Stewart Milne Timber Systems, a leading build and manufacturing consultant, has helped deliver the latest phase of the University of Stirling’s new sustainable and energy efficient student accommodation in just 11 weeks.
Completed in early 2014, the residences consist of three-storey townhouses and flats designed to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard, the internationally recognised measure of quality in sustainable building.
The project had to be delivered in time for students returning for their second semester of the 2013/2014 academic year. Building quickly and efficiently were important factors, and the use of an open panel timber system was identified as the best option.
To overcome the significant access restrictions on site, Stewart Milne Timber Systems prepared a build programme, reviewed logistics and looked at crane locations to provide solutions for Graham Construction, the main contractor, as part of the build consultation.
Working together, the two teams planned and initiated a strict construction sequence, enabling safe access across the site for the duration of the build.
Alex Goodfellow, group managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said the two teams working closely together was crucial to the successful, quick completion of the accommodation, to the required standards.
He said: “Given the pressures involved with student accommodation projects, we knew speed of build would be a critical factor. At the same time, it was important that the student accommodation reached the exacting standards required.
“An additional aspect on this project was the significant challenges presented by restricted access to the site. That meant we had to work closely with Graham Construction from early in the schedule to mitigate its potential effects.
“We made meticulous plans, looked at crane locations and stuck to a strict construction sequence, which was important in helping us to overcome the issues associated with restricted logistics. In the end, we delivered a BREEAM Excellent development in just 11 weeks despite these challenges.”
Stewart Milne Timber Systems has worked on a number of sustainable student accommodation projects across the UK, including developments in Essex and Plymouth which attained the same rating. Its work on Bradford University’s ‘The Green’ campus was one of only 15 buildings worldwide to reach ‘Outstanding’ standard.
Alex Goodfellow added: “We’ve had a great deal of success with student accommodation projects. Timber systems are ideally suited to these developments given their requirement for speed of build and the increasing importance of energy efficiency.
“That’s seen us deliver several projects that have had to reach high targets to definite deadlines. There is no negotiation over terms times. The use of timber systems and offsite manufacture means you’re not relying on good weather and you can ensure the quality of the product.
“This was a great project to be part of and we’re pleased to add it to our portfolio of successful student accommodation projects.”