Last year, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) appointed Cousins Group to deliver construction building, mechanical and electrical works at their Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), based in Harwell.

Funded by the UK Government STFC is a world leading, multi-disciplinary science organisation, with a goal to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK.  In order to support this vision, the RAL campus is currently undertaking a period of significant change, with a multi-million pound development program that will expand the scientific capabilities of the site and ultimately reinforce its position as an outstanding scientific organisation producing world leading research, innovation, and skills.

This is an exciting three year contract for Cousins Group and work has progressed on site since we began in July 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scope of works:

The framework at RAL involves multiple projects and we have many in progress at any one time. Each project varies in scope, value and requirements and includes: investigating external cladding, completing a hotel refurbishment, installing an external lift shaft structure, converting an existing pit into a helium storage building, as well as laboratory installations.

RAL project insight:

One of our current projects at RAL is the installation of the helium storage building. Due to its location, the initial build process began in the carpark that sits adjacent to the pit. Using a Teletruk, we were able to hoist the steel items to the exact elevation that is required to be bolted together.

When the main sections of the frame were put together, we were then able to hoist the sections of the structure into their final resting position. Upon completion of the structural elements, we will focus on the interior and exterior finishes, including cladding and lighting.

Once the structure has been handed over, we have a variation to the task, where we will re-open the roof space and hoist the helium containers into place. Then we will close the roof, remove the scaffolding and this part of the project is complete!


Cousins Group at RAL

Cousins Group at RAL


Arial Image Credit: STFC


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