Clean Lab Refurbishment, University of Oxford

A highly specialised technical refurbishment to form a Class 100 clean laboratory for the university to continue its specialist work with microchips.


This class 100 cleanroom laboratory is one of only a handful in the country, they are rare because of the difficulty achieving such sterile conditions.

The Robert Hooke Building is a 1960s city centre building housing physics labs and the project is the seventh refurbishment Beard has carried out at the building.

The result was a class 100 cleanroom within a class 10,000 lab

The class 100 has a plenum air circulation of 150 times an hour creating a dust free environment and a higher air pressure than the class 10,000 lab. There is a lobby to maintain the pressure differential between the two labs.

Summary of works

A strip out and refurbishment to parts of the first floor of the Robert Hooke Building (1960s extension) to provide laboratories, together with the provision of a certified cleanroom, refurbished offices, meeting rooms, and preparation areas.

Due to the bespoke nature of the lab, the Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) design was tailored to suit the exacting requirements of the customer including consideration of the type and location of equipment to be used in the labs. We used a cleanroom specialist to supply and install the walls, doors and windows.

M&E installations included compressed air, vacuum and specialist gases.

A crane was used to remove redundant plant from the roof and new plant was installed in its place.

Works took place in an occupied building so access for materials, staff and a shared fire escape was considered. Additionally dust and noise was kept a minimum.

Due to the high quality standards and achieving the extremely low particle count extensive validation processes took place. As well as the air within the class 100 cleanroom being circulated through fan filter units to ensure the correct standard of cleanliness was achieved the envelope of the lab needed to be airtight to stop air leakage.



Oxford University Estates Service


Oxford Architects Partnership

Quantity Surveyor

Ridge & Partners

Contract duration

20 weeks

Form of contract

JCT Design and Build

Procurement Method

Competitive Single Stage

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