KJ Tait

Project Sapphire, Granta Park, Cambridge

BioMed Realty
Offices/Science & Technology

KJ Tait Engineers were appointed by BioMed Realty to design this new £20M 100,000 ft2 lab ready office building on a gap site on Granta Park. The building incorporates three storeys with a top-lit central atrium space and was designed to be lab-capable, which will allow adaption to an intensive laboratory fit-out with minimal disruption.


We utilised our extensive experience of commercial office and laboratory building design to develop a strategy that would enable the building to function efficiently as an office, as well as incorporating features that would enable a laboratory fit-out.  We worked closely with the Design Team to optimise the building design for both end uses, including carrying out test fit designs for laboratories and offices.

We worked closely with the Architect from the Concept stage to optimise the building façade to realise the architectural vision and minimise energy use. In order to take advantage of the views to the south, the architectural concept was for a fully glazed façade, however this was not compatible with a low energy strategy. Through close collaboration with the Architect, we developed a solution that optimised energy use, views out and natural light.


The project was designed and constructed within a very demanding programme of 18 months. KJ Tait designed the MEP services to RIBA Stage 3 and provided a compliance monitoring role through Contractor design development, construction and completion.


The building achieved a BREEAM Very Good rating and was shortlisted for a 2018 BCO Regional Award.The building was fitted out and occupied in 2017 by the US Healthcare firm, Gilead. We worked closely with the Gilead team to ensure their specific requirements could be incorporated into the building design.