A consortium comprising leading energy and services specialist ENGIE, and prominent UK infrastructure investor and developer, Equitix, has secured a contract with the University of Birmingham to transform Pritchatts Park student accommodation village into a state-of-the-art low carbon campus.
The project involves the creation of 496 new highly energy efficient student homes and an accompanying 482-space modular construction multi-storey car park. In addition, 734 existing rooms will benefit from an extensive refurbishment, bringing them up to modern standards.
ENGIE will also undertake 50-year facilities management and lifecycle works contracts, providing ongoing repairs, security and cleaning services to support the day-to-day lives of the student residents.
The new accommodation will be constructed in the form of townhouses to complement existing buildings in the surrounding area. A key element in the design of the new facilities is energy efficiency. The overall scheme will be powered and heated entirely through electricity – with the refurbished building heated by air source heat pumps – which the consortium has pledged will be from 100% renewable sources. The new multi-storey car park will also feature 24 EV charge points, with infrastructure in place for a further 72 in the future.
The project sees ENGIE continue its partnership with Equitix, who will be the lead equity partner in the project, following the success of similar developments for the University of Leicester and Kingston University. ENGIE and the University of Birmingham will also take equity stakes in Pritchatts Park.
Jake Fellows, Divisional Development Director for ENGIE UK & Ireland, said: “This is an exciting project for ENGIE, as it gives us the opportunity to showcase our wide-ranging placemaking capabilities across energy, services and regeneration, as well as demonstrating our long-term commitment through the investment model. It’s also great that we can continue our strong partnership with Equitix, which is already having such a positive impact in Leicester and Kingston.
“The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s most highly-ranked institutions, so we’re delighted to have been chosen to create market-leading accommodation that is highly sustainable and equipped to meet the university’s ever-growing demand for places, as well as providing the best experience possible for the students who decide to call it home.”
Ben Leech, Director for Equitix, said “We are delighted to be working with our long-standing partner ENGIE and the University of Birmingham to deliver this exciting project which will enhance the university experience for students in Birmingham.
“Equitix is committed to the sustainability and stewardship of its assets in the student accommodation sector. We look forward to developing this fantastic scheme, constructing a sustainable development that connects with and respects the city environment, and which has a positive impact on the community.”
Simon Bray, Director of Campus Services at the University of Birmingham said: “The University’s overriding objective is to enhance its attractiveness to students, and positively impact recruitment and retention, through providing high-quality housing that meets their needs and expectations, now and in the future. The plans to expand Pritchatts Park will play a key role in providing the infrastructure to help deliver this vision. We are delighted to be working with ENGIE and Equitix.”
Building work is set to begin in the summer, with completion expected in August 2023.