One of the largest and most eco-friendly student accommodation projects in the UK, at the University of Hertfordshire, is due to be completed in time for the start of the new academic year in September 2016.
The £120 million project will provide 2,500 new bed spaces and 500 refurbished bed spaces on campus, enabling all first year students to be housed on the university estate, as well as some second and third year students.
The scheme, which has been delivered in three phases, includes the construction of a range of three to six-storey timber frame accommodation blocks with views across campus, new sports pitches, gym, informal learning and social spaces and a dedicated bus interchange.
Turner & Townsend initially developed the feasibility study with the University and then led the technical workstream for the procurement of the Public Private Partnership. During the final stage of the project the global consultancy is acting as Independent Certifier, supporting the University of Hertfordshire to deliver the project and interface with the Project Sponsors’ joint venture client, Uliving@Hertfordshireplc. The investors behind the project include Meridiam, Bouygues, Derwent Housing Association, Legal & General and the University of Hertfordshire.
Gareth Morgan, Director for Turner & Townsend, said: “This has been a long but exciting journey from the initial aspirations of the University’s “Vision” in 2010 to being on the cusp of handing over the final phase. The uncompromising nature of student accommodation projects demands completion for the start of the academic year otherwise the market is gone. We are delighted that the first two phases have successfully seen the occupation by students for the start of term and the final phase is on programme to replicate this success.”
The project is BREEAM Outstanding and is working towards achieving True Zero Carbon accreditation, the first of its kind in the UK, thanks to a new biomass fuelled energy centre. The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system at the heart of the development will provide energy for a significant portion of the campus and has been designed to meet BREEAM Outstanding requirements under the 2011 regulations.
Andrew May, Director of Estates & Hospitality for the University of Hertfordshire, added: “We’re very proud of our fantastic new facility and our BREEAM Outstanding achievement and are looking forward to being accredited as a True Zero carbon project. Our estates strategy is a key part of the University corporate strategy and is in response to the macro changes in higher education, delivering real benefits to our students and staff and materially enhancing our campus experience. This is why we are investing in both our academic estate and our residential estate.”