Genentech CCP 2 interior fermenter room.

Genentech Cell Culture Plant 2 (CCP-2)

Genentech Cell Culture Plant 2 (CCP-2) | Vacaville, California

At 450,000 sq. ft., the expansion of Genentech's facility in Vacaville, California, made it the largest biotechnology fermentation facility of its kind in the world at the time it was completed. The project added a new manufacturing facility and a new infill building. It doubled the size of the central utility plant, added an existing warehouse and extended the spine.




To meet the aggressive June 27 contractual delivery date set in late 2005, when DPR Construction started as the general contractor, the team knew that sticking to an aggressive schedule was imperative. To accomplish it, three million craft and management hours were worked in just 65 weeks with some work going on 24-hours a day, seven days a week for a full year. In all that time, there was only one lost time safety incident.

In addition to the accelerated schedule, part of the project was constructed within an operating facility and had to be performed without disrupting ongoing operations. The central utility plant, which affects all of the systems Genentech uses to produce its validated biopharmaceutical drugs, had to double in size. DPR accomplished this without a single un-planned shutdown. Throughout the entire project, there was a 70 percent overlap of construction crews and Genentech start up and validation staff. The contractor and owner broke down the normal barriers to foster an extremely collaborative and cooperative effort, which included training Genentech staff to work within a construction environment.

Maintaining operations and meeting the schedule required creative phasing. Innovation and flexibility were a must. A unique approach was necessary to accommodate Genentech's request that DPR's first order of business on site be the re-bid of the entire build-out. The re-bid needed to be done while all the equipment remained on schedule for fabrication and delivery, which occurred prior to the interior build-out start. Because the equipment had already been procured and fabricated, DPR developed and executed a plan to install it first, then built out the facility around it.

Validation was another issue. There were more than 300 subsystems to complete, start up and validate. Looking at the process from a purely mechanical perspective, Genentech and DPR developed a plan to begin validation of specific systems before final completion of the overall project. Thus, the facility was turned over system by system, piece by piece, not by area or building as would occur during a normal construction turn over process.

CCP-2 ranked as the largest biotechnology fermentation facility of its kind at completion, designed to produce biotechnology drugs for serious and life-threatening diseases, including cancer. Like the products it was built to produce, its creation required ingenuity, flexibility and collaboration. From the owner to the contractor to the city officials, CCP-2 is truly a shining example of what can be accomplished when knowledge and desire conspire to make the impossible possible.

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