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College Refurbishment Programme


Durham University


Client – Durham University

Architect – WS Atkins & Howarth Litchfield Partnership

Completion – April 2013

Value - £2,600,000

 We won a competitive tender to carry our student accommodation refurbishment at Durham University’s Durham Campus. The works were carried out over 3 phases.

 Phase 1 involved full refurbishment of a 58 bedroom block at Van Mildret College. Works started Easter and were completed ahead of time for the start of the new academic year (September). This phase included extensive asbestos removal. We had excellent feedback from the end users and the University over the quality of the finished work and due to the success of the project we negotiated the refurbishment of the showers in a further two blocks during the summer vacation period.

Phase 2 works were undertaken during the summer vacation period. The works at Greys College included full refurbishment of 48 bedrooms and associated bathrooms, kitchens etc. were completed on programme.

Phase 3 works also at Greys College which incorporated 74 bedrooms and commence during the summer vacation period. This phase was completed ahead of programme in December in preparation for the Students return in January 2013. Again the feedback from the client, college and end users on phases 2 & 3 has been excellent and we have since secured several further projects/works at this college.

 The key to all of the phases was to ensure that the works were completed on programme to ensure that the buildings were ready for the students. Phase1 & 3 works also had to be managed & planned not only to ensure the safety of the resident students & staff, but we also had to ensure that our works did not affect/disturb the students in the adjoining buildings, noise, dust, maintain access & services, etc..

Snooker Room Extension

On the back of the other phases we negotiated a project for the construction of a snooker room on the Oswald Block.

Fountains Hall

We were contracted to carry out the external refurbishment of Fountains Hall. This included replacing the windows, soffits, fascias & roof repairs.

Collingwood College

Again we were contracted to replace the windows in 480 bedrooms and other areas, including bar, dining room, kitchens, etc. at Collingwood college. The rolling programme was carried out over several months during term time and involved the replacement of in excess of 650 windows.

Due to our expertise in this particular field we were able to work with the design team and the client to bring in best practice and lessons that we had learnt from previous schemes, such as:

• Adjusted the bathroom/shower layouts to fully utilise the space and improve access to services.

• Reutilise some of the existing shower pods which had financial & environmental benefits.

• Introduced vanity top wash hand basins instead of work tops and inset sinks. These were used on one of our previous schemes and have been very successful with minimum maintenance.

• Suggested flat door kitchen cupboards, easier to clean and more durable.

Meetings were held on a fortnightly basis and this ensured that the client was constantly involved in the works and design. Several betterments were introduced during the course of the works and the client has ended up with accommodation that has been well received by the end users and theory should be serviceable for many years.