University of Chester
Length of Contract
Design Group Chester
Wynne Construction was appointed as main contractor for this design and build scheme, to provide a new Students Union building at the main Chester Parkgate Road campus, replacing the 1960s-built De Bunsen building, which no longer provided enough facilities for the increasing number of students studying at the University.
Working closely with the client and our design team, we developed the scheme which would replace the existing building on the site and provide a new two storey building, comprising a reception area, a cafe bar, a rest area, various student services including an advice centre, IT suite and administrative offices. There would also be a link from the new building to the existing Students Union Bar.
Designed by Chester-based architects, Design Group, the two storey structure was a steel frame founded on reinforced concrete pad foundations. The roof was an insulated metal deck with single ply membrane covering. The external walls comprised traditional insulated masonry interspersed with render panels and curtain walling to the front elevation. Internal walls were constructed of insulated metal stud partitions with pre-finished "thermacell" board to conceal services. A high level of finishes, fixtures and fittings was required throughout and these involved associated mechanical and electrical works, providing a lift and acoustic ceilings among other features. External works and landscaping, mainly involving drainage and paving, were also to be carried out.
The scheme was to be carried out in a "live" environment, with high volumes of students using the campus on a daily basis. Therefore, a great deal of pre-planning and coordination with the site management team was required in order to overcome a number of logistical problems in terms of access/egress for deliveries and the removal of excavated material. A further consideration was to ensure that noise was kept to a minimum during the examination period.
The project, won the commercial sector category within Chester at the 2008 Cheshire Built-In Quality Awards, which highlights outstanding quality in construction work relating to building control.
On winning the Award, Managing Director of Wynne Construction, Chris Wynne, said: "I am absolutely delighted that we have won this award following our nomination by Chester City Council, and believe it highlights our ongoing commitment to the education sector and also our growth in the Cheshire and North West region.
The University's Project Manager, Roger Nock, added: "During construction, we had to address a number of issues; we had to maintain access to the bar and Halls of Residence and keep noise levels to a minimum, so not to impact on those living nearby.
"The whole building process went very smoothly, and that is down to a great team effort by everyone involved. The result is a flexible building, which meets all the needs of those using it."
President of Chester Students' Union, Steve Westgarth, commented: "The new building is a fantastic asset to the Students' Union. It has allowed us to expand and develop the services and facilities available, which has been widely welcomed by the students."
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