Building fabric

The maintenance of the fabric of buildings in the University’s functional estate – ranging from listed buildings to laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities – is managed by the Conservation & Buildings team.  

Its remit is governed by the Estates Standing Orders which allocates responsibility for building fabric work between Estates Services and occupying departments.  For instance, Estates Services is responsible for external decorations, but internal decorations are a departmental responsibility.

The team’s work falls into the following categories:

Planned Maintenance

The annual condition survey, conducted by the team’s building maintenance inspectors, identifies a programme of planned maintenance and repair work. Typically this comprises between 20 and 30 projects, costing around £3m per annum, ranging from window and roof replacements and repairs to stonework, to the refurbishment of toilet facilities.

The team is also responsible for maintaining and conserving the University’s 67 listed buildings and features, which represent 20% of the total estate. These include, as well as well-known Oxford landmarks such as the SheldonianTheatre, the wall along the front of the former Radcliffe Infirmary (now the Radcliffe Humanities building) and the Triton fountain, the cobbles in Radcliffe Square and the Rainbow Bridge in University Parks.

Also within the University’s estate are three listed parks and gardens: the Botanic Garden, the Park at Nuneham Courtney, including Harcourt Arboretum, and the University Parks themselves.

Click here for more information about its conservation work.

Routine and reactive maintenance

As well as glazing, roof and wall repairs, reactive works can include repairs resulting from water ingress, pest control, asbestos  monitoring, fixed carpet replacement, external decorations and work needed to comply with Health & Safety regulations.

Building and refurbishment projects

The team manages a wide range of building and refurbishments projects up to the value of £100k.  Projects include laboratory fit-outs, generator installations, adjustments to enable disabled access, and major works to existing buildings such as the installation of new windows.  Where work is required to listed buildings – such as the new ticket office and tea room at Harcourt Arboretum – this requires a listed building application, which the team has exclusive responsibility for handling on behalf of departments.