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How is UPP’s partnership with Architype helping to sustainably transform campuses? 

| 28.03.2024 | 5 minutes read |
Tom McDonough
Director of Portfolio Strategy

Our Director of Portfolio Strategy takes a look at the impact our partnership with leading sustainable architecture practice Architype has had since we announced the collaboration last summer. 

UPP has a deep, long-standing commitment to sustainable campuses. From building the UK’s first student accommodation building to be Passivhaus accredited, to leading the way on the ESG agenda within the sector, we are proud to put sustainability at the heart of what we do. Our annual sustainability reports show the progress we are making towards ambitious 2030 goals, including specific objectives on sustainable design. 

We know that our partner universities are also committed to living and working sustainably, as responsible civic institutions. Our ability to design, build and operate sustainably ensures that we are aligned in our decarbonisation goals across both the residential and academic estates.

What is UPP’s partnership with Architype and why is it important? 

In June 2023, we announced our collaboration with Architype, the multi-award winning sustainable architectural practice to advance sustainable campus development with UK universities. The agreement sees us work together with UPP’s existing partners, as well as potential new ones, to identify and implement sustainable campus strategies through sustainable development, redevelopment, retrofit or remodelling.

We are already working with Architype on a ground-breaking new project at the University of Exeter, which will deliver the largest and most innovative on-campus Passivhaus scheme in the sector.

The partnership will combine our skills to offer universities a service that will deliver an excellent student experience, with better health and wellbeing and huge improvements in cutting carbon and running costs. 

In this short video, Tom Yearley, UPP’s Director of Energy and Environmental Sustainability, explains why we joined forces with Architype.

What does this mean for our university partners in practice? 

Our partnership with Architype enables us to undertake feasibility studies (e.g. to determine a low carbon design option for a new development or the cost and carbon reduction benefits to retrofit an existing building) quickly and efficiently, responding to the needs of our partners.

Our long-term model dictates that we should be collectively setting out long-term accommodation plans and Architype have added another string to our bow to enable us to do this. 

In this short video, Ben Humphries, Director of Architype, talks about the partnership with UPP and what it will mean for universities.

What has been delivered to date? 

We have presented our joint sustainability campus planning workshops to multiple partners. All have been very well received and have helped them to develop their thinking.  

Our partnership has enabled us to support our universities, at the highest level, with their decarbonisation planning. Our combined sustainable design and Design, Build, Fund and Operate (DBFO) expertise has undoubtedly enhanced our strategic partnerships and enabled us to collectively plan for a lower carbon future.

Bringing together the combined expertise of UPP and Architype, in delivering DBFO projects and sustainable design, is helping us to respond to two of the key challenges faced by our partners – the need for new and modernised student accommodation and the decarbonisation of their estates. 

What does the future look like? 

We have ambitious sustainability goals, including the pledge that all of our new development projects will be designed to minimum BREEAM Excellent standards. Our partnership with Architype will allow us to do this and deliver accommodation facilities that meet university and student goals and aspirations.

A partnership to support universities 

If you’re interested in finding out how we can support you in sustainable development, redevelopment, retrofit or remodelling, please email Tom McDonough or speak to one of our Partnership Directors.

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