The development is based on a piled foundation solution with reinforced concrete ground beams and ground floor slabs, the footprint of the new build takes up the majority of the site. The piling mat had to be carefully considered in light of pockets and soft spots created by the archaeological dig. The superstructure combines concrete frame, traditional brick cavity wall and timber frame methods which marry into one another. The various forms of construction entailed multi trades and detailed programming.
Careful planning was required at an early stage to manage the neighbouring properties particularly where the new structures adjoin or made use of the existing party walls, the close proximity of Network Rail railway line and the busy highway of St Dunstans Street and Station Road West. This involved various party wall agreements and liaison with residents and local businesses together with over sail licences for the tower crane.
During the main build we also liaised with Sainsbury’s fitting out contractors to facilitate the opening of their Sainsbury’s Local Store on the ground floor of Block A. This all progressed at the same time we were completing upper floors and the other Blocks and the Store opened on time and to programme.
External finishes compliment the surrounding architecture with Tudor style facades on St Dunstan’s street elevation to conservation criteria design. The remainder of the development is a mix of traditional and modern looks on the remaining elevations. The complicated roofing solutions use a combination of slate, handmade tiling, vertical tiling, single ply and liquid applied systems. Elevations are in close accordance with conservation and local authority requirements and include traditional render, brickwork and through colour render.
Internally the flats and studios are finished and furnished to a high standard for modern day student accommodation. This includes pre-fabricated bathroom pods, wood effect flooring, modern kitchen fittings and a fully fitted bedroom and office furniture installation. The flats and studios are complimented mostly by individual boilers for hot water combined with an MVHR system for ventilation. Heating is by way of electric radiators.
External works forming the communal entrance consisted of block paved areas, masonry boundary walls and railings which all had to be carefully planned and sequenced following the removal of the tower crane.