Oxford Brookes University Student Centre

A new five-storey concrete frame student centre will create a focal point for Oxford Brookes University. It will house the university’s main library, the student union and a lecture theatre, along with teaching rooms, retail areas and catering facilities.

The findings of a previous geotechnical survey noted that the existing strata underlying the site are of relatively poor quality and a high water table was indicated. A secant piled solution has been proposed as the most appropriate solution. This will entail driving concrete piles at overlapping centres to form a waterproof construction.

RSA Geotechnics were commissioned to carry out a supplementary ground investigation by Ramboll UK on behalf of the client, Oxford Brookes University. The purpose of the site investigation was to provide factual information and additional engineering advice related to the geotechnical aspects of the project. The scope of works for the supplementary investigation included; hand excavated trial pits to identify the construction of the existing foundations; a number of machine excavated trial trenches, up to 4.5m in depth and drilling a number of small diameter boreholes to depths of 4m using a percussive window sample rig. Monitoring wells were installed within the window sample boreholes to enable the long-term monitoring of the groundwater and ground gas levels.