Henley Business School Gym

University of Reading

The Brief

Henley Business School is a leading triple-accredited business school and part of the University of Reading. Located in Henley-on-Thames, and called the Greenlands campus, it is listed as within the world top 40 by the FT Executive MBA Ranking 2023.

The onsite gym however was located in a dated 1980’s building in need of renovation. The brief was to focus on the interior facilities and, with limited remaining budget, update the tired exterior. Inside the brief was to create three gym spaces:

1. A weights room with a mix of free weights, weights machines and running machines

2. An exercise room for classes and for warm-up and warm-down exercises

3. A dedicated room for the University rowing team, with three permanent rowing machines

Externally, the task was to carry out essential maintenance works. There were blocked gutters, moss covered roofs and even a tree growing through rotten decking to contend with. The project had to be completed by end of July 2023, as that was the funding deadline.

Project Delivery

Tight timing was as much a factor on this project as budget, and it was clearly communicated to all that there was no scope for an extended deadline.

Before starting work, our experienced project manager queried the weight of the heavy exercise machinery and ensured an invasive structural survey was undertaken to ascertain if the existing floor could withstand  the equipment loads. The structural engineer’s report confirmed that the existing floor could support the loads. This was a critical and important point to clarify before work began as it could have significant impact on budget.

Liaising with the gym manager and contracting a structural engineer before work started alongside the usual surveys, such as for asbestos, meant that there were no nasty surprises.

We appointed a building surveyor to do the design and created the schedule of works and specification in close liaison with the University’s gym manager.

We then managed the tender process to three contractors and appointed the winning contractor to do the work. Work began in June 2023 to completely renovate the three gym spaces while the dated changing rooms were fitted with new showers and refreshed within the tight budget.

Outside essential maintenance was carried out. This included:

  • Replacing a dozen double-glazing windowpanes
  • Clearing all moss from the rooftiles and guttering
  • Treating the timber window frames, painting the rendered walls
  • Removing that tree stump, replacing and treating all of the decking.

In addition, because the gym is not permanently manned, security and safety were improved through the installation of access control providing 24-hour access to the gym through the use of swipe cards. In addition, CCTV cameras and panic buttons were installed all linked back to the University’s security lodge. Throughout the works weekly progress meetings were held on site along with regular contact with the estates manager to ensure the works were not impacting on teaching and exams.

The Outcomes

Through the strong teamwork and communication by all, the project was completed to budget in six weeks, meeting the July 2023 deadline.

Services Provided

Project Management

Value: £180k

Client: University of Reading


Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Funded


Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Funded

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