A £65 million project to create brand new student accommodation for the University of Essex is currently underway.
The development – which adjoins Boundary Road – has been designed to create 648 new student units and accommodate 766 existing units which are being transferred onto the site. Planning permission for the development was awarded in February 2012 and once work is complete on all 1,414 units, Uliving – a consortium between Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator Derwent Living – will manage the site for the next 50 years.
The first development on the project is The Meadows, a £22 million complex comprising 12-bed town houses that can accommodate 228 students and 420 additional en-suite study bedrooms. The Meadows also includes ‘The Hub’, a specially designed pavilion that will provide a common room, a retail facility and a launderette.
Work began on the site in mid 2012. Bouygues UK is the design and build contractor on the project, whilst Lewis & Hickey Architects is providing all architectural services on the site. Bouyges Development, Derwent Living and Equitix are providing equity for the scheme, whilst Aviva Commercial Finance is the site’s senior lender.
Working on the project, R & M Steel Fabrications has been involved with the site’s structural steel work and is currently involved with architectural steel work on the project, including balustrades, gates and joinings.
Meanwhile, Milbank Concrete Products were responsible for supplying precast concrete flooring throughout the ground floor of this important project. The bespoke flooring had an expanded polystyrene insulation applied to the underside of the hollow core slabs to provide excellent thermal properties to the development.
Derwent Living Chief Executive, Peter McCormack, said:
“This significant milestone in the ongoing development of student accommodation at the University of Essex is the start of a very exciting journey for Derwent Living. The investment we have made is a key part of our strategy to grow our profit through our commercial ventures, in order to subsidise social activity in the absence of government funding.
“We have extensive experience of managing student accommodation. By working with the Uliving consortium, and alongside our facilities management subsidiary Derwent FM, we are moving significantly closer towards our goal of working entirely without public funding as a commercial organisation.”
Uliving Managing Director, Stephane Slama-Royer, added:
“We are very pleased to be a part of this exciting journey to transform the student accommodation at the University of Essex. The development is set to enhance the University experience for students by providing exceptional modern living space in a well designed complex with first rate facilities and service levels.”
As the first development on the site, The Meadows will provide small businesses and blue chip companies with close links to the University’s academic community.
Director of University of Essex Campus Services, Peter Church, said:
“Demand for good quality campus residences remains high and The Meadows will add to student choice, with the town houses ideal for groups who wish to share accommodation. The combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience and Derwent Living’s track record of managing accommodation will ensure The Meadows meets the needs of our students.”
Work on The Meadows is currently on schedule and is set to open in autumn 2013.
Lewis & Hickey Architects
Established in 1894, Lewis & Hickey Architects is an award-winning architecturally led practice, comprising architects, designers, brand consultants, 3D visualisers and cost and safety managers. The practice employs over 220 passionate members of staff and has a fantastic reputation for tackling a range of projects.
With many high profile clients, including Marks & Spencer, Barclays Bank, Selfridges, Edinburgh University and the BBC, no job is too large, or even too small for Lewis & Hickey Architects. To accommodate such a diverse client base, Lewis & Hickey Architects has offices in a number of UK locations, including London, Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Guildford, as well as overseas in Prague and Mumbai.
Lewis & Hickey Architects prides itself on its lasting relationships with its clients and works towards helping each client realise their goals.
Adam Michael Scaffolding
Adam Michael Scaffolding is a scaffolding specialist predominantly providing services for high-profile housing projects. The company has over 35 years experience and in this time has built a great working relationships with a number of local councils, including Islington, Suffolk, Dartford and Lewisham Council.
Adam Michael Scaffolding has recently provided services for Walthamstow Council on a £120,000 contract and also completed work on seven blocks of flats for Islington Council. Working on The Meadows, Adam Michael Scaffolding is providing scaffolding for use on the timber frame.
Mick Trew, Adam Michael Scaffolding, said:
“We were recommended for The Meadows project and it is great to be involved with this site. The work is very important to us as it expands our portfolio and we are proud to be associated with Bouygues UK.”
“At Adam Michael Scaffolding we are proud of the service that we provide and we never sign off any work until we are completely satisfied.
“We have worked with the same team for years and we trust each and every member to complete the job to our very high standards.”