Buro Happold acquires Abell Nepp

Global engineering consultancy Buro Happold has acquired London-based Abell Nepp, specialists in laboratory planning and design in the science and higher education sectors.

Buro Happold has already built a strong working relationship with directors Chris Abell and Bruce Nepp over the past two decades, both prior to and following the founding of Abell Nepp in 2009. The two firms have collaborated on various projects including Imperial College London’s Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub and the London Institute of Medical Sciences for the Medical Research Council. Building on this foundation, the two firms have taken the natural next step to combine practices.

Abell Nepp boasts a wide-ranging knowledge of the science, research and technology sector. It has worked on a range of campus, building, and laboratory planning projects covering biomedical, biopharma, engineering and forensic science. The integration of Abell Nepp will strengthen client-consultant teams, ensuring Buro Happold can provide a seamless offer to clients that includes design alongside integrated engineering services for its growing sectors.

Buro Happold and Abell Nepp will combine abilities to deliver world class, innovative spaces that provide the optimal environment for scientists, clinical specialists and technology engineers to solve current and future real-world challenges.

Chris Abell, director of Abell Nepp, said: “We’ve built a close relationship with Buro Happold over the past 20 years, so it was a logical move to unite our two likeminded practices. By combining our engineering and deep sector expertise we can leverage the wider capability set of the firm to offer a new level of integration and creativity to our client base.”

“As a specialist consultancy embedded within Buro Happold, we will continue to provide science-focused services to clients and architects as well as other engineers while expanding resources to improve the integration of laboratory design and technical services. We are enthusiastic about the new collaboration and the resulting creativity and synergy from our combined expertise,” adds Bruce Nepp, director of Abell Nepp.

“We’re thrilled a company as highly regarded in the sector as Abell Nepp has joined the growing Buro Happold portfolio,” says James Bruce, chief executive officer at Buro Happold. “There is increasing interest for engineering-led design teams in the Healthcare, Science and Technology sector, so having the ability to offer consulting services for laboratory planning and design is an exciting next step.

“Expanding our collective consultancy capabilities for existing and new clients both nationally and internationally forms a major part of Buro Happold’s vision for sustainable growth over the coming years.”

Chief executive James Bruce unveiled ambitious plans in early 2021 to see the business double from 2,000 to 4,000 employees in six years through acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships in key regions across the globe. Since then, Buro Happold has acquired three other firms including leading acoustics and AV consultancy Vanguardia Limited and its subsidiary Crowd Dynamics International, alongside US sustainability consulting firm Paladino and Company and higher education consultancy firm brightspot strategy.

The acquisition of Abell Nepp follows the appointment of John Swift last month as the Global Sector Lead for Healthcare, Science and Technology.

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