Piazza Learning Centre

Client: Interserve Construction

Value: £1.4m
Location: York
Contract Period: Commenced November 2016
Contract Type: NEC3 Subcontract Option A


In September 2016 Howard Civil Engineering returned to the University of York, this time to support Interserve in their £17m contract to design and build a three-storey development at Campus East. It was our fifth visit to the campus having previously worked with BAM, VINCI Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine on the site.
The Piazza Learning Centre houses teaching facilities and learning spaces as part of a £27m scheme on the campus. The project, Interserve’s second with the University of York, features 36 flexible learning spaces - including two laboratories-, a 350-seat auditorium, a 100-seat lecture theatre and a 300-seat restaurant, as well as staff areas and offices spread across 6,800m².
The building is used by the University’s International Pathway College (IPC), as well as providing additional teaching space for Campus East. The International Pathway College, a joint venture between the University of York and Kaplan, provides academic preparation programmes for international students prior to them progressing to their undergraduate and postgraduate studies within the University.

Scope of works

  • Pad foundations 1,000m³
  • Floor slabs 2,400m²
  • Upper Floors 1,151m²
  • Drainage 450m 150 & 225mm dia up to 3m deep
  • External services 3,000m
  • External works including 1,100m² granite paving and kerbs

Early contractor involvement

The area around York is well known for its high water table, and unstable clayey and sandy ground conditions. Conditions can change dramatically across adjacent sites and can vary consdierably from the site investigation depending under what conditions it was undertaken. We knew we had key dates to hit for steel erection and undertook a series of trial pits across the site in order to assess the current ground conditions and procure system dewatering plant in advance of the work. Unusually, the conditions proved favourable and we were able to offer the client a saving on the risk of dewatering.

After commencing work on site, we also worked at resequencing our works to further suit Interserve's preferred phasing.

More from the Piazza Learning Centre

Trust us to deliver your project on time and on budget