The second phase of the construction of a complex student accommodation project has been secured by Longcross. The main contractor has started building work on the next £22.5m phase working for the Oxford University’s Estates Service (OUES). The project has been designed by Frankham's consultants to Oxford University Fixed Assets Limited's (OUFAL) brief. Longcross continues delivery of a BREEAM Excellent scheme of 312 apartments for post-graduate students, building eleven units including 8 apartment blocks and several ancillary buildings on a very challenging site.
Restricted access to the site, which is narrow and bound by a main railway line, means Longcross must work very flexibly in order to maintain the time and budget programme for the site. Central to this is the specification of the Fusion Build system, a site-ready modular SIPS panel system that helps keep work on site to a minimum.
The offsite build method reduces the amount of work (and therefore the noise and traffic) at the site. A consolidation centre ensures that deliveries are reduced to set times too, while dedicated traffic marshals along the main access route to site further reduce disruption to the local residents and community. Meanwhile site traffic is limited through Longcross’ ‘cycle to site’ scheme, providing transport for staff through the busy city centre using locally procured bicycles.
Engaging with the local community is vital to Longcross’ work as a considerate constructor and Castle Mill is no exception – Longcross is providing a significant amount of local employment throughout the duration of the project. All Oxfordshire County Council planning issues have been adhered to.
The main contractor is also working with the wider community: a badger-watch scheme offers local community groups the chance to view badgers using the alternative habitats Longcross has set up for them during and after the site works. A temporary bridge provides pedestrians alternative access where a cycle path has been closed. Communication with site neighbours including Network Rail, Oxford Railway Station and a local nursery school maintains good relations. Working with the charitable trust Crisis Café in Oxford, Longcross is donating all profits from the onsite canteen run by Crisis to help the homeless people of Oxford.
The resulting accommodation will operate with a range of environmental features – contributing to its BREEAM Excellent rating. The specification of the Fusion Build system provides a flexible, site-ready solution to modular construction. A combination of renewable technologies will provide onsite energy generation for the accommodation, mitigating inefficiencies often resulting from transmission over the grid.