Somerville College in Oxford were looking to provide a new student accommodation on their grounds in the heart of Oxford. AKSWard initially provided civil and structural advice to the college for a new multi storey building on an awkwardly shaped site. The initial concept put forward and tendered was the provision of a RC framed solution, utilising flat slab technology and providing a new basement plant area, immediately adjacent to a single storey old school house, which was to be retained and refurbished as part of the project.
The successful contractor was appointed and put forward a proposal to construct the building above ground floor slab using CLT. The use of CLT for the superstructure offered the contractor significant programme savings over the RC option, given the complexity of the city centre site. This alternative proposal was reviewed by AKSWard and the design team and deemed an acceptable alternative.
The design of the CLT superstructure was undertaken by a specialist, with AKSWard providing a TA role with the contractor and Somerville College as a client. AKSWard liaised closely with the specialist to agree location of loads to allow the ground floor slab and basement box to be constructed prior to deliver on site.
AKSWard provided full design for the below ground drainage, which given the building location required close coordination with other disciplines to ensure all services could be located within a very small parcel of land between the new and existing buildings.
Photography: Fotohaus Ltd