|Case Study - Elmthorpe Convent
A unique twelve-bedroom convent set in landscaped grounds, providing modern accommodation with communal areas and a chapel.
The £2.6 million replacement convent at Elmthorpe Convent in Oxford will improve living and working areas for the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco. In addition to a new low maintenance, energy efficient building, the less able sisters can benefit from disabled facilities, a lift and level external landscape.
The building, which has been designed in a traditional style with hipped roofs at different heights, is constructed in brick and features a number of sustainable features. These include intelligent lighting and roof lights in darker corridor areas, water saving devices and the use of construction materials incorporating higher ‘U’ values than required by Building Regulations in order to minimise heat loss.
Beard completed the project in two phases to enable the Sisters to take up residence in their new home before the old convent was demolished. Building in close proximity to an occupied site and managing safe access for the nuns and the many visitors required a careful and sensitive approach. Friendly and proactive communication from the site team ensured a smooth, problem-free build throughout the project.
External works include the creation of a new entrance road with safer access from a busy junction, new parking areas, garaging and landscaping, including a ‘public’ garden at the front of the building and more private gardens at the rear.
Challenges & Solutions
Difficult site access from a busy road junction required careful management of construction traffic, with deliveries timed for agreed off peak periods.
Construction on previously undisturbed land and proximity to nearby Roman Kilns necessitated an archaeological assessment of the site.
Enabling the Convent to carry on its existing busy daily activities in close proximity to the construction site required careful management of noise to minimise disruption.“We’re all delighted with our new building. Beard has gone out of its way to look after us during this time and to minimise disruption to our daily lives.”
Sister Lesley O’Sullivan, Salesian Sisters – Elmthorpe Convent
Customer - Elmthorp Convent, Oxford
Architect - RHA Architects
Contract value - £2.6 million
Contract duration - 15 months
Procurement - Competitive Tender