University of Birmingham, Molecular Sciences Phase One

Birmingham, England

Project Summary

The University of Birmingham framework has been transforming the campus over recent years, creating state-of-the-art facilities for both existing structures and new builds. Its Molecular Sciences masterplan has created over 11,613 m² of laboratories and office space to accommodate the School of Chemistry, a small cohort for Environmental Sciences, and an interdisciplinary post-graduate research centre.

MGAC's Role

MGAC has been working closely with the University to identify costs across this multi-phase scheme. We provided cost management services for the phase one building, providing vital, detailed cost plans from feasibility stage through early enabling works and construction. MGAC continues to work with the University as they look towards phase two of the development. 


As with all large-scale projects, we expected to see some changes along the way. Less predictable were the delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, caused in large part by the challenges of a volatile market. Though the main project was delayed by 12 months, we remained in close contact with the client to mitigate knock-on delays. 

Once contracts were in place, major design changes were required to accommodate a new heating system, installed across the entire campus. This work required time, but the various teams put their heads together, finding creative ways to gain ground. 

Success Factors

MGAC believes in positive, transparent, and direct communication. By working with the professional team on regular risk workshops, and with extensive end-user engagement, we were able to challenge costs and fine tune the budget. As a result, we were able to rely on robust risk allocation within our cost plans.

Our close relationship with the client and project team were also a major asset. We see trust as a muscle. Once earned, it makes it easier to move through the world. It makes the entire team’s work better, faster, and stronger—but never harder.