U3AC (University of the Third Age)

Case study

Charity Office Refurbishment Case Study

The University of the Third Age (U3AC) is a charity focused on educating senior, often retired members of society – those in the third ‘age’ of life. Its members enjoy learning for learning’s sake, and courses follow the traditional academic cycle beginning in October.

The ​​Problem

The client had two challenges: the office space needed expanding, and their lease was coming to an end. 

Having looked at other premises in Cambridge, they decided to stay where they were and take the upstairs space. Decoratively the building was also looking a little tired, so needed to be refreshed.

The Solution

The upstairs office space, previously owned by other tenants, was converted into a second floor for U3CA. They began the process before Covid hit, but were keen to press on and continue regardless; that meant being extremely flexible, and thankfully the client made everything significantly easier. 


We added in an additional two meeting rooms, and ensured that all of them had openable windows for increased ventilation and air conditioning. The need for a more spacious area also became apparent, so we factored in the need for social distancing throughout the planning and delivery stages.


The U3AC members were very impressed. The client received a lot of favourable feedback about how the changes had positively affected the overall atmosphere of the space, giving it a much cleaner, more modern look. 


Chairman Tim Ewbank focused his feedback on our level of communication and understanding: 


“​​​​Optrys had the best understanding of our requirements. They sold themselves on the willingness to find out what we really wanted to achieve and were creative with how they delivered it. Whilst they weren’t the cheapest, the relationship they established with the staff gave us the sense that they would be good, empathetic people to work with. We were not disappointed. In fact, seeing it for real, I was very pleased with the outcome.”

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