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Stepnell to build student digs on 2.5m-wide site

6 November 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Contractor Stepnell is to build a total of 76 student accommodation studios on one of the most complex jobs in its history – an canal-side site that is 11m wide at its widest point and 2.5m wide at its narrowest.

The site is so narrow in places that any workers who fall in the water will have to be rescued by kayak.

The build on Boulevard Wharf requires careful day-to-day management because of the restricted area of the site.

Shaun Moses, site manager for Stepnell, said: “It is certainly one of the more unusual sites we’ve worked on. Along with the obvious issues that come with building so close to the canal edge brings, the overall site is just 11 metres wide, meaning that day-to-day operations must be very carefully managed.

“With incredibly tight boundaries and the buildings themselves designed to fill the entirety of its footprint, the site is a real challenge, but the team has worked closely with the developers from an early stage to create a solution that is workable and allows the whole operation to run smoothly.”

The studios will be spread across three buildings providing views over the canal and towards the city of Nottingham. Designed by MAS Architecture, the scheme will also feature high-spec communal areas, including an on-site gym and movie room.

Tom Sewell, East Midlands’ regional director at Stepnell, said: “The story of this site is really one of collaboration. Our team worked extensively with the client through the design development process in order to design and manage a project that met a high standard in terms of appearance and finishes – all while working to the budget and the challenges the site provides.”

Muthar Al-Salloum, managing director of MAS Architecture, said: “This is a prestigious development that we are really pleased to deliver. Boulevard Wharf will provide much-needed contemporary student accommodation within Nottingham city centre and the scheme is one of only a few self-contained student accommodation developments in the city - providing all the necessary facilities onsite - thus creating a homely and luxurious environment for students to thrive in.”

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