The six-storey laboratory building will be located next to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
Due for completion in the second quarter of 2018, the 190,000 sq ft facility has been fast-tracked from design to site start in just 12 months.
The building, which is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating, will accommodate the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease, The Milner Therapeutics Institute and Cambridge Centre for Haematopoiesis and Haematological Malignancies.
In addition, a ‘green screen’ will be developed to enhance a prominent public area adjacent to the development, and a bespoke timber frame structure with a green ‘wildflower blanket’ roof will provide 324 cycle spaces on site – one for every two building users.
Shak Chowdhury, Kier project lead, said: “Project Capella is a great example of how lean construction techniques can be used in the development of a project to get it from the drawing board and into construction in the shortest timeframe.
“The University is one of our longest-standing clients, having first worked together in 1996.
“Collaboration has always been key to the long-term success of this relationship, and once again it’s this teamwork by all involved that has formed the successful foundations for Project Capella, our 23rd scheme together.
“This open and transparent approach has enabled an £79m complex research facility to progress from having no design to being on site in just 12 months.”
The wider development team includes Arup as consulting engineers, Arcadis as project managers and Aecom as cost consultants.