Jubb Consulting were appointed to undertake full Civil, Structural, Transport and Geo-Environmental responsibilities for this flagship Cardiff project.
A new Fire Station and complex phasing programme released a large site area to comprise eight blocks ranging from four to ten storeys and provide 550 Student Accommodation Bedrooms.
Site challenges have included managing works in relation to a Victorian Brick egg-shaped sewer, drainage solutions on the confined site, S278 works on existing and congested junction, all whilst delivering a scheme that achieved BREEAM Excellent.
The student accommodation blocks utilised a mixture of precast concrete walls and floors, steel beams and reinforced concrete piled foundations, which required extensive design coordination and careful programme and construction planning.
The precast superstructure suited the repetitive floor plans and made use of the extensive internal loadbearing partition walls. Careful coordination was required with the specialist precast concrete manufacturers and design team at an early stage, to ensure fabrication of the walls went smoothly and ensure structural stability and efficient design of reinforced concrete foundations.
Early contractor involvement was required in the design process to make decisions on structural fabric of the building and make sure that precast concrete wall sub-contractor was procured in sufficient time.
Due to the multiple phasing of the project, the new Fire Station and phase 1 student accommodation respectively were constructed and handed over in stages. The ongoing construction of the final phase 2 student accommodation block was therefore carried out on an already tight site, after previous stages were handed over, presenting several construction and procurement challenges. Timing was key for the design and delivery of various elements including the large precast concrete panels and floor slabs.
The drainage scheme and congested site was carefully designed to accommodate the Victorian egg-shaped sewer and prevent disturbance to it, which would have been a costly solution. Particular attention was given to the phasing of the drainage installation as Jubb had to ensure connections were able to be completed for occupation of the first phases, ahead of construction for the remainder of the site.
The Engineering design of the building played a key role in producing a cost-effective scheme that was completed on time and within budget. Several obstructions in the ground including a large buried tank were encountered, for which Jubb produced remedial designs, saving time and the need for costly grouting. Foundations were value engineered and several options explored to find the most cost-effective solution.