Project Description

Foundations, floor slabs and steel frame design at Oxford Technology Park

The Oxford Technology Park is in Kidlington, adjacent to Oxford Airport and is a 21.5-acre campus for offices, Research & Development, laboratory, and production space. It is part of the City’s science and technology-based expansion. The park will eventually provide 200,000 sq ft of space for innovative businesses and is being built in phases.

As more and more units are completed, rated BREAM Excellent, businesses are moving in. Last year they completed the construction of a high-tech purpose-built research and development and manufacturing facility, which will be a vital hub for one of the world’s leading suppliers of reagents, enabling research into diagnostics and vaccines for emerging and endemic infectious diseases.

SWJ Consulting came onto the project after it had initially started. There is an accepted shortage of laboratory and innovation space in Oxford, and we were asked to look at the foundations and floor slabs for 12 units that were to be ‘Shell and Core’ builds with the client then fitting them out as they need them.
The use of steel frames was chosen for the speed of construction and its ability to form the column-free spans required for these types of structures. The developer calls them ‘hybrid buildings’ whereas we might refer to them as mixed-use, but with the rapid growth of Oxford’s life science companies. the structures are providing state-of-the-art offices and advanced R&D laboratory space, all with two internal spans up to 30m long, made possible by the steel frames.

SWJ worked closely with the steel fabricator, TSI Structures, who had already been appointed, in designing the steel frame and calculating the column loads.
We are currently completing some additional work for clients moving in making changes to allow for their bespoke requirements. Williams Advanced Engineering for Formula E and battery manufacturing. In their building, they wanted to add a simulator which involved removing existing columns and lengthening some to install the required pit.

As Oxford continues to expand, commercially and privately we are perfectly situated to provide structural engineering services. We have extensive experience with multi-use steel frame buildings, housing development, and the unique challenges of laboratories and industrial buildings. Please do give us a call if you would appreciate a second opinion or a looking to add value to a project on 01993 225085 or


Project Team

Client: Oxford Technology Park

Architect: Garrett McKee