Client: Major UK University
Services: Architecture, Project Management, CDM-C

University of Reading approached aed to turn a disused music building, which has been left redundant for three years, into residential accommodation, so as to provide a mix of properties to serve visiting academics.


We carried out a feasibility study setting out the options and after several client consultations it was agreed that eleven flats, varying from studio flats to a three bedroom flat could be applied for at planning stage. Disability access was allocated to one of the ground floor flats and all the flats met the latest HMO requirements.


This upgrade of an approx 100 year old building had to meet the latest building regulations. Heat loss was addressed by replacing existing sash windows with new double glazed sash windows and the external walls had to be dry lined. Internal walls both new and existing had to have high acoustic properties and we upgraded the existing floor construction with a specialist acoustic system.


Part of the design had to account for a condemned timber and glass conservatory. This was demolished and replaced with a built extension in brick in order to tie in with the existing aesthetics due to it being in a conservation area. This part of the design was the only section that required planning. Otherwise we had to ensure the internal finishes followed university standards, something we have extensive knowledge of due to our on-going relationship with the client.

• Keeping to a tight budget of £1 million
• Dealing with subsidence within the building which meant that extensive structural investigations and rebuilding of certain elements had to be undertaken during the construction phase.

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