Tobermore SuDS Solution Employed at University of Salford’s £81m Student Village

Peel Park Quarter is a new, state of the art student accommodation complex at the University of Salford. The £81 million project was managed by Graham Construction who aimed to achieve long-term sustainability for the new student village. Tobermore helped the contractor accomplish this goal with the provision of an attractive SuDS solution for the expansive landscape.

At the early stages of the project, Graham Construction had certain requirements to meet during the construction of the nine residential blocks on two separate sites at Peel Park Quarter.

Brian Smith, Regional Technical Manager at Graham Construction, explained: “Our objective was to tie the new campus together over a number of projects within the master plan, and then link the two sites to the Salford region as a whole to make a cohesive joining of the areas.”

The project, housing 1,367 students, has been referred to as one of Europe’s largest single phase student accommodation builds. In addition to the luxurious yet affordable accommodation, Peel Park Quarter offers communal social areas, two 30-seater cinemas, a gym, an energy centre, a launderette and professional meeting spaces.

Gillespies was appointed as landscape architect on the scheme and was set the task of sourcing paving products as a hard landscaping solution. Brian Smith explained that paving was chosen as the most suitable material because it complemented the products used by Salford City Council elsewhere in the area.

Tobermore’s North West sales team introduced Hydropave Fusion, a permeable paving product, as a potential solution for achieving Graham Construction’s vision for the scheme. 

Following a detailed assessment, Hydropave Fusion was specified. Brian Smith explained the decision: “We chose Tobermore’s Hydropave Fusion primarily for the aesthetics - the striking appearance of the product was similar to existing materials used on site, and so complemented the environment perfectly." 

The granite aggregate surface of Hydropave Fusion, similar to the appearance of natural granite, has helped create a chic, modern landscape at Peel Park Quarter, and a colour pattern combining classic Graphite and sparkling Silver has achieved a stylish design. Brian Smith noted, “The design concept was to use a variety of colour tones that could link to facade details and unify the campus with other areas. The varying unit sizes were then used to add definition to specific areas and to provide visual interest.”

Sustainability was another important factor that guided Graham Construction's decision to specify Tobermore's Hydropave Fusion. The product, like all the Tobermore Hydropave range, is an effective SuDs solution in that it allows rainfall to infiltrate naturally into the ground, providing a more long-lasting landscape and preventing potential flooding issues arising. The permeable paving range also serves to remove pollution. This offers a 10-15% cost saving over traditional drainage method such as pipes or manholes.

A kerbing product was then required to go alongside Hydropave Fusion at Peel Park Quarter. Tobermore's Country Kerb and Edge in a granite aggregate finish was selected as the striking, contemporary appearance of the product, similar to Hydropave Fusion, provided a 
complementary finish.

In addition to the aesthetics and sustainability offered with Tobermore products, Brian Smith noted some added benefits that specifying Tobermore brought: "The fact that the products were readily available was fantastic, and the prices were ideal for the cost plan we had outlined.” 

Brian Smith said he was very pleased with the results of the project and would gladly recommend Tobermore products to other architects, contractors or developers.

Peel Park Quarter looks set to create a new era for the University of Salford. The facility was opened by Professor Helen Marshall, Vice Chancellor at the University, at a plaque unveiling ceremony in October 2015. Robert Moyle, Director of Salford Student Village, commented: “Peel Park Quarter is the future of student accommodation in the UK – a home from home which combines luxury facilities with high-quality construction, innovative design, the latest technology and first-rate customer service.