Case studies

City University, London

This £60m development on Goswell Road in Islington includes construction of two new student accommodation buildings and a new sports centre containing gyms, a sports hall and ancillary office / teaching space.

Client: UKSA City University Sarl

Value: £60m

Dates: 2010 - 2016

Architect: TP Bennett

Project manager: Beadmans

This £60m development on Goswell Road in Islington includes construction of two new student accommodation buildings and a new sports centre containing gyms, a sports hall and ancillary office / teaching space.

CampbellReith and TP Bennet Architects were appointed by UKSA City University Sarl to complete the building’s design and construction with Mace, the appointed contractor.

Housing over 800 students, the ‘Peartree’ and ‘Bastwick’ student accommodation buildings are 10 and 12 storeys high respectively, with a two storey basement present below the Bastwick building. Both student accommodation blocks are formed using reinforced concrete flat slab construction, with the supporting shear walls and columns carried by piled foundations. Slabs are generally 225mm thick, with columns on a grid of 5.8m x 5.8m to optimise the arrangement of the bathroom pods and student rooms.

Transfer structures were required at a number of levels to accommodate the irregular profile of the buildings along with ‘set backs’ in the elevations at the higher levels. Where possible the transfer structures took the form of ‘blade walls’ which aligned with room partitioning so as to maximise space and minimise the need for downstand beams which would impact on the services distribution.

The ‘Goswell’ sports centre building is comprised of concrete substructure, supporting steel frame construction from ground to 6th floor level. The upper floors are formed from long span composite cellular beams supporting 150mm thick reinforced concrete floor slabs. As well as minimising the number of internal columns required, the use of cellular beams also allowed the services to be incorporated into the structural zone, maximising the floor to ceiling heights. The column free space required for the sports hall was achieved by supporting the 1st floor green roof above on a series of tubular steel trusses, which span 30m clear over the space below.

Prior to works starting on site, CampbellReith completed a detailed site investigation which was designed to allow a cost effective geotechnical solution for the foundations to be developed.

Amongst other things, the site investigation showed that the groundwater below the site was impacted with ammonia which would be harmful to any concrete which came into contact with it. Using ground water modelling, CampbellReith were able to save cost by limiting the number of foundations requiring a higher specification concrete mix.

The full footprint of the site was utilised as part of the redevelopment which resulted in the lower ground floor and basement of the 3 buildings being located tight to site boundaries and party walls in a number of instances.

CampbellReith worked closely with GIA Party Wall Surveyors and the temporary works designers to develop a phased sequence of party wall approvals, to minimise the time involved in the process. This allowed ground works to be progressed on site prior to final details of the later stages of construction

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