• Location

    Oxford

  • Contractor/Developer

    Longcross

  • Project Size

    13,281m²

  • Build Time
    14 weeks

The project: 312 high-quality apartments for post-graduate students, with 8 blocks on an extremely challenging site. Restricted access to the site, which is narrow and bound on one side by the main railway line, necessitated the need for stringent sound performance ideally suited to Fusion’s flexible solutions.

“Longcross utilised the Fusion system on a large student accommodation development in Oxford for Oxford University Estates Division. We first came across the Fusion team and the system in early 2012 when sourcing an alternative build system.

“There were a number of reasons why we had to research the market for an alternative build system but it was mainly the severe budgetary constraints and the high performance requirements of our client. Fusion proved to be the ideal partner for both these reasons.

“From day one, the team at Fusion were extremely proactive and were able to commence design, manufacture and delivery within our original programme, despite a number of weeks being lost whilst researching an alternative system and more importantly Fusion were able to alleviate any concerns the design team and client had on utilising a new innovative system.

“Fusion provided an alternative lightweight superstructure solution that was within budget for the scheme. In addition, the add-on benefits of the system meant that we were able to significantly reduce the foundations to the scheme and also absorb programme delays due to late design (from our consultants) without compromising our agreed PC date with the client. Fusion adopted structural design responsibility for the above ground structure and were able to deliver this without delay working in conjunction with a consultant team who had no experience of the system and delivered the first panels to site in just 11 weeks. This challenge in particular was no mean feat, and Fusion’s ability to adopt, inform and deliver is commended.

“Additionally, the off-site nature of the Fusion system meant that we were also able to improve on site quality, significantly reduce transportation to site and also achieve waste targets way in excess of our original expectations.

“Mitigating the risk was extremely important to both us and our client and Fusion were able to provide us with an off-site testing facility. This allowed us to prove the design and buildability of interfaces as well as acoustically test details prior to their construction on site. This mitigated a lot of risk for us and again showed the willingness of Fusion to go the extra mile in order to ensure that their system achieved the strict Building Regulation and BREEAM standards that the scheme required. One of the concerns of the client in changing from concrete to LGS was the noise from external sources as well as adjacent rooms. Fusion was able to alleviate these concerns through their rigorous testing regime which not only worked on paper but allowed the client to see the robustness of the detailing. Tests undertaken on the unit include party wall acoustic testing, floor acoustic testing, socket penetration acoustic testing, external wall (including several cladding systems) acoustic testing and window/glazing acoustic testing.

“Despite the initial delay in design on the concrete frame, adopting the Fusion system ensured we maintained the original programme and we were able to erect eight 4/5 storey blocks in a little under 14 weeks including the roofs (to ply finish) which Fusion willingly took on for the final seven blocks again improving on site productivity.

“The proactive culture of the Fusion team as well as their ability to deliver both on site and a product that meets stringent performance requirements has meant that Longcross are continuing to develop this excellent working relationship and hope to continue working with Fusion on numerous projects in the future.”

Shane KellyResearch and Development Manager, Longcross