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External facade of building

VITA Student Accommodation, Birmingham

With the new academic year approaching and as Birmingham is an attractive destination for students, Vita have added to their impressive student accommodation portfolio with the completion of a new Student Accommodation Building in the city.

Key Stats

Recommended 10/10

BREEAM – Very Good

Achieved Perfect Delivery

360 self-contained studios

At a Glance

Client

VITA

Budget

£25.3 million

Timing

80 Weeks

Location

Birmingham

Year

August 2019

Sector

Student Accommodation

Introduction

Built upon the former BBC Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham, the scheme constructed by Morgan Sindall Construction and designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects comprises of 357 self-contained studios (plus 1 show unit) across three blocks. These have been constructed on a newly formed plateau partly installed under EA flood alleviation works. In addition, the building provides a ground floor hub space which offers private dining facilities, study rooms for individual or joint use, a gaming lounge and lounge seating areas, a movie room, gymnasium and a free self-service grab and go breakfast bar.

The welcome area at the VITA Nottingham building with concrete finishes, wooden floor and exposed pipework
Inside the new VITA Birmingham Student Accommodation

Our Approach

Originally, our customer required the team to deliver 357 rooms across the complex. However, through careful design management, 3D modelling and communication, the team were able to relocate the plant room onto the ground floor and then develop the vacant space to create three extra bedrooms for VITA to let out. This design change was curated to improve the potential income for the client. The team not only improved potential income for the client, but also made significant savings for the client using value engineering. Over £600k worth of savings were made through careful redesign and reorganisation of the project. This included a drainage redesign which changed the system from 18 downpipes to just two better performing downpipes. The team also changed to a natural ventilation system, redesigned the fire strategy around the back of the pods and rationalised the performance specifications of the walls.

The site location itself presented its challenges as it was located on a flood plain and by nature it became challenging to get a normal investigation rig on. ​ Collaborating with our client and our skilled subcontractors we were able to source a mini rig on site and produce reports which allowed us to reduce the risk allocations. By completing the surveys, the team were able to identify the need for raising the ground level by 2m to protect against future floods.

Supporting Local Charities

The team have made several significant donations to local charitable and community organisations. The site team also took place in a company initiative with regards to the collection of Christmas trees over weekends with donations made to national charities.

Providing first-class environments for students to live, work and play is integral to attracting the best and brightest young minds.

Universities play a key role in driving the Midlands Engine and we’re proud to be delivering a number of telling contributions to support them in the region; both in world-leading teaching facilities for the universities, and for pioneers in the student-resi market, like Select Property Group.

We’re incredibly pleased to reach this milestone and look forward to seeing the first residents arrive next year.

Richard Fielding, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction in the Midlands

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