Matthew Neville

Student accommodation operator announces £65m sustainability upgrades across three Manchester properties

As part of Bdaily’s coverage of Green Energy Week, we look to Unite Students, the UK’s largest student accommodation operator, who has announced a range of £64.58m sustainability-oriented upgrades across three of its Manchester properties: Parkway Gate, Kincardine Court and New Medlock House.

Work on all three is due to be completed by September, the start of the 2022/ 23 academic year. The projects, which are already underway, will see the creation of over 100 new beds in total, as well as fire safety enhancements, in line with the latest Government regulations, and enhancements to enable more sustainable day-to-day operations.

Parkway Gate is undergoing a £38m refurbishment. There will be significant alteration to the outer shell of the building for fire safety improvements as well as a full internal re-work, creating a new common space with a gym, cinema room and study areas.

14 new beds will be added as part of the work, bringing the total to 754. New air source heat pumps and windows will also be installed throughout the property, improving environmental performance.

Work at Kincardine Court includes a £12.1m 92-bed new build extension, as well as a £3.28m refurbishment of the existing property to enhance its EPC rating. New features will reduce water wastage and boost energy efficiency, including a smart energy management system. In trials, water use at the property has been reduced by 50 per cent.

New Medlock House is undergoing a £11.2m refurbishment to enhance its EPC rating. Much of the focus here will be on environmental enhancements, with the installation of air source heat pumps and improvements to the solar panel system, amongst other measures.

Tom Brewerton, group development director at Unite Students, said: “These projects represent a significant investment for Unite Students. The enhancements reflect our current priorities: the day-to-day happiness of our residents, strong partnerships with leading universities, and the well-being and safety of all those who live and work in our buildings.

“The business recently launched its refreshed sustainability strategy and pathway to net zero by 2030. Upgrades like these in Manchester form a central part of the journey. We are determined to operate in the most sustainable and resource-efficient way we can.

“Work continues at pace, and we look forward to welcoming students back to the new and improved properties at the start of the next academic year.”

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