CIOB Awards 2024: Restoration

View of St John's College library, which has been recently refurbished.
St John’s College Library Refurbishment

Winner Gold Award: Jon Brock, Beard Construction

Mugshot of Jon Brock, Restoration Winner at the CIOB Awards 2024

Project: St John’s College Library Refurbishment
Scope: Refurbishment of libraries, including Grade I listing
Client: St John’s College, University of Oxford
Value: £9.45m
Form of contract: Two-stage JCT standard build contract with quantities 2016

Jon Brock, who began his career aged 17 as a carpenter and is a fellow of the Institute of Carpenters, considers this project a once-in-a-lifetime job.

It involved the refurbishment of the Old Library and the Laudian Library at St John’s College, Oxford, and the reinstatement of the Paddy Rooms beneath the Old Library, which had been lost in a 1970s conversion.

Other finalists

Kiran Giri BAM Construction, Plaza Redevelopment
Wayne Gray Messenger BCR Group, Oxburgh Hall
David Hartley BAM Construct & Ventures UK, Project Icon, Selfridges Birmingham
David Mills Sir Robert McAlpine, 80 Strand
Nick Sturge Sir Robert McAlpine, Elizabeth Tower Restoration

The Grade-I listed Old Library is supported by 28 structural columns, forming the historic Canterbury Quadrangle, which had to be removed and replaced, requiring the 400-year-old building to be supported on temporary props.

Among the technical challenges overcome by Brock, and the skilled team of trades contractors he assembled, was the replacement of 44 lengths of missing decorative carved oak tracery, which would have taken longer than the 91-week programme to carve. By using CNC machines at the limit of their capability and finishing by hand, the tracery was perfectly recreated.

Brock also devised an ingenious solution for running mechanical and electrical services below the ceiling while maintaining a fire barrier between first and second floors, by safely drilling through asbestos installed between ancient oak beams in the 1970s.

Achieving the high quality required was not a challenge, says Brock, because every one of the skilled people who worked on this project cared as much as he did about it. The project came in on time and under the tender value.

View of the newley restored Cleveland Pools in Bath
Cleveland Pools, Bath

Winner Silver Award: Mark Tregelles MCIOB, Beard Construction

Mugshot of Mark Tregelles MCIOB

Project: Cleveland Pools, Bath
Scope: Restoration of disused swimming pools and Grade II* listed buildings
Client: Cleveland Pools Trust
Form of contract: JCT Intermediate with CD 2016
Value: £6.85m

This project for Cleveland Pools Trust saw the refurbishment of Georgian swimming pools and a crescent-shaped Grade II*-listed building after 40 years out of use.

Sandwiched between two residential buildings, the main access to site was the River Avon. Some 95% of materials, plant and waste had to travel by the river, a constraint which ruled the programming of the works, construction sequencing and day-to-day activities on site.

Tregelles managed these complex logistics with constant communication and a flexible approach. The result is a lido with its historic elements restored and the modern-day benefits of warm showers, a refreshment kiosk and accessible facilities.

This category was sponsored by Selectaglaze

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