Engineering Services for Buildings


Hughes Hall, Cambridge


Hughes Hall, founded in 1885 as a pioneering training centre for women teachers and Cambridge’s oldest graduate College is behind the new student accommodation block overlooking the university cricket ground; Fenner’s Cricket Club where first class cricket has been played since 1848. The new building includes a glazed study area overlooking Fenner’s Lawn and an extensive garden, reflecting the garden space on the main college site opposite, creating a valuable contribution to the college and an attractive addition to the architecture of Gresham Road and Fenner’s Lawn. As the new accommodation block replaced the cricket clubs changing rooms, a new changing block was also provided for the cricket club as part of the works.

Services to the 85 ensuite bedrooms include heating utilising a small CHP plant as the lead boiler, followed by two domestic wall hung boilers and 9000 litres of thermal storage. This large hot water storage will maintain the heating and hot water for the complete building with only 220Kw of gas load. The podded shower rooms have two central extract systems, providing run and boost, working in conjunction with the occupancy, ramping up and down on duty as necessary to keep the most economical working solution for the Client. Further mechanical services included a central smoke extract system, rainwater installation, domestic water, drainage and sanitaryware.

The electrical installation consisted of LED lighting, small power, fire alarm, data, access control and a photovoltaic array mounted on the roof. Close control of the power to the domestic cooking facilities was also provided with timeclock and extract ventilation interfaces in each of the 10 kitchen arrangements. The external light fittings were carefully selected to reflect their use and to integrate with the surrounding area, which also included a path around Fenner’s Lawn to link to Hughes College.

The key challenges were the tight ceiling void spaces and the 36 M&E risers throughout the building which necessitated close liaison and coordination with the professional team and other trades.




Mechanical and Electrical Contractor


Hughes College

Main Contractor:

Barnes Construction

M & E Consultant:





£1.8 million

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