A consortium of energy and services specialist ENGIE and UK infrastructure investor and developer Equitix has won a deal with the University of Birmingham to transform Pritchatts Park student accommodation village into an innovative low-carbon campus.
The project involves the creation of 496 new energy-efficient student homes and a 482-space modular construction multistorey car park. Another 734 existing rooms will be extensively refurbished to modern standards.
Building work is due to begin this summer, with completion expected in August 2023.
ENGIE will also undertake 50-year facilities management and life cycle works contracts for continuing repairs, security and cleaning services to support the lives of resident students.
The new accommodation will be constructed in the form of townhouses to complement existing buildings nearby. A key element in the design of the facilities will be energy efficiency. The entire scheme will be powered and heated by electricity – with the refurbished building heated by air source heat pumps – which the consortium vows will be from 100 per cent renewable sources. The multistorey car park will also feature 24 EV charge points, with infrastructure in place for a further 72.
The project sees ENGIE continue its partnership with Equitix, which will be the lead equity partner in the project, following 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 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.”
Simon Bray, director of campus services at the university commented: “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. ”