15 October 2021

Award for team behind Exeter Science Park’s Ada Lovelace Building

The team behind the construction of the stunning new Ada Lovelace Building, at Exeter Science Park, has received an industry accolade for the teamwork which saw them successfully deliver the landmark project on time and on budget despite the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The £6.6 million building opened in February 2021, meeting growing demand for high-quality office and laboratory space for knowledge-based South West businesses in the science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) sectors.

Now the project team behind the build has been named Integrated Team of the Year in the SCF (Southern Construction Framework) Awards 2021, in recognition of their achievements.

The Ada Lovelace Building was built by Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, and designed by architects LHC Design and KTA, working for NPS South West Property Consultants on behalf of customer Exeter Science Park Ltd.

It was an impressive and complex project, with an ambition to create a high-tech, sustainable building targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating and net-zero-carbon for operational energy. Added to this was the significant challenge of delivering the project safely during some of the most difficult periods of the Pandemic, when the construction industry was one of the few key sectors tasked by government to help keep the UK economy functioning.

Award judges were impressed with the way the project partners worked to tackle the technical aspects of the build at the same time as the project team, subcontractors and client worked collaboratively to ensure any issues were fully assessed and proactively tackled.

The list of achievements during the project includes:

  • Project completed on time and within budget
  • Health, safety and welfare standards maintained through flexible programming and working hours
  • Considerate Constructors Scheme – Site awarded a Certificate of Excellence
  • Surpassed targets to create five jobs, support two work-placements, deliver 208-plus waged training weeks on-site and support 15 Construction Careers Events

Steve Hindley, Chairman at Midas Group, said: “Of all the awards we could have won for this fantastic new building, this is particularly special as it is one which recognises the whole team which worked together so well, so diligently and conscientiously to make this project the success it has been.

“The challenges of the pandemic reinforced the values which are important to us at Midas – customer service, performance, the development of long-term relationships with our customers project partners, supply chain and indeed our framework partners.

“The Ada Lovelace Building is a great example of what can be achieved through genuine collaboration, and we are incredibly proud to have played our part in the team which made it all possible.”

The 5th building to be delivered by Exeter Science Park Limited, the Ada Lovelace Building is named after the inspirational 19th Century mathematician and computer scientist. It is already home to a number of high-profile businesses and organisations including tech company Dashboard and the Environment Agency.

Dr Sally Basker, Chief Executive at Exeter Science Park, said: “The Ada Lovelace team worked hard to achieve net-zero carbon for operational energy, and even harder to complete the fit-out of a COVID analysis lab in just six weeks. This would not have been possible without the true collaboration and teamwork that this award celebrates, and everyone involved should be proud of the team’s achievements.

The project was procured through SCF (Southern Construction Framework) which supports a wide range of public sector clients across the south of England by connecting customers with the best contractors in the region and supporting them through the planning and procurement process to deliver value for money, quality buildings.

Kingsley Clarke, Framework Operations Lead at SCF, said: “This award is given to a client, contractor and consultant team who truly demonstrate the ability to work in harmony together to achieve what could not have been done through traditional procurement and contracting methods.

“The team behind the Ada Lovelace building worked collaboratively in the absolute spirit of the SCF one team ethos. The result is a fabulous building that exceeded the Science Park’s hopes in terms of in use carbon efficiency. The award was well deserved and was subject to stiff competition, particularly as there have been so many great examples of collaborative working to overcome the challenges of 2020 and 2021.”

Steve Hellier, Associate Director at NPS South West, said: “Our South West Team have worked on the delivery of several successful projects for the Exeter Science Park Company, so it is great news that the latest building to be developed on the park with SCF partner Midas Construction has been recognised for this award, delivered by a team during what has been a very challenging time. Well done to all involved.”

Rob Bramhall, Director at LHC Design, said: “It can often be challenging when Employer’s and Contractor’s design consultants are required to work together in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding to ensure that design concept, performance and technical delivery dovetail seamlessly to provide a highly successful outcome for all. Whilst providing architectural services to Exeter Science Park, we thoroughly enjoyed working collaboratively with Midas’ design consultants to achieve our common goals. This has resulted in a building that is aesthetically very successful within its context, technically sound and a joy to be within.”

It was partly funded by £5.5 million from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Funding. East Devon District Council’s Cabinet also invested £1.1m in the development of the building in conjunction with Devon County Council as part of the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone programme.

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