Berkshire House, Reading

Conversion of a former 1960’s office block into 134 student studio bedrooms together with extensive communal spaces.

Value: £6.7 million
Duration: 51 weeks

Project overview
Erection of 2 additional floors and the over-cladding of the existing façades, together with window replacement and a full internal re-fit.

Project award
Selected to negotiate the opportunity on the basis of the Torsion Group Partnership for Collaboration pre- construction process. Our team met the clients target cost by working with the consultant team to design an affordable scheme, over a period of 8 weeks.

Challenges
This is a particularly tight site with minimal access. Access to the roadside facade of the building will be provided by means of temporary drop kerbs from the highway and the repositioning of a bus stop.

Given the unknown nature of the building, a considered view has been taken in respect of the extent of structural repair work. Access to inspect the works could not be given until the existing tenant vacated the building.

Weight restrictions on the building have had to be taken into account when designing the additional two floors. Strengthening works to the foundations and structure were anticipated and designed into the scheme.

Validation through a process of opening up the works has subsequently identified that the existing
foundations will be adequate to support the additional loadings.

Restricted headroom in the existing basement car park will require detailed coordination of service routes.