New London, CT, U.S.

Pfizer Global Research Facility

Pfizer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, has its global headquarters for the Central Research Division located in New London, Connecticut. To advance biomedical research, Pfizer invested $270 million to build a state-of-the art drug research and regulatory compliance facility at this site.

Located on a peninsula overlooking Long Island Sound, the facility is the headquarters for Pfizer's cutting-edge medical research programs involving more than 12,000 Pfizer researchers around the world. The facility is the home of the Pfizer Clinical Group and the headquarters for all of senior management for the Central Research Division.

Fluor provided construction management services for Pfizer's Global Research and Development Headquarters (PGDF), the largest privately funded biomedical research enterprise in the world.

PGDF investment led the local revitalization from the once-dormant brownfield property to hosting a world-class facility on the 26-acre site located at the mouth of the Thames River and overlooking Long Island Sound.

Client's Challenge

With the creative use of a vacant brownfield site, the State of Connecticut and the local community warmly supported this project as the catalyst for the rejuvenation of the waterfront of the City of New London.

The facility, consisting of three distinct 6-story building complexes, is state-of-the-art, with an amenity-rich work environment to attract and retain the best people in the pharmaceutical industry. The 745,000-square-foot office complex, designed to accommodate 2,000 employees and 200 visitors by the year 2001, consists of three buildings connected by central amenity functions. Support facilities include a 700-seat cafeteria, a personal services mall, a 200-seat interactive training space, a self-contained data center, a 1,750-car parking structure, a day care center, and a formal visitor's welcome center.

A ferry dock was built to carry personnel across the Thames River to the Groton, Connecticut campus.

The overall facility integrates state-of-the-art technology systems such as 24 fiber-optic local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) for telephone, data, and audio-visual systems; individual control of more than 1,800 personal office environments; a user-friendly, energy-efficient task / ambient lighting system; 16 oversized elevators; and 2 escalators.

The PGDF project had an aggressive schedule delivery to meet Pfizer's desired occupancy target.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor was selected to provide construction management services for the new campus development in New London, Connecticut.

One of the early construction challenges was the waterfront site was a discarded industrial brownfield of New London history. It was created through a combination of dredged river spoils, abandoned buildings, and there were even rumors of scuttled PT boats from WWI.

Pile driving consisted of 3,650 production piles driven to an average depth of 42 feet at the PGDF site. To comply with cleanup targets set by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the City of New London, remedial actions were required for the excavation and removal of impacted soil, along with residual material from previous foundry and mill operations.

The PGDF material scope included:

  • 6,000 tons of structural steel
  • 53,000 cubic yards of concrete
  • 4,500 tons of reinforcing steel
  • 2.2 million feet of wiring
  • 1,500 panels of precast concrete plans for exterior skin
  • A jointly developed WME / MBE database of over 300 firms was used to prequalify bidders for select scope of work with a small business goals of exceeding 12% contract awards

PGDF achieved an operating record of 500,000 safe work hours without a lost-time Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incident. The accomplishment was attained over a 28-week period beginning March 2000.



Fluor was selected based on proven dependability, expertise, and safety experience with Pfizer. The PGDF project benefited from experience gained by Fluor on past Pfizer projects, including refined work practices, methodologies, and team communication.

Construction completed in 2001.