Project Description

Capella Laboratory, Cambridge


4,135 precast concrete components, 400 Deltabeams, 4,035m³ of reinforced structural concrete and 250 structural steel units.


PCE’s Hybrid floor plate design enabled flat soffits thus simplifying M&E services fit out whilst enabling flexibility in partitioning and use of floor space.


Structure designed and constructed to achieve a very low Vibration Criteria of A(VC-A), whilst pre-glazed external precast concrete sandwich panels were used with a high class of architectural finish.


The onsite construction programme was 20 weeks faster than the original insitu concrete scheme proposed and with a reduced workforce over 2,500 site operative weeks were saved.

Project awards and published articles

June 2017. PCE/Kier – Commendation, Offsite Awards, Best Hybrid Construction Project.

June 2017. PCE/Kier – Winner, Construction News Awards, Supply Chain Excellence.

March 2018. PCE – Winner, Offsite Awards, Best use of concrete.

March 2018. PCE – Winner, Offsite Awards, Winner of Winners.

May 2018. Concrete Society Magazine – A shining example of modern concrete construction.

The Capella Project story

Location: Cambridge, UK
Architect: Fairhursts Design Group
Main Contractor: Kier Group
Consulting Engineers: Arup

The benefits of hybrid construction:

Project Capella was transformed from blank piece of paper to an enclosed building in 24 months.

Finite element analysis along with specialist vibration analysis software was utilised to model the structure and the stiffness of the floor plates to develop an appropriate composite slab arrangement.

This, coupled with the benefits of constructing the superstructure in its entirety, including façade, from basement slab to roof resulted in a level of optimisation never seen before in this sector.