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Building Works Project

Building Project Works Prioritisation

The University of Cambridge has 500 buildings in the operational estate, 22% of which are listed buildings with some of the oldest buildings over 800 years old.

The operational estate covers some 640,000 sqm. The University has a significant capital expenditure on its Estate, the majority of which is invested in new builds, but supports annual recurrent expenditure of approximately £8M (2015/16) on a long term building maintenance works programme. These project works include refurbishment, replacement and upgrades of mechanical and electrical installations as well as building fabric. As with many organisations with such a large, diverse and ageing estate the University is not able to fund all projects identified.

The Universities drivers for the project were to:

  1. Profile the scale and risk of a substantial backlog maintenance requirement for the estate and to develop mitigating management processes
  2. Develop an evidential based list of priority projects that could be communicated in a transparent way to interested parties, including University Governing bodies and Departments subject to the impact of carrying out works or not

The University’s Estate Facilities team appointed Gardiner & Theobald to support the achievement of these objectives. Working with various stakeholders across the team, we developed a process that used a range of data inputs such as building criticality, condition surveys, occupant/business risk, sustainability data etc. We then developed a prioritisation model that used these data inputs and weighted the scoring of each to enable all potential projects to be compared on an equal basis. In addition to the project priority matrix, the model also provided a range of other bespoke reporting outputs including risk maps for different asset classes and dashboard reports identifying spend by asset classes.


University of Cambridge



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