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More wood for student accommodation

The construction of student accommodation is being revolutionised by increased use of factory built frames, according to industry experts

Stewart Milne Timber Systems has experienced a 50% increase in orders from the education sector in the last five years, with speed of construction, reduced disruption, and energy efficiency all combining to drive growth.

2014 is set to see a record number of people studying at UK universities with half a million students expected to be accepted for first year places, up from 496,000 last year. With increased demand for spaces, there is an acute need for new student housing at sites across the country.

In the last five years Stewart Milne Timber Systems has helped deliver five major projects worth in excess of £6.8m providing accommodation for up to 2,600 people in locations ranging from London to Stirling. The company is currently in talks for a number of potential new projects in Hertfordshire, Leeds and Gloucestershire.

Alex Goodfellow, group managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: “The UK’s education sector is currently enjoying a period of growth and investment with improved student accommodation one of the areas to benefit.

“Timber systems offer an easy option for the university sector with offsite manufacture leaving minimal onsite disruption, while it’s also much quicker than traditional builds with completion times on average around three to four months.

“Student accommodation is an extremely important sector and there is significant demand for high quality, sustainable accommodation which can be completed cost-effectively.”

Commenting on Stewart Milne Timber System’s most recent contract with the University of Stirling in Scotland, James House, from contractor, Graham Construction, said: “The benefit of using timber frame was that we completed the project much more quickly than we would have using traditional methods, meaning less disruption on campus.

“The use of timber systems provided a significant time saving with the end result being a high quality, energy efficient building which will be cheaper to run for the University.”

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