Taking a considerate approach to constructing student accommodation in Winchester – Geoffrey Osborne Ltd

Geoffrey Osborne Ltd’s Moorside Road project in Winchester involved the construction of new luxury 237-bed student accommodation serving the University of Winchester.

Geoffrey Osborne Ltd constructed the building using a concrete frame for the structure, complete with brick facades, curtain walling and cladding. Internally the development now offers students a mixture of en-suite rooms with shared kitchens and self-contained studios.

The bedrooms comprise an off-site manufactured toilet shower pod, bookcase, wardrobe, a good size workstation and comfortable small double bed. Additional facilities include high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the building, a group project space,  a vast social lounge with vending machines, table tennis, gaming area, large screen and a quiet area for reading and studying.

The biggest challenge the team faced was the logistics of constructing in a confined site, next to a busy road and with limited parking. However, the team managed this by becoming part of the community and keeping all of the stakeholders informed throughout the works.

Summing up the construction team’s exceptional community consideration on this project, the Scheme Monitor said:

“The degree of interaction with the local community is truly commendable. It was pleasing to note that considerable effort has been made to engage with a range of local groups including charitable organisations and the nearby infant school.”

Here are some of the examples of best practice implemented by Geoffrey Osborne Ltd to comply with the Considerate Constructors Scheme:

  • Feedback is welcomed from those involved in the project and those living and working around the site. A comments box is affixed to the hoarding and we also have a ‘tell us what you think’ board, where the public can give their feedback and any suggestions. We also provide Improvement Opportunity (IO) cards, with all feedback recorded and managed by the site team.
  • We are working closely with the local education establishments and charities and have cast a concrete base and built a storage shed for a local theatre group. We also supported Winchester City Council’s ‘Party in the Park’ event and funded BBQs for young carers, donated prizes for raffles for the elderly and visited the Winnall Primary School to carry out activities with them.
  • We have donated furniture and labour and carried out mock interviews at the local job centre.
  • The local primary school has been on site for a visit to see how a site operates, discuss future careers and hold a ‘question and answer’ session.
  • At a very early stage in this project we contacted the Hampshire Highways Agency to ask for their assistance when preparing our traffic management plan and to ensure all our subcontractors are parked properly and considerately. With this in mind, we hired 20 parking spaces for staff and visitors to the site.
  • Our site canteen also obtains its produce from local food suppliers.
  • Nature boards are displayed on our hoarding for the public to see if they can spot any local wildlife.
  • As the site is situated next to a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) we have installed a wheel wash that filters all the construction dirt to sump pits. The drainage was installed early so that rainwater is stored in a harvest tank.
  • Our Improvement Opportunity (IO) system also allows for suggestions to be made to improving any aspect of Osborne, including safety.
  • We have a Bluetooth-linked fire alarm system and first aid alert buttons. Hampshire Fire Brigade also carried out a simulated crane rescue on the site. We hold contact numbers for all the supply chain supervisors and walkie talkies are issued to all those involved in lifting operations.
  • Osborne’s Health and Wellbeing roadshow is visiting the sites to promote a healthy work/life balance.
  • Osborne has a dedicated Employment and Skills Manager who oversees and assists with local employment and community engagement.

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