VGXI Headquarters and Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility

Conroe, Texas


Submitted by: BE&K Building Group

Owner: VGXI

Lead Design Firm: Hanbury

Contractor: BE&K Building Group

Structural, Civil Engineer: Kimley-Horn

MEP Engineer: Hipp Design & Consulting

VGXI’s 120,000-sq-ft headquarters and manufacturing facility combines laboratories, pharmaceutical-grade clean rooms and purification, filling, packaging, warehousing, process support, corporate office and amenity support spaces.

The facility includes four distinct manufacturing trains with production equipment, flexible fermentation capacity and expanded cGMP fill-finish capabilities.

COVID-19 was at its height when construction started in November 2020. As a result, contractor BE&K Building Group reported that the project experienced unprecedented supply chain challenges, price uncertainties and labor shortages.

During procurement and construction, BE&K worked with subcontractors to continuously monitor material cost and availability, pivoting to alternative products when necessary to maintain budget and schedule control.

The team was forced to tinker with the schedule several times to reduce impediments and accommodate the needs of various subcontractors.

“These efforts typically included remapping the sequence of work, layering subcontractors’ work schedules and working 6-7 days per week,” the company noted in its Best Projects entry.

VGXI Headquarters and Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility

Photo by Keith Isaacs

The plan was applied to crucial project scopes, including mechanical, process, life safety, electrical, environmental monitoring, process control, building management and clean room systems.

The project utilized advanced construction technologies, including weekly virtual design and coordination meetings.

These meetings were held weekly during the first year, producing successful solutions and high-quality installations.

Augmented reality coordination sessions were also provided, allowing the client to preview areas and layout requirements before construction, the contractor said. Drone flights were frequently performed to document work progress, the company said in its nomination form.

The new facility gives VGXI the capabilities to develop and manufacture DNA plasmids and the capability to provide more rapid results.