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When Oxford Brookes University approached Clarkson Alliance to project manage the design, procurement and construction of a new facility for its School of Technology, we responded from a strategic, commercially-astute perspective.

This resulted in Oxford Brookes seeing a marked increase in the number of applicants for its engineering degree courses and achieving beyond the original business objectives, making the School of Technology a financially viable business unit within the university.

The University had identified a need to find new accommodation for its School of Technology, based in a predominantly single storey structure constructed in 1935. The existing building had a concrete barrel vault roof, was poorly insulated causing it to be cold in the winter and warm in the summer, therefore extremely inefficient in terms of energy and running costs.

Clarkson Alliance did an in-depth analysis of the University’s business case – the need to attract undergraduates in a diminishing subject area with state-of-the art facilities to rival other educational institutes. By undertaking this and carrying out in-depth market analysis we were able to deliver a facility that exceeded all expectations, providing Oxford Brookes with a clear business advantage. The solution gives students the opportunity to design, build and test technology all in one place in a cutting-edge factory, rather than a traditional college building. This is not widely available elsewhere where usually testing is done through computer simulation.

The new facility has an open plan ground floor workshop which can be viewed across its length from the first floor balconies at each of the 3 stair cores, bringing the field of engineering research alive. It provides a dedicated learning space for 750 students and a hub for the universities and industry focused research and consultancy.

Services Provided

Clarkson Alliance provided design and project management services.

Value  £8m

Client  Oxford Brookes University

Contract  NEC Option A

Clarkson Alliance provided the project management for the construction of our new £8M Engineering Building on the Wheatley Campus, 5 miles outside Oxford. We are delighted with the building itself, which is a very exciting, open-plan construction, providing us with purpose-built, state of the art accommodation in terms of offices and laboratories. I have to say that I cannot fault the project management provided by Graham Clarkson and his staff. As with any construction project, there were unexpected events and difficulties. Clarkson Alliance brought real professionalism to dealing with these, and all of the various players involved. Their skills, both in terms of construction management, but also in terms of interfacing with the people involved were excellent -I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.”

Dr Denise Morrey

Dean of The School of Technology, Oxford Brookes University

They come across as very confident and competent. They have a certain gravitas that means that they have a rare knack of being able to look after the small details whilst also being able to see the big picture. This gives others confidence, it reassures people.

Ian King

Former Director of Estates and Facilities Management, Oxford Brookes University

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