Oxford University – Clarendon Building

Project Overview:

Oxford University Estates, as custodians of this Grade I Listed early 18th century building, embarked on a programme to modernise the interior spaces and to make good decaying external features. Originally built to house the Oxford University Press the ground and first floors are predominantly large open plan spaces, the third floor is made up of smaller offices and the basement houses plant and common facilities and was used at one time as the town jail.

The Design:

The building is currently occupied by the admissions department of the Bodleian Library and the project comprised the removal of the existing and construction of new partitions, new floor, wall and ceiling finishes, new services installations and lift refurbishment, all to provide a fully accessible office facility.

Construction Characteristics:

The Listed status of the building meant that refurbishment was sensitive to the 18th century nature of many historical features but allowed for the introduction of new 21st century requirements including.

  • Rewiring of the lighting and small power circuits in all rooms including IT and data
  • Provision of new hot and cold water and plumbing off existing installations
  • Renewal of heating pipework and radiators
  • Repairs to existing sash, casement and dormer windows, all to match existing
  • Repairs to timber treads and risers to the main staircase
  • Restoration of lime plastered walls and ceilings
  • Restoration and upgrading of existing internal doors to form a protected staircase
  • Lead repairs at roof level
  • Glazing repairs to rooflights

Procurement Process:

The project was procured traditionally under a JCT Intermediate Building Contract 1998. Bills of quantities were used to maximise the competitive process and provide clear and detailed cost for the management of change post contract. Benfield & Loxley were appointed on the basis of a 52-week construction programme.

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