Project: Morgan Sindall’s art installation
A canopy marks the entrance to the courtyard
Rob Easton describes a sustainable student accommodation build by Morgan Sindall Construction.
Morgan Sindall Construction was appointed by Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) to deliver a new £24m, 300-bed student accommodation scheme as part of continued investment into the university’s main campus.
I’m extremely proud to be a key member of the project team on this exciting next phase of the university’s redevelopment, which is central to AUB’s future aspirations to grow its reputation as a leading arts university.
This project has been unusual for a student accommodation project given that there has been a major focus on sustainability and design throughout.
The project was procured through the Southern Construction Framework (SCF) and this has been a positive environment for a high level of collaboration and teamwork in order to ensure the flow of information is released in a steady and holistic way.
This has meant that we’ve been able to deliver within the timeline of all of the stakeholders. Through early engagement of specialist experience and skills, the framework really helped to streamline the procurement process at the front end of the project and improve the efficiency and value for money that our team has delivered.
Above: A reception room in the new accommodation. Below: Studio bedroom in the 300-bed accommodation
One of the most interesting but challenging aspects has been the level of value engineering delivered in order to maintain as many of the original design concepts while ensuring the budgetary requirements were met.
It’s been a truly innovative and collaborative process with AUB and our project partners to deliver a unique building which reflects the university’s core ethos. It’s demanded an incredible effort from the whole team, from AUB to the design team and across our supply chain – it’s extracted the best of our collective abilities.
The project is on track to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating demonstrates the university’s ongoing commitment to creating forward-thinking, sustainable buildings. Rather than one high-rise standardised block, the accommodation is formed of three buildings spread across 11 blocks. Each will range from three to four storeys and will feature eight bed clusters with communal kitchens and dining areas, around a landscaped courtyard.
“It’s demanded an incredible effort from the whole team – it’s extracted the best of our collective abilities.”
Rob Easton, Morgan Sindall Construction
The buildings will be clad in specialist basket-weave brickwork, with features like corner windows carefully designed to help to integrate the buildings into both the campus and surrounding residential environment.
Sustainability has been at the forefront of the landscape design too, which is why we’re also delivering upgraded pedestrian and cycle routes to connect the site with the nearby bus hub and the other areas.
Our appointment to this scheme marks the continuation of a nine-year relationship with AUB, during which Morgan Sindall Construction has delivered several of the remarkable buildings which make up the campus including the RIBA Award-winning Drawing Studio – the first dedicated drawing studio built in the UK for over a century – and the Photography Building, which forms a gateway to the campus.
The buildings stand testament to the long-standing, highly collaborative partnership Morgan Sindall Construction has developed with the university over the last decade. We’re incredibly proud of each project completed so far and I’m looking forward to continuing work to create a stunning new home for AUB’s students that will complement and enhance the existing campus.
Rob Easton is project manager at Morgan Sindall Construction