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News Updates

16 Mar
Added By Sam Woolston

On Wednesday 8th March four representative from SDC (Katie Lower, Luke Thomas, Tom Dixon and Sam Keeble) took part in the annual CIOB Novus Bright Student Challenge. The event, held for student members, young professionals and industry newcomers, allows groups of four to take part in a series of tasks, testing their practical skills, creativity and teamwork.


The Great British Iconic ‘Build Off’

The challenge was split into three parts, the first of which was The Great British Iconic ‘Build Off’

The task was to design and build an iconic structure that could withstand a water spray and high wind test, with points being awarded for iconic status, aesthetics, structure, sustainability, planning and height.

The contestants had ten minutes to plan the construction, understand the characteristics of what makes a structure identifiable and ensure its sustainability. During the design stage the team took the concept of reviewing successful buildings around the world such as, The Shard, Gherkin, Lloyds, Burj Khalifa and Eiffel Tower.

Next, the groups were given twenty minutes to construct the design out of the materials provided, which included cardboard, straws, wooden sticks, plastic cups, bottles and other wrapping material.


Quiz & Knowledge Test

The second section of the challenge was a three part quiz, testing the  participants on their knowledge of the CIOB legacy, architectural trivia from around the world and anagrams of words within the construction industry. The final task was to put nine buildings from across the globe in chronological order in which they were constructed.


What is the Construction Industry To You?

The concluding part of the contest was a presentation to the CIOB Board on ‘What is the Construction Industry To You?’. The remit of the demonstration was to create a speech aimed at 13-16 year old's encouraging a career in the construction industry, with the focus being on six key phrases – opportunities, progression, career prospects, knowledge, valuable person, legacy. The teams were give twenty minutes to prepare and present their ideas on the subject.


And the Winner is……..

Following the three challenges, the judging panel presented the SDC team with first place. They will now go on to take part in the final competition held in London on Wednesday 22nd March to compete with other regions throughout the UK to be crowned ‘Novus Bright Futures Champions 2017.’

06 Feb
Added By Sam Woolston

In 1999, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in conjunction with the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council, unveiled a masterplan for the expansion of the world-renowned Cambridge Biomedical Campus. 

Known as the 2020 vision, the plan was to create an ‘urban healthcare village’ that included a 121-acre country park, 4,000 new homes and 90 acres of developments to enhance the existing facilities. As part of this expansion, SDC was appointed to construct a new research building that is linked to the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre (ATC) and the Addenbrooke’s Centre for Clinical Investigations (ACCI). 

Constructed under the codename of Project Gemma, the building is subdivided into five zones, namely early-phase trials, interventional investigation, clinical research, eating behaviour (metabolic), and support areas. The highly serviced clinical rooms are located within a central ‘core’ zone, while the administration, recovery and social functions are set around the perimeter to maximise the use of natural light and ventilation. 


The building itself is a six-storey concrete framed structure that is enclosed by live hospital buildings on three elevations and the busy High Street on the fourth. Aside from the normal issues associated with working in a live environment, such as minimising noise, dust and vibration, the project was further complicated by the need to excavate a basement and create a partial tunnel that links to the new £120m ‘Forum’ being constructed opposite SDC’s site. Above ground, Project Gemma utilises bridges to connect to the ATC building on level 3 and the ACCI on level 5. 

In addition, the building features a combination of reconstituted stone pre-cast units and bronze-tone aluminium cladding panels. This high quality material palette was selected because the centre has a prominent location positioned between the current hospital and a new public space called the Circus, which is positioned at the heart of the Biomedical Campus. Finally, the scheme included the refurbishment of an existing canopy to the ATC entrance, ambulance drop off bays and a courtyard space. Project Gemma was handed over in January and is due to open its doors in March 2017.

Considerate Constructors

Congratulations to everyone involved with Project Gemma for helping SDC to achieve its highest Considerate Constructors’ score to date – 88 out of 100. Jim Granger, the designated Compliance Inspector for the scheme, was highly impressed by the team’s efforts, commending them for ‘continuing to show a true commitment to their responsibilities and CCS expectations by maintaining, improving and presenting all their project activities at a high level.’ 

Areas singled out for particular praise included the cleanliness of the welfare facilities, the display of artwork on the site hoarding from patients of the children’s cancer ward, and the hosting of several educational visits. 

06 Jan
Added By Sam Woolston

A new conference and social facilities building, to be named The Cambridge Building, has been completed by SDC and handed over to Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT), the organisation that develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus. The brand new facility includes a 200 seater lecture theatre, additional standalone meeting rooms and break-out spaces, along with a 270 seat restaurant, cafe and bar area. The building is designed as a focal point for both social and conference activities for the Babraham Research campus, and the wider life science community and will be opened in January 2017.

The Cambridge Building is located on the site of the former conference centre and refectory, adjacent to the Grade II listed Babraham Hall. Given the location, the design was required to both contrast and compliment the neighbouring Jacobean-styled hall. Consequently, the predominantly concrete-framed structure was clad using a material palette that comprised curtain walling, terracotta rainscreen panels, and colour-matching renders.


Rather than being formally connected to Babraham Hall, as was the case with the previous structures, the concept for The Cambridge Building was for it to be a separate entity with the exception of a slender glazed link. This meant evidence of the former linking structure had to be removed from the hall’s western elevation, which was achieved through a combination of stone refurbishment and tuck pointing.


The building is organised in an L-shaped configuration, with the frontage being formed using two rectilinear elements broken by a glazed entrance structure that extends beyond the roof line. This feature of the design is used to reference the towers the adorn the hall. The height of the building also pays tribute to the surrounding architecture. The two-storey elements line up with the eaves and stone banding lines on the hall, while the single-storey section exists to reduce the visual impact on the Grade I listed St. Peter’s Church that lies to the south of the site.


Derek Jones, Chief Executive of BBT said, ‘We are delighted to have a modern world-class facility here at Babraham that will become the social heart of the campus.  The ability for both the academic and commercial community of the campus and beyond, to have the capability to hold conferences and meetings is an important new feature of the site.  The Cambridge Building will support campus activities and we welcome interest from potential users from outside the campus.’

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