The scope of works included the strip out and refurbishment of the existing bar and JCR to create a new bar and café. The project comprised the demolition of the existing 1970s buttery dining room, allowing for the construction of a modern replacement. An area of the Grade-I listed Second Court was refurbished to form a new café and bar space for the College. We are very proud to have delivered a BREEAM Excellent scheme in a listed building, supporting the wider decarbonisation and future proofing of the college estate.
The listed status of the buildings required us to take a careful approach, including the accommodation of regular inspections. We carried out vibration monitoring throughout to protect the College’s existing structures, including the integrity of a 14th century wall painting of special historic interest. We undertook several measures to minimise vibrations, including saw cutting of floor slabs instead of utilising breakers. Our works included the meticulous dismantling and relocation of a pair of Grade-I listed pillars, which formed the entranceway to the new Community Hub area.
Externally the Grade I listed piers located in the existing BDR patio was dismantled and repositioned to the western edge of the new raised terrace and this matches the level of the new BDR. A new external ramp was also installed in the north flank of the terrace. The current LV switchgear located in the patio was replaced and rehoused in the existing location but at the new raised level.
New compact MVHR units were relocated at loft level within the existing building and new vertical duct runs link to a sub floor distribution within both bar and café. ASHP’s were relocated along Kitchen Lane and connected back to the dining room via the existing staff accommodation. A heat rejection unit was also relocated on the roof of the shrewsbury tower to provide cooling for the relocated beer store alongside the bar.
Our site access was through a 3.6 metre high, Grade-I listed gate and over a weight limited Grade-I listed bridge. This required us to carefully consider the size of deliveries, with all loads taken over the bridge by hand. The spider crane utilised for the scheme was disassembled and rebuilt once across the bridge. We carefully programmed all deliveries to ensure that no delays were caused by the process of moving materials to the work area. As we were unable to utilise muckaway lorries, all site waste was removed by hand.
Working within a live college environment
Working within a live college site presented additional challenges to our team. To minimise the disruption caused by our works, we utilised compressed working hours and ceased noise-generating operations entirely during exam periods. Our site compound was located away from the work area, ensuring that it was as inconspicuous as possible. For the College’s May Ball, we dismantled barriers on the route to site and removed some of our compound’s fencing to allow temporary toilets to be placed behind it. We also provided generator power for the event itself.
The scheme was the first BREEAM Excellent refurbishment scheme carried out for one of the Cambridge colleges.
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