Autoclave Replacement Sir Ernest Chain & Sir Alexander Fleming building

Location: The Imperial College, South Kensington, London
Duration: 52 Weeks

Scope of project

Alpine Works role as nominated principal contractor was to manage the complete installation of seven, self-generating steam autoclaves to ensure Imperial College complied with their energy efficiency policy by reducing the central steam output required to run these units whilst also reducing water usage.  Complex planning was required to ensure waste management from the existing autoclaves could be controlled whilst phased removal of the units took place in the preparation for the new Autoclaves.

The Installation of new sub-mains and lighting to facilitate the increased load of the new machines with the addition of a standalone softened water facility, Boosted Chilled Water and Compressed Air lines were carried out meticulously.


Programming and key dates were paramount in delivering this project. Due to the high usage of all seven Autoclaves, minimal down time was a key requirement to ensure Imperial College could meet the high demands for sterilisation of medical equipment on the Campus.

Weekly project meetings between Alpine, client, manufacturer and commissioning teams proved to be the successful driving force to deliver this project.

Within the SEC building, particular care had to be given due to the sensitivity of experiments and tests carried out. A slight vibration within the same area could have caused months of scientific tests to be abandoned. All work tasks that had the potential to cause issues were programmed to minimise the risk of delays and overruns.

The Installation of a new sub-mains to facilitate the Autoclaves had to be achieved in out of hours due to the operating times within the laboratories and the vibration issue that covers eleven floors of Copper vent pipe.

Imperial College - Autoclave replacement programme

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