Caton Court Student Accommodation, Lancaster
Caton Court student accommodation comprises 444 beds in four separate buildings, arranged around a series of linked external courtyard spaces, which work with the challenging topography to create an inviting and secure environment for residents.
The site had been derelict for a number of years and the scheme intended to make a positive contribution to the regeneration of the area. The brownfield site offers 237 en-suite, 12 shared, 10 duplex 105 studio and 80 townhouse properties across this iconic development. Block A is primarily premium accommodation.
In addition to the living accommodation, the development offers many communal facilities including ‘The Library’, a multi-functional communal lounge space and ‘The Loft’, a communal lounge situated in the top floor of The Entrance Block, where residents can enjoy impressive views of Lancaster and Lancashire countryside and coastline. Other facilities include a gym and cinema and the ‘Steps area’, which will act as a meeting place and ad-hoc arena where major events can be screened.
The scheme includes a number of external landscaped spaces, including a courtyard and seating areas, which all meet “Secured by Design” standards.
531 Work opportunity weeks 56 Apprentice weeks 39% Local workforce
This development was located adjacent to an existing busy highway and required the existing retaining walls to be removed and replaced, which involved comprehensive planning and road closures. The scheme also required a sewer diversion into the main highway, so careful planning was carried out to ensure minimum disruption to residents and road users.
The brownfield site was formally the location of a shoe factory in the 1980’s and has been untouched in 30 years. The ground conditions were poor, with contaminated earth including asbestos, and many existing underground structures.
EWC employed a specialist environmental consultant to provide advice and a strict strategy for the removal of contaminants and the removal/reuse of existing fill and structures.
Japanese knotweed was located on the site, requiring a significant removal plan, digging down over four metres to ensure thorough elimination.
The site also had very challenging topography, sloping steeply down towards the river, with roughly a 6-7 metres level change.
A number of different construction methods were undertaken, including an RC frame, steel frame and traditional load bearing masonry requiring complex planning and methodology.
Added value was introduced through the tender process, by suggesting alternative construction methods to meet the cost expectations for the client’s crane, resulting in a saving on cost. For example through changing one of the blocks to a steel frame, we negated the need for a tower
Through our experience on similar student accommodation developments, we were able to work with the client and their design team to offer robust cost advice and suggest alternative products and materials to improve quality and durability.