Threats and challenges for uni estates

Sweett Group bolsters its higher education team as AUDE survey reveals concerns over quality of university estates’ building stock

Following a recent survey undertaken at the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) conference, more than half believe that the quality of existing building stock is the biggest challenge facing their sector over the next three years. The majority of University estates have particular fears over not being able to meet set carbon and energy targets. Over a third believe growth and expansion opportunities will be a major issue due to current funding constraints.

The survey also revealed that general teaching facilities remain the priority area for capital investment in order to sustain competitive advantage in a challenging environment.

The higher education sector remains a key focus for Sweett Group with the Company currently working on over 50 live University projects including for three of the top 10 internationally rated Universities, providing a host of services including cost management and project management, building surveying advisory and specialist services.

Over the last six months, the company has further strengthened its higher education consultancy team with a number of key appointments. Matt Soules joins as a senior project manager; Philip Woods has been appointed associate director and Sean Timperley appointed as a cost consultant.

Peter Taylor, head of Sweett Group’s Higher & Further Education sector, commented: “We are delighted to have individuals of this calibre joining the group. Our recent survey shows that quality and experience are the most important factors for heads of estates, when choosing consultants. Sweett Group has a strong track record in this sector, having worked with 75% of the UK’s leading universities. We strongly believe these appointments will further bolster our offer in this sector.”

Matt Soules has over 10 years’ experience as a project manager delivering Grade 1 and Grade II listed buildings, teaching and research facilities and laboratory projects for the University College London.

Philip Woods joins with over 20 years’ experience with expertise on both new build and refurbishment projects. Philip was the lead surveyor on several projects for University College London including the refurbishment of existing Undergraduate Physics laboratories.

Sean Timperley brings seven years of experience as a cost consultant and most recently delivered a two-phase project for the redevelopment of the Manchester Business School. Sean is currently involved with the delivery of the MEDC scheme for the University of Manchester.

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