Harwell Science and Innovation Campus National Satellite Test Facility

Careys was engaged by principal contractor Mace to undertake the enabling and substructure works at the Science Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Harwell Campus, in Didcot, Oxfordshire.


Science Technology Facilities Council



Principal Contractor


The new 58,000ft² National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF), the first of its kind in the UK, provides a comprehensive set of co-located facilities that can test spacecraft and satellites of up to seven tonnes.

It will support a range of activities, including large satellite preparation, solar array deployment, electromagnetic compatibility and antenna testing.

Our scope of works involved enabling and basement works packages including:

  • Enabling works
  • Installation of services to the building
  • Construction of basement, concrete ground beams and slabs
  • Manufacture and installation of two 25 tonne permanent steel forms.
  • Specialist vibration testing and installation of an anti-vibration concrete slab.
  • External landscaping works

We delivered our works to a tight programme, despite complex challenges presented by the project, including:

  • Application of new methods of basement construction, which have not been used previously.
  • Working with multiple stakeholders
  • High tolerance requirements to support test equipment fit out.

At its peak we had 60 operatives on site who successfully built the basement shaft consisting of 90 precast ring sections, mucked away 12,000m3 of materials, fixed 500 tonnes of reinforcement and placed 3,000m3 of concrete.

We'd love to hear from you, so please get in touch