UMS lights up student accomodation in London

Unite Modular Solutions Ltd, industry leaders in volumetric modular construction, has completed work on an impressive new accommodation facility for students based in London.

The Great Suffolk Street development is perfectly located within striking distance of a host of higher education establishments in the capital and showcased a myriad of technical innovations that are capable when using state-of-the-art volumetric modular technology. In its most basic form, volumetric modular construction is the fast-track design and factory manufacture of volumetric units that are joined together on site.

The Great Suffolk Street development, project managed by Mansell Construction Services Ltd, is now open to students and contains 132 fully fitted lightweight steel frame technology modules. The front wing of the building contains all 132 modules, while there is also a 13-storey tower building, which houses the building’s facility infrastructure.

After a successful trial run at another student accommodation development in Camden, this project benefitted from the first large scale scaffold less installation undertaken by Unite Modular Solutions (UMS), meaning the modules were fitted into a tighter footprint and the building could be erected faster.

The project also benefitted from the use of a new type of principle structure tie system, which provided additional structural support by tying the modular sections to structural elements. Further to this, the project was the first to benefit from a new generation wiring system, which allowed for the entire development’s lighting to be fully wireless.

Coming in at a significantly shorter timescale than traditional build – just three weeks for installation - this project showcases one of the most striking benefits of off-site construction for the education sector; the ability to meet the restrictive time demands of taking a building from concept to completion by the start of each academic year. This approach bestows the necessary confidence with end clients and contractors that construction activity will be completed on schedule so that all of the other elements of planning and preparation that need to be undertaken to open a new building for occupation by a student community can take place.

The central London location would have posed significant delivery difficulties if the build had been traditional as there was no site access to one particular elevation in order to clad and finish the modules. Volumetric modular construction meant the modules could be pre-clad in UMS’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Gloucestershire and then delivered to site ready to be craned into position, thereby removing the requirement to access Network Rail land to carry out cladding works.

The volumetric units manufactured for Great Suffolk Street consist of a mixture of fully fitted and furnished bedrooms, studios and kitchens, and had all services incorporated, such as plumbing and electric, so that they could be simply connected on site before the students started to move in, making for more efficient construction and a tidier site.

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