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Northampton Waterside Campus, Northampton

How do you turn a brownfield site into a university campus?

We worked closely with Bowmer & Kirkland Limited to deliver an exciting campus for the University of Northampton. The new Waterside Campus is scheduled to open in September 2018 and will be home to 14,000 students, with 1,000 students living in a new accommodation village.

Built on a 58-acre brownfield site, the area was formally the home of a large coal fired power station. The area has been transformed with the demolition of the old power station and the moving of high voltage infrastructure.  Within the site, we have been involved in the design of five new academic buildings, restoring an existing listed building and all the public realm works across the entire campus.

We carried out a detailed structural analysis of the steel and concrete frames across all the academic buildings to optimise the structural design and reduce loads on the structure. This resulted in a significant saving of over 380 precast concrete and CFA piles across the entire campus.

Project Summary

30% reduction in piling


40,000 sqmteaching space

Accelerated planning

In order to assist the contractor, we accelerated the structural design for the foundations before the other disciplines had fully developed their design. A strategy was developed in order to allow the piles to be installed and foundations constructed earlier. We also ensured that the superstructure information was issued early. Construction drawings were produced in the absence of fully finalised architectural layouts as the frames were on the critical path for all the buildings. We looked in detail at all the various junctions and interfaces and using sketches were able to resolve issues associated with coordination of architecture, services and constructability.

Northampton Waterside Campus Northampton Waterside Campus
Aerial view of the waterside site during the construction phase. Image: The University of Northampton

Arup was our consultant of choice for the Waterside Development based on our excellent working relationship on previous similar schemes. We have found their thorough but proactive approach to be extremely valuable on large, complex projects such as this ” Stephen Chambers Regional Director, Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

Sustainable initiatives

The public realm works across the entire campus were essential to create a distinctive and inspiring place to live and work. We remediated the entire site, introducing new car parking, transport networks, and landscaping. In addition, we incorporated a range of sustainable initiatives such as the reuse of clean site excavated material for embankment features, swales and other sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to control water flows.