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Oxford Brookes University refurbishment to increase efficiency both environmentally and educationally


CONSTRUCTION giant Stepnell has delivered a contemporary £6.25 million refurbishment for Oxford Brookes University’s Sinclair building.

The 92-week project – which aimed to improve the building’s spatial and environmental efficiency and is Stepnell’s third project for the university – included the remodelling of internal space across three of the building’s five storeys.

The build was given a sleek, modern look to complement the other facilities that currently populate the Headington campus, transforming it into a modern teaching, research and study space for the university’s faculty of health and life science.

The scheme was designed by BGS Architects and created ten main laboratories with preparation and test spaces, two computer laboratories and 34 open plan offices with associated meeting and interview rooms.

The renovation not only made the build more sustainable, but it also increased natural ventilation and daylight which is unusual for laboratory design.

Rob Speirs, regional director at Stepnell, said: “We were delighted to have been given the opportunity to modernise one of Oxford Brookes’ key learning spaces. It is important that students have access to flexible working areas to enhance their learning experience and give them the flexibility that they need for different types of study. We hope that the refurbishment will increase efficiency both environmentally and educationally.”

One of the main challenges faced by the team was navigating the live site and working with the university to maximise use of the building during construction.

Rob continued: “The team worked closely with Oxford Brookes to ensure there was minimal disruption caused to the daily activity of both students and staff. We’re very proud of the project and hope it will help to facilitate some amazing projects of the future.”

Stepnell has an extensive portfolio of private education clients and have worked with 28 providers on 39 projects with a total value of £113 million.

Mary Pierre-Harvey, director of estates and campus services at Oxford Brookes University, said: “The Sinclair refurbishment has transformed the environment for the University’s faculty of health and life sciences. The building provides industry standard laboratories that offer a real-world experience for students, while high specification areas support our research and innovation.

“Along with the new home for the Bioimaging Unit specialising in microscopy research, the Sinclair building provides world-leading campus spaces to match the University’s high-quality teaching and research.”  

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