ISG lined up for £65m office-to-life-sciences conversion job

ISG is in line to scoop the circa-£65m contract to convert a London Docklands office block into a life-sciences facility.

The contractor has been working on designs for the scheme under a preconstruction agreement it won last year.

The 17 Columbus Courtyard project, designed by architect Scott Brownrigg, is set to become the UK’s second-biggest office-to-life-sciences repurposing scheme.

Construction News understands that negotiations between ISG and client LS Estates on the main works contract are well under way, with an award set to be made within weeks.

The parties are in discussions over the contract price, with the final amount expected to be between £60m and around £65m.

The job will include 980 square metres of rooftop extensions, new facades including replacement windows and panels, and a refurbished building entrance.

Floors will be strengthened to protect sensitive medical equipment from vibrations.

LS Estates won planning permission from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets last year for the scheme, which will see the current nine-floor office refitted and expanded to provide 23,200 square metres of flexible laboratory and office space.

At the time, LS Estates managing director life science Paul Bailey said: “We have begun to witness the emergence of Canary Wharf as a new life-sciences cluster within London and 17 Columbus Courtyard will be one of the first lab-enabled buildings of scale to satisfy that increasing demand.”

Cut-and-carve specialist contractor Fado Construction is already on site under an enabling works package.

A specialist fit-out contract will be awarded under a separate contract that will go out to tender, with ISG understood to be interested in bidding.

The LS Estates job followed the announcement earlier this month that ISG had picked up two prison contracts worth a combined £135m.

The schemes at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset and HMP Liverpool were procured through the Crown Commercial Service framework. They form part of the Ministry of Justice’s £4bn investment plan to create up to 20,000 new prison places.

Work is under way on a £79m job to build a pair of two-storey houseblocks and an extension at HMP Guys Marsh, based on Design for Manufacturing and Assembly methods. ISG said it will increase capacity at the prison by 31 per cent.

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