The 52-week project, which began in September 2010, comprised the development of almost eighty student bedrooms within comfortable 2 and 4 bedroom flats. 150m² of retail/leisure space was also developed, creating a cafe bar and a shop on the ground floor of the seven-storey new build.
Main contractor for the project was Winvic Build Ltd., whilst Harborough London Ltd. was the project manager, Regent Park the QS/ EA, Boden Associated Ltd. the architects and Farrow Walsh Consulting Ltd were the civil and structural surveyor on the project.
The build was constructed on a very restricted city centre site, with public access on three sides. The site was previously occupied by an old factory, which had to be demolished before the new build could take place. The project employed a two stage procurement scheme, which ensured that the construction period was not jeopardised and it was completed on time for the students to let the rooms.
The main structure was constructed using hot rolled steelwork with rendering and brickwork to the elevations and concrete piled foundations including cantilevered caps to overcome the adjoining building’s foundations. The development was designed around clusters of 2 and 4 bedrooms to allow conversion to an apartment scheme should the market change at a future date. As the development will house students, several security measures have been put in place, such as detection & alarm systems, door entry systems, and both temporary and permanent fencing. There are also several facilities available, such as bike storage and an on-site laundry. Internally, 24 separate gas boilers have reduced the overall running costs, creating flexibility for the client – Knightsone Properties Ltd. – to change the scheme into apartments in future.
Caroline Simpson- Watkinson, the project manager for Harborough London Ltd., noted that the development has several interesting design features, pointing to the innovative front to the development, which is formed from a teal metal solution and protrudes from the building. Multicoloured metal panels were also installed, which has made the building both interesting architecturally and pleasing to the eye.
The development, which was funded by Bank of Cyprus Ltd, should prove to be a popular source of accommodation from neighbouring universities Leicester and De Montfort; indeed it is only a 10-15 minute walk from De Montfort University. It is also situated next to the £300m High Cross shopping complex.
As the project narrowly missed out on the deadline for ProCon Leicestershire Awards 2011, it will be entered next year.
Primary Property Horizons specialise in delivering 21st century facilities and support services for the healthcare sector. They are a developer, project manager and consultant – designing and building new buildings and refurbishing, extending and modernising existing premises. Primary Property Horizons work in partnership with General Practitioners (GPs), Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), Local Authorities (LAs), Local Improvement Finance Trust Companies (LIFTCos), Pharmacists , Care Home operators and other healthcare professionals to provide local communities across the United Kingdom with individually tailored, modern and accessible health and social care facilities.
For more information on Primary Property Horizons, visit http://www.primarypropertyhorizons.co.uk/