The scheme includes construction of a 450-place mixed education and student accommodation building for a new boarding school – Abbey College – with 132 residences, classrooms, a main hall, laboratories and dining hall.
As part of the project, Balfour Beatty will also construct a new three storey 1500m2 commercial building and refurbish a 500m2 two-storey office block on the site, which was previously used as the Rattee & Kett Master Stonemason’s yard. These two buildings and surrounding landscaping works will be known collectively as the Homerton Business Centre.
Enabling works were carried out by Balfour Beatty between March and August this year.
The newly acquired site off Harrison Drive is parallel to the main London to Cambridge railway line, and so requires coordination with Network Rail to gain the necessary permissions to clear the site and plan for construction activities without impacting on rail services.
Balfour Beatty will use modular construction methods to speed delivery, with lightweight steel-framing to the inner skin of the internal walls and the use of prefabricated bathroom pods. Key supply chain partners have been engaged from an early stage, with trades such as mechanical and electrical and concrete specialists already appointed.
Homerton estates manager Keith Waters said: “This project is one of the most ambitious developments in Cambridge under way right now, which will bring extra students, leading knowledge-based industry and vitality to our city. With their excellent reputation in the student accommodation and commercial construction sector, modular approach and established supply chain we are very pleased to be working with Balfour Beatty and look forward to delivering this project quickly with the new Abbey College opening in time for the next academic year.”
Work on the new school will start soon. The commercial building is scheduled to be completed in late autumn next year, the college in winter 2016 and the final refurbishment of the existing building in spring 2016.