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Wadham College, Oxford

Wadham College, Oxford were due to start construction of two new modern buildings - an Undergraduate Centre and Access Centre – and continuing the evolution of the college’s 17th century site in the heart of Oxford. The development had been carefully designed and sensitively scaled to the surroundings.

The contract to construct the new buildings was awarded to Beard Construction, a multi-award winning construction company operating throughout central southern England. With the need to provide a complex of offices and welfare facilities on a restricted site Beard Construction turned to Pickerings to provide the temporary workspace solution.

The main issue in providing temporary buildings to Wadham College was the restricted access to the site which was through a very narrow and low historic archway that needed to be protected. After completing a site survey Pickerings found that there would be only 10 centimetres of tolerance in the width and height of the site entrance. With 50 years of providing just about every type of temporary building solution Pickerings called on their unrivalled experience to meet the challenge.

With the added problem of the site entrance being on a minor road it limited the use of normal HGV’s being used to deliver the building modules to the college. Instead, with local police force authorisation, part of the road was closed to allow the delivery vehicles to off-load the building modules onto an adjacent trailer that could be towed by a smaller road vehicle through the archway and onto the site.

The challenge did not end there as once on site the building modules needed to be installed at height under the branches of some ancient trees. With the use of specialist low height and short wheel base “city” crane Pickerings carefully and safely completed the installation onto pre-prepared foundations. The result is a two-storey project complex of ten 20’ x 8’ building modules comprising large open plan office; smaller offices; canteen; induction/meeting room. Access to the upper floor is by means of a steel staircase. In addition, several standalone building modules were also delivered to site and placed under the trees using a low height “Hiab” crane.

The two-storey modular building will remain on hire at the college for two years.

We are delighted that Pickerings have managed to deliver and install such a high quality modular building complex and confidently overcome the challenge of very restricted access to the college” – Site Manager

Download this modular building case study below. 

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Pickerings Modular Building - Internal
Pickerings Modular Building - External