INFRASTRUCTURE

Winners revealed for Oxford University’s £1.5bn construction framework

SOURCE: David Ionut/Shutterstock
Hertford Bridge, popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs, at Oxford University.

The University of Oxford has named its preferred building contractors to deliver a £1.5 billion pipeline of projects over the next decade.

Seven contractors in total have been selected with Morgan Sindall coming up trumps as the only firm to secure a place on all three lots of the university’s Capital Projects Partner Framework. Each lot varies in value in size; the first being projects up to £5 million, the second lot up £20 million, and the largest lot for projects over £20 million.

Joining Morgan Sindall are EW Beard and Kingerlee in Lot 1, Willmott Dixon and Midas in Lot 2, and Wates and BAM in Lot 3.

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The university has a lot of work planned over the next ten years to ensure they maintain their high standards in both facilities and education. The projects will include a mixture of new developments and refurbishment of some of its existing 237 buildings, a quarter of these are listed assets, with a third built before 1840.

The framework was launched in 2018 to support its ambitious estates strategy, with the university earmarking around £120-£150 million capital investment per year on both new and refurbished facilities, in order to guarantee the future suitability of its spaces.

Oxford University has earmarked around £120-£150 million capital investment per year on both new and refurbished facilities. Source: Vadim Sherbakov/Unsplash

Oxford’s priorities with the framework are:

  • to support the changing patterns of research and learning by providing innovative space solutions
  • to improve the use of space through new buildings designed for adaptability and shared use
  • to improve the condition and functional suitability of the estate by re-purposing vacated buildings when new ones are built
  • to reduce running costs and carbon emissions by using the Passivhaus methodology to drive lower energy use
    and increased environmental comfort.
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“The University of Oxford has an ambitious estates plan, and they have made the bold move to change how they operate to get the best from the market,” said Director for Morgan Sindall Construction, James York.

“We are extremely proud that they have chosen to put their faith in us. Providing valuable up-front advice, designing and building modern facilities fit for 21st-century higher education, and doing so in a sympathetic fashion befitting Oxford’s heritage, is a brief that we are relishing.”