Milestone reached at Oxford Brookes University's Sinclair Building

Stepnell has reached a milestone in its £6.5 million phased modernisation of Oxford Brookes University’s Sinclair building which houses the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences on the Headington Campus.

The extensive remodelling is part of a significant refurbishment with an overall project cost of around £20 million to transform the building’s five floors into modern learning and discovery facilities.

Stepnell’s third-floor remodelling has created additional new biological and medical science research laboratory space, alongside nutrition teaching and research areas. This includes facilities for the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health, a group which undertakes research and consultancy in food and human nutrition.

Due for completion in August next year, the full upgrade will also improve the 1970s-built building’s spatial and environmental efficiency. The scheme will deliver ten main laboratories plus preparation and test spaces, two computer laboratories, and 34 open-plan offices with associated meeting and interview rooms.

The next phases of the refurbishment will see Stepnell transforming the building’s remaining ground and fourth floors.

“This has been an exciting and challenging refurbishment project which has involved demolishing and restructuring parts of the old third floor to accommodate three new state-of-the-art laboratories with prep areas, offices, meeting rooms and interview rooms,” says Andrew Hill, Stepnell’s senior contracts manager. “We are really pleased to see this part of the construction complete on time for students and staff to use. They are delighted with this new facility.

“Our team is now working on the roof upgrades and demolition of the fourth flour, and we are all looking forward to making a start on the refit which is due to be finished at the end of this year. We’ll then be able to move onto the final phase of the scheme – the ground floor – next year.”

Stepnell won the contract through the University’s construction framework to upgrade campus facilities. The Sinclair refurbishment is part of the University’s £220 million, ten-year estate investment programme.

Professor David Evans, Oxford Brookes University’s associate dean research and knowledge exchange, says: “The Sinclair refurbishment is transforming the environment in which we teach and research. New industry standard laboratories provide a real-world experience for our students and high-specification environments for research and innovation.

“We look forward to the next stage of the refurbishment which will see more high-quality spaces, including innovative facilities for our Psychology Department and specialist computer study space.”


Image left to right: Jack Strong, Stepnell assistant site manager and Matt Butler, Stepnell design manager


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