Project 622, Oxford
University of OxfordResearch & Development
2019 was another successful year for SDC, with turnover the second highest in the company’s history at £186.23m. This trend is set to continue in 2020 as turnover is expected to reach £200m.
Beyond turnover, SDC’s success in 2019 is demonstrated by the many projects that received a variety of prestigious awards. The Dorothy Garrod Building was a winner in three categories at the brick awards, bringing the project total to an impressive eleven awards. The Simon Sainsbury Centre comes a close second with seven accolades after receiving the ‘Michael Middleton Special Award’ at the Civic Trust Awards in March. Other projects have also achieved success in 2019 and SDC’s portfolio now boasts award winning projects from RIBA East Region and RIBA National Awards, with CFCI Awards and BALI Landscape Awards too. This coming year is already looking promising with two projects shortlisted for the 2020 Civic Trust Awards, hopefully with more to come.
SDC completed 35 new projects in 2019, 10 from Main Projects, 22 from Special Projects and 3 from the Oxford Hub. Notable projects include:
Constructed under the codename Project 622, this scheme is a three-storey new build at the John Radcliffe Hospital providing purpose-built facilities for the Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD), as well as research space for the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN). The building houses approximately 180 research staff over 2,000 sq.m of space and contains a mixture of clinical research stations, imaging analysis, seminar and research assessment rooms, along with wet and dry research laboratories. A key objective was to create a contemporary and timeless design that complements the local surroundings. Accordingly, the façade consists of a terracotta rainscreen system with Eurobond Rainspan panels providing the backing wall. The steel-framed structure is naturally ventilated, with vertical louvres incorporated into the window design to enable a night-purge system to be used.
The two new buildings, constructed for Trinity College and Tsinghua University, were designed by Scott Brownrigg and sit adjacent to Unit 26-27. The combination of these projects (totalling £60 million) has created a Bio-Hub, transforming Cambridge Science Park into a leading technology venue and putting the park in good stead for future developments. Unit 25 involved the construction of a three-storey state-of-the-art commercial building providing approximately 3,750 sq.m. of laboratories and write up space. Unit 22, also three-storeys, contains approximately 5,500 sq.m. of office space. The exteriors of both buildings comprise curtain walling with chamfered bays to create key features at the building corners, as well as metallic panels and fins for solar shading. Unit 22 and Unit 25 achieved BREEAM ratings of ‘Excellent’ and ‘Very Good’ respectively.
This project comprised the refurbishment of the canteen, kitchen and boardroom areas on the second floor of the Department of Engineering Building. The areas were completely stripped out and two walls were removed to open the canteen area. A new servery opening was formed in an existing wall, with a fire rated roller shutter installed. New vinyl plank and carpet tile flooring was added, while acoustic floating panels were used to create a feature ceiling. Existing doors, joinery and window seating were retained and redecorated with all walls and ceilings having a paint finish. The ‘Panini’ kitchen was fitted out with new catering equipment and display cabinets within a stainless-steel servery countertop. The result was a light, open, modern canteen area with a more efficient kitchen and a relocated boardroom.
There are currently 10 projects scheduled to start on site in 2020. These vary across divisions and sectors, ranging from an extension at Northampton College, to an Office and Technical Centre for a leading automotive company. Several larger schemes are continuing throughout the year, such as Project Atria which is just a few weeks into the programme. SDC is also over halfway through work on Roman Gate Surgery in Godmanchester and Faringdon Lodge in Oxford, both of which are due for completion in the Spring. Other ongoing projects include:
Works at Westway Square are progressing quickly, with Block F almost finished and Block E scheduled for completion next. The scheme will provide high quality student accommodation, a hotel, public facilities including a new community building, 5,000 sq.m. of retail and restaurant space, and attractive outside areas. The project is valued at approximately £68,000,000 and is due to be fully handed over before the end of this year.
Enabling works on Units 1-21 on the Cambridge Science Park commenced in June last year. The scheme will provide 21,904 sq.m. of British Council of Offices standard Cat A office space across 2 buildings as well as a 380-space multi storey car park and associated external works. The project, valued at £54,000,000, is due for completion in the spring of 2021. The development of Unit 1-21 forms part of a huge £200 million investment by the Chinese Science Park body of Tsinghua University in China who also funded the delivery of Units 26-27 and Unit 22-25.
Special Projects has been working on a new entrance building for Kimbolton Prep School. The new building, which will be a welcome area and resource centre, links the newly refurbished Lower Prep and Upper Prep buildings. The structure will have a zinc copper roof with glazing to both ends, providing views out to the sports fields and woodland area. It is due to open in February 2020, making it the third project SDC has completed at the school.
SDC’s Community Fund had a busy year, with donations and contributions given to over 14 different charities. These included Red Nose Day, Jeans for Genes and Wear it Pink. SDC also donated to 8-year-old Leo to provide vision enhancing glasses to improve his sight. Other donations and community engagement include:
On Thursday 5th September 2019, eight riders from SDC embarked on the Bidwell’s Golden Triangle Bike Ride. Participants rode 180km (112 miles) from Oxford to Cambridge via Flitwick to celebrate Bidwell’s 180th anniversary. In early August, SDC also assisted with the #ByAnyMeans challenge by providing plant and machinery, helping Associates travel from Oxford to Cambridge on over 40 different modes of transport. Both challenges raised money for Maggie’s Centre, a charity offering help and support for anyone affected by cancer.
In July 2019, members of SDC’s Special Projects department ran and walked either the 5k or 10k Cambridge Race for Life. The team ran in memory of Gary Brown who was a Contracts Manager with SDC. The group raised an astounding £6,645 with donations from staff, clients, friends, family and the SDC Community Fund. A huge congratulations to all that took part.
To engage with the local community, SDC offered 3 primary schools in Oxford the opportunity to name the tower cranes on site at West Way Square. Botley Primary ran a naming competition and the winning name, ‘U-Crane-Bolt’, was chosen. North Hinksey Primary and West Oxford Community primary held artwork competitions and the winning artists had the cranes named after them, resulting in cranes ‘Betsy’ and ‘Brian’. Signs on the hoarding at the bottom of each crane displayed the name and winning artwork. Tower cranes Betsy and Brian were taken down at the beginning of January, leaving only U-Crane Bolt.
During the Summer SDC launched a new website to showcase projects, divisions, and current news, as well as advertising career vacancies and integrating the social media pages.
SDC regularly post to Twitter (@SDCBuilders), Instagram (@sdcbuildersltd) and LinkedIn, so follow these accounts to stay up to date with new projects, news, careers and more.