GB and Buile Developments Ltd have worked together from the earliest stage in the development process to deliver a futuristic £10.4m student accommodation scheme, close to the city’s main university campus, which aims to enhance and improve the quality and performance of the finished product at an affordable cost. The project team also includes Manchester-based JM Architects and structural engineers Patrick Parsons.
GB Building Solutions’ contract includes the demolition of a number of 1960’s style warehouse buildings and erection of a four-storey northern block and adjoining five-storey southern block, comprising 259 studio apartment-style rooms, with associated landscaping and access roads, and designated cycle spaces. Work is due for completion July 2015.
Buile Developments director Andrew Whatson said: ‘Early engagement with the team at GB meant our design team could work together to ensure best value was achieved prior to submitting our planning application. They have delivered on their pre-planning cost advice and we are confident the build process will also meet our high expectations; a significant achievement and one that leads me to recommend that all developers consider the early engagement of contractors.’
On this scheme, GB Building Solutions’ use of piled foundations and a lightweight steel frame offers significant benefits in terms of construction time scale and cost, as well as environmental performance.
GB Group’s student accommodation sector specialist, Dan Spencer, explained: ‘Buile’s scheme is a perfect example of how our ‘should cost’ approach works in practice. Early engagement means we can make sure the scheme is delivered using our system build solution in close collaboration with developers’ design teams and our supply chain to deliver enhanced and affordable projects.’
The new Selly Oak accommodation will provide 259 studios aimed particularly at postgraduate students who prefer a greater level of independence. Each studio will have its own en-suite facility and a small bespoke kitchenette housing a refrigerator, microwave and cooking facilities. A total of five disabled rooms will be provided. Additional accommodation will include a management suite, plant rooms and refuse stores. There will be 60 cycle parking spaces provided in the secure landscaped gardens, which will also feature communal courtyards.