Request your free quotation

Download Brochure

Use the form below to download your brochure.

Lab Logistics Newsletter

Use the form below to sign up to the newsletter.

University College London

5 April 2018

The Project

In 2017, Johnsons were awarded the Move Management of University College London’s Charles Bell House Services. The services encompassed taking full responsibility for the planning and management of the relocation of approximately 205 people from several locations across the UCL Estate to the newly refurbished Charles Bell House Building (CBH) including:

  • Initial intensive fact-finding and familiarisation and confirmation of numbers and phasing
  • Setting up and running relocation project meetings dealing specifically with the move
  • Development of the full migration schedule, including requirements for any dual operation during the relocation period
  • Developing and running a comprehensive staff communications programme
  • Detailed planning work to capture the full detail of all laboratory equipment, samples and hazardous materials to relocate
  • Liaison with UCL ISD to co-ordinate the relocation of servers, IT equipment and telephony
  • Filing audits and reduction programme
  • Procurement of and overall management of any further removal contractor(s) and management of thereafter
  • Full site supervision during the relocation period
  • ‘Day 1’ onsite assistance to ensure staff settle in post-move (where ‘Day 1’ refers to a team’s first day of operation in the new facility; onsite moves assistance will be provided throughout the period of dual operation).

Controlling the Project

To maintain control of the project, our Project Manager was required to develop a full migration strategy and move programme, which was continually reviewed throughout the scope of works, and in addition, developed and agreed relocation strategies and contingency plans for all items being relocated.

The management of the project was carried out in accordance with best practice, including drafting and updating of the following documents:

1.A Project Control Plan:
2.A Move Schedule detailing each occupancy and move phase
3.Relocation Project Business Continuity Plan, Risk Assessments and Risk Log
4.Project Risk and Hazard Log,
5.Preparation of Monthly Highlight Reports to include move management progress, cost status, anticipated changes, approvals and outstanding actions
6.Project Move Cost Plan, showing costs associated with all aspects of fulfilling the relocation.

Controlling Timescales and Ensuring a Positive Delivery

Due to the tight timescales of the project, our Project Manager submitted a list of key elements which we felt would provide us with the best knowledge and preparation for a successful project. These suggestions were taken on board by the University and during our pre-move meetings, were agreed to and ultimately proved to play a large factor in our efficacious completion of the project. These included:

  • Prioritising and obtaining what OEMs were required for the project and securing their costs and services. Within the laboratory in The Cruciform Building, there was a certain amount of laboratory equipment (mainly analytical) that needed a variety of OEM technicians to complete decommissioning and recommissioning/recalibration work. Due to the time of the year that phase 1 relocations took place, we knew from experience that lead times for booking in OEM technicians can sometimes be in the region of 6 – 10 weeks.
  • We provided a support Move Manager in our proposed delivery structure to work on the project as and when required. With the initial intensive fact-finding stage of the project planning key to moving the project forward, we looked to (if required) put our support Move Manager on site to assist the lead Move Manager with obtaining all necessary information for the relevant sub-contractors/key stakeholders to be engaged and managed.
  • We engaged early with the lead UCL Project Manager and Construction Manager to understand the handover programme of the new building; whether this is all at the same time or if certain areas are released over a staggered period within each phase. This allowed us to understand any constraints when designing the delivery phase programme.
  • Involved our in-house DGSA early in the process, which allowed us to highlight key specialist project risks and legal requirements for road transport. These were then built in the scope of work requirements for specialist/removal contractors to tender on within their required scope of works.


“We have very positive feedback from the end users regarding all the crews involved in the move. Indeed at a steering group meeting this week one of the senior scientist not only praised the move teams but also requested if the same teams could be used for the move into the CL2 building next year.”

The Pirbright Institute

“The Johnsons team worked well with our own internal project team to make the overall move a success. The main phase went without any significant issues, and this was a testament to the close management and supervision of the Johnsons team at both sites during the 3 days of the move.”

Mark Garrod, Redx Pharma

“We have a good working relationship and specifically use Johnsons as they are competitive, always turn up on time with the correct number of operatives, and their removal team is always courteous which matters especially when patients and our staff are affected.”

David Shepherd, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

“Johnsons Laboratory Logistics have been providing relocation services to us for a number of years now. They are competitive, reliable and trustworthy.”

Iain Ramsey, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Relax in the comfort of an accredited company