Beard upgrades historic Oxford buildings to high energy standards

Beard upgrades historic Oxford buildings to high energy standards

Award-winning contractor Beard has started work on an extensive upgrade of listed buildings in Oxford’s historic city centre. The £4.6m project is set to significantly boost energy performance.

Beard is working on 19-21 St Johns Street, three late Georgian Grade II listed buildings used for student accommodation for nearby St John’s College.

To achieve high energy performance standards, Beard is upgrading the external fabric of the building to drastically reduce heat loss. It is also installing high performance woodfibre insulation to the internal face of the building. This will greatly increase energy performance at the same time as allowing traditional stonework to breathe.  The works include replacing gas boiler systems with air source heat pumps to provide heating and hot water.

To improve air tightness and soundproofing, Beard is also upgrading the windows with sensitively designed, secondary internal glazing. The design team has carefully pursued this approach to minimise the impact on the external appearance of the listed buildings. Beard is working to protect and retain the building’s special historic features, including existing floors and stonework.

Dean Averies, Beard director for its Oxford office, said: “We are actively conserving these wonderful, listed buildings and using innovative techniques to bring them up to an extremely high energy performance standard. This important project will reduce carbon emissions and improve students’ standard of living. Our work is based on decades of experience in completing complex development and restoration projects, including St Johns College itself, and many other high-profile listed buildings across Oxford.”

Ian Stokes, works bursar at St John’s College, Oxford, said: “We are very pleased to work with Beard again, drawing upon their wealth of knowledge and experience, not only in restoration but in high energy performance techniques.”

Beard is a family-owned and run construction company based in Swindon, with more than 130-years of experience. Alongside its head office in Swindon, Beard has regional offices in Bristol, Oxford, and Guildford, and a new south coast office.

The design team is:

Project managers/contract Administrators: Fusion Project Management

Architects:       TSH Architects

M,E & Sustainability Engineers: CPW

Structural and Civil Engineers: HRW

Landscape Architects:              Adams Habermehl.

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