UPP has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver the design, development, financing and operation of the University of Exeter’s Clydesdale & Birks Residential Project – a truly leading-edge campus development scheme. The project will develop over 1,700 new student rooms, refurbish 300 existing bedrooms at Birks Grange and create a new grounds compound for the University. The scheme will deliver the largest and most innovative on-campus Passivhaus scheme in the sector which will set a high benchmark for truly sustainable student accommodation development in the future.
The appointment of UPP will see a widening and deepening of UPP’s existing partnership with Exeter – one stretching back well over a decade. During that time, UPP has developed, and now operates, well over 4,000 rooms on campus and this latest transaction further cements the positive collaboration between the partnership. Once the new scheme is delivered, UPP will be operating more than 6,000 rooms on the University’s Streatham Campus.
This new development will provide students with the best possible living experience as well as reduce further the pressure on the University to seek third party accommodation providers in Exeter city. UPP have recently completed the East Park, Moberly and Spreytonway residences on Streatham Campus to create an additional 1,500 bedrooms for students, and this new development in the Clydesdale area of campus is set to more than double that number.
UPP and the University will now work to reach financial close by the summer of 2023. Following this, construction will immediately commence with the first phase of the development due to become operational for the 2025/26 academic year. The remaining bedrooms will be finished to welcome students into the wholly completed development in September 2026.
Elaine Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer of UPP, said:
“We are delighted to be chosen to deliver the next phase of the University’s campus development plan. Exeter is a world-class institution and a valued partnership. This project is a great example of collaboration and innovation in action with the design and delivery of a truly leading edge, large scale Passivhaus scheme at Clydesdale and Birks, as well as retrofit of existing accommodation to EnerPHit standards.
We look forward to working with the University to realise this scheme and provide its student residents with a fantastic, sustainable living and learning experience.”
Mike Shore-Nye, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Exeter, said:
“We are delighted to extend our on-going partnership with UPP. Our proposed plan to develop more purpose-built, self-catered student bedrooms on campus will allow us to offer more students an excellent living experience.
“The project supports our ambitious aims to achieve carbon neutrality and, working with UPP to progress the plans, we are aiming to reduce our impact on the environment and ecology in the area, whilst using sustainable materials and construction practices to achieve strenuous Passivhaus standards. This approach to development is crucial in our drive to reduce our carbon footprint and to lead the way for university accommodation across the country.
“Feedback from students living in UPP’s East Park residences, which completed in 2021, has been incredibly positive and we look forward to working in partnership with UPP on how these new residences on the west of Streatham Campus will take shape.”
Leading the way in all Russell Group University residential buildings for low energy use and operational carbon, the new development supports the University’s Strategy 2030 to lead meaningful action against the climate emergency and contributes to the institutions drive to be carbon Net Zero by 2030.
In order to create the new bedrooms, UPP will demolish buildings in the Clydesdale Nash and Birks Village area to make way for the new, modern residences, as well as refurbishing catered rooms in the Birks Grange Village to self-catered.
The University’s Estate Services Centre will also be relocated, as part of this development, from the west of campus to the northeast, at the top of Rennes Drive.
The new development was granted Outline planning approval by Exeter City Council in September 2021, following a public consultation on the proposals in February 2020. Construction is proposed to start on site in Summer 2023, with the first accommodation blocks becoming available from 2025.
Fly through the scheme here