HardieBacker®: Inner strength at University Arms

The University Arms Hotel in Cambridge will reopen its doors this summer, having undergone an incredible transformation since its days as the city’s first guest establishment.

The Regency-style hotel has been closed for two years for a complete refurbishment, losing staid 1960s extensions in favour of 190 luxury bedrooms, a destination restaurant and a stunning new-classical facade.

With renowned British architect John Simpson at the helm of the hotel’s evolution, the scheme had to be the very essence of quality and strength. Specialist contractors Warwick Group were appointed by RG Carter to deliver the internals package, completing all the dry lining, bathroom partitions and floors.

For Warwick’s commercial manager Jaz Jandu, that meant turning to HardieBacker® tile backer board and its unique formulation to guarantee a flawless finish.

“We’ve used HardieBacker a lot on our other projects so we’re completely happy to be using it again” he said.

“There are cheaper boards on the market but this is a highly prestigious job on an iconic building. The client had specified HardieBacker cement board to be used as they wanted quality assurance and that definitely suited us.

“It’s more rigid than the traditional plasterboard and it offers that truer line in a job where it’s essential that you’re getting plumb lines – because there’s a lot of issues to consider, like ensuring timber studs aren’t warped which could cause cracks. Ultimately a wall is only as good as the backer you’re using.”

The University Arms Hotel is on track for completion in August and set for a rapturous reception. For the Warwick Group, their guarantee of quality assurance means insisting on HardieBacker backer board now and for future projects.

At a glance
- One of Cambridge’s most iconic buildings
- Complete refurbishment with 190 new bathrooms