A new white paper explores eight key engineering considerations for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developments. Written by Euring Andrew Stanford BEng(Hons) CEng FICE, a Director of Walsh, the white paper also includes six case studies selected from over 50 PBSA developments that the company have been involved in. Case studies demonstrate how the eight engineering considerations have been incorporated into developments.
Key highlights from the eight key engineering considerations for PBSA developments
- De-risking the Site: early engagement of engineers is a vital component of land investment strategy for PBSA and will de-risk developments.
- Programme, Programme, Programme: early focus on key elements and flexible sub-structure design allows early on-site works to commence and will shorten the programme.
- Innovation in Design Processes: engineering practices that provide a holistic approach to substructure design are more likely to deliver innovation and efficiencies.
- Building Usage: PBSA is a unique development format that should be informed by best of breed residential, commercial, hotel and mixed-use engineering practices.
- Lean Design vs Adaptability: lean design will bring both environmental and financial benefits, but this needs to be balanced against standardisation and a whole life design approach, incorporating adaptability and avoiding excessive ‘overdesign’ to maximise long-term returns from PBSA developments.
- Maximising Rooms & Floors: clever engineering design can maximise the number of beds and floors possible on a PBSA development, which provides additional revenue for operators.
- Construction Methods & MMC: PBSA developments are ideally suited for MMC, but only when these are fully explored at an early stage.
- Sustainability: sustainability is already an expected standard, but pushing the boundaries and designing to standards such as PassivHaus and reducing embodied carbon can reduce the operating costs and environmental impact of a building.