Advanced Research Centre (ARC) Relocation, University of Glasgow

The SPACE Move & Change Management team coordinated the seamless merger of the University's 15 research facilities across the city into the new building.

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  • Project Size: 15 outgoing buildings to 1 incoming building, moving over 500 researchers
  • Location: Western Campus, University of Glasgow
  • Duration: September 2019 to June 2022
  • Type/Services: Move Management, FF&E Strategy, Procurement, File Management, Lab Operating Model, Removal Contractor Management, Cost-Benefit Study

The Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre is the University of Glasgow’s new home for research excellence. Built to house the University’s research community, the flagship building will serve as a place where collaboration and cross-disciplinary research can thrive. The SPACE Move & Change Management team coordinated the seamless relocation of academic and research staff from circa. 15 campus and city locations into the new building. This was a complex move involving a large number of specialist, highly valuable laboratory equipment and over 500 academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.


Our team engaged in initial research with all departments to understand essential services, non-negotiable down time and time-critical research and operations before developing a move strategy. It was important this relocation project was delivered in line with the University’s vision and objectives for the ARC, which meant ensuring zero downtime during the move to minimise the impact on the University’s critical research.

To achieve this, the team’s relocation plan included the following:

  • Develop a communications strategy including extensive stakeholder consultation, move guidance, relocation updates and newsletters
  • Practical, bespoke move planning and preparation guidance for user groups, including equipment mapping, multi-user workshops, labelling and briefings
  • Scheduling over 30 specialist vendors into the overall migration programme, plus the logistical planning and budget management of these suppliers
  • Removal contractor procurement and management
  • Develop an FF&E strategy, including full surveys of all lab equipment, production and management of equipment database, and relocation strategy for shared lab equipment
  • Detailed bench equipment mapping and move plan for filing and reference materials
  • Daily on-site move supervision for the entirety of the five month move delivery period.
Cost benefit

Additionally, the team conducted cost benefit studies for lab equipment (including optical tables and specialist fridge / freezers) to allow the University to make an informed decision regarding provision of equipment for users. The focus of these studies was to gather all relevant information relating to the existing equipment in order to assess the suitability, practicality and cost of relocating these items versus purchasing new.

Maximising potential

To help ensure the research community is able to gain maximum benefit from the new environment, our team developed a Lab Logistics Model to be used as a laboratory operations and procedures guidance for all ARC residents and users. With over 500 inbound users across five different research themes all operating to their own procedures pre-move, it was a key component of the relocation project that these procedures be streamlined into one operating model.

  • Relocating complex and valuable lab equipment including mass spectrometers, microscopes, optical tables, NMR machine, QuanTic Demonstrator, laser cutters, x-ray machines, 3D printers, and cryostats
  • Navigating challenges of planning a move during a pandemic as virtually all planning and delivery was conducted during full lockdown
  • Achieving minimal research downtime

Get in touch

To learn more about the services that our move & change management professionals can provide please contact us.