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MRI scanner

Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham


Value: £6.6M

Type: New build

Partner: Galliford Try

The Centre for Human Brain Health (CHBH) is an interdisciplinary brain research facility covering 1,987m2 which accommodates MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and MEG (Magnetoencephalography) scanners together with associated support and research facilities.

Works took place on the site of an old library store which was demolished to make way for the new facility that is linked to the existing Gisbert Kapp building via a steel link bridge structure. The main structure of the CHBH comprises a three storey RC in-situ concrete frame. Each floor slab is 25mm thick to avoid the need for downstand beams as part of a strategy to simplify distribution of the substantial building services required to service the research laboratories.

The concrete frame offers several benefits to a building housing MEG and MRI scanners, including acoustic performance and limited vibration. Both scanners had to be installed within shielded rooms and in controlled zones within the building to prevent interference with magnetic fields scanners. This was a complex process and involved many different stakeholders. A series of workshops and collaboration meetings took place from the outset of the project with stakeholders including UOB academics, Siemens (MRI) and MEGin (MEG), CPW (M&E consultant) and LJJ (M&E contractor).

By maintaining excellent working relationships with the Gisbert Kapp Building Manager and University’s Project Manager, Galliford Try was also able to agree a programme of works in line with the operational needs and teaching timetable of the building. This resulted in the project being delivered safely and to programme with no disruption to the day-to-day operation of the University.

Works were undertaken in the heart of a busy, operational campus bounded by a hotel and conference centre, student residences and teaching facilities. In addition, there were multiple contractors working in close proximity to the site. To manage stakeholder interfaces, Galliford Try developed an impact mitigation plan and appointed a dedicated liaison manager who engaged with stakeholders on a weekly basis.

Project highlights
  • Project delivered two weeks early and on budget
  • Campus remained fully operational throughout the build
  • Successful design and coordination of scanner integration

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