a leader in battery technology."
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