• Client: University of Oxford
  • Sector: Education
  • Project: Southwell Building Extension - Construction and Fit Out
  • Location: Oxford
  • Value: £1.6m
  • Contract Duration: 18 Weeks

University of Oxford – Southwell Building Extension

Aero Test Bed and Design Facility in Partnership with Rolls Royce Aerospace

OBCL were engaged as Principal Contractor/Designer under a JCT Design and Build 2016 Contract for the construction of an extension to the Department of Engineering at the University of Oxford. The extension houses a new compressor room for the testing of jet turbine technology and additional laboratory research space.

The works comprised the construction of a two storey extension to the north elevation, installation of electrical plant enclosure to east elevation and construction of new external equipment housing which included; compressed air tanks and silencer unit. The 4,800 ft. extension, comprised of a clad steel frame, internal curtain wall screen, aluminium windows, steel doors and a ‘Cat A’ fit-out specification.

The major electrical works also included the construction of a substantial new switch room, substation and infrastructure. This required close logistical planning, with those affected as the excavations for the new cabling ran through the campus for over half a mile in distance from the main substation. The substation was designed to incorporate the demands of the new facility and future proof the supply
for the future regeneration works to the area.

Close liaison was required with the client to ensure the design met his exacting standards with regular design coordination meetings being held to ensure the project met the objectives.

The build site area was constricted, due to close proximity of other facilities and requirements of their stakeholders. Detailed communication with these third parties was maintained throughout the construction period to ensure that they had safe access and egress, and their day to day operations could be maintained with the minimal amount of disruption.

“I am pleased to write this reference for O’Brien Contractors Ltd following the completion of the of the Project to extend the Southwell Building. This project entailed the construction of a steel portal frame, rain screen and glazed cladded building; constructing a separate HV substation and interface with an existing live research and science building. The building had to remain operational throughout including the operation of a number of experimental compressor and turbine rigs. In this OBC were successful.” TAD Building Consultancy Ltd.