The Morrell Student Halls of Residence included a total of 10 blocks of student accommodation divided into flats and communal living facilities for 554 students at Oxford Brookes University. Originally built in the 1970’s, the first phase of the redevelopment of the site included the demolition of two of the original blocks which were replaced with two new state-of-the-art residences providing a total of 160 study bedrooms for both post graduates and under graduates.
Waldeck provided Civil and Structural Engineering services on the £8 million project. The sloping site had complex geo-technical issues including a ground water spring, this combined with environmental aspects of the site and the original piled substructures which were to remain, dictated that detailed study of the exact location of the new piled foundations and ground beams was required. The superstructures to the development included traditional load bearing elements designed to complement the existing student residences surrounding the new halls.
A foundation solution was developed to challenge the complex geo-technical issues on the site (including a natural ground spring), together with considering the sequencing of the new works and the substructures of the original development.
The phasing of the works was a major consideration in the development of the design philosophy for the sub-structures and sustainable drainage to minimise risk to existing structures but also minimise cost and programme risk to the builders.