© Morgan Sindall

Orion Academy

Oxford UK
Morgan Sindall
Our services
Structural Engineering Design and Delivery

Orion Academy near Oxford consists of a single storey building of approximately 2,500m², with a double storey Hall of approximately 210m². The structure is primarily masonry cavity walls, supporting a lightweight wooden cassette roof, with a steel frame double storey hall, providing space for indoor sports and assembly. The large site allowed for construction of the new building to be completed before the demolition of the existing school.



The building is supported on strip footings extending approximately 1 m below the current ground level to a firm sand layer beneath. These foundations were poured as mass concrete and follow the layout of the load bearing walls. A 250 mm thick reinforced concrete slab spans between these footings. For large spans, cost analysis was undertaken to determine whether adding an additional footing or increasing the slab reinforcement would be more cost effective for the client.

The masonry walls were analysed to determine which would withstand the wind loads and which require stiffening through the addition of steel windposts, where either the length or height of the wall was too great to safely transfer the wind load. To optimise the design, non-loadbearing walls contribute to the lateral stability of the structure. Detailed windpost fixing designs were provided, to ensure loads were transferred as expected.