Construction at Moorfield Group’s Enso PBSA reaches completion

Construction at Moorfield Group's purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development Enso has officially completed.

Communal space at the Colchester-based Enso PBSA scheme, which will be ready for residenial intakes in September | PBSA News
Communal space at the Colchester-based Enso PBSA scheme, which will be ready for residenial intakes in September.

Real estate fund manager Moorfield Group and Melberry Developments have completed construction works at Enso, a 282-bed PBSA scheme in Colchester. The Enso scheme has been completed on behalf of Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV, which held its final close in 2018.

Works on Enso started in 2021, with construction taking less than two years to complete. The scheme will be operated by student accommodation operator CRM, with first occupation taking place in September this year.

Located on Hawkins Road which is less than 20 minutes from the University of Essex by foot, students will benefit from the schemes strong transport connections, with the nearby Hythe railway connecting to Colchester mainline station.

“Student housing has been one of the UK’s most resilient asset classes over the past two decades, further proven in the post-pandemic environment, where performance has been challenging in other traditional sectors.

“The UK’s leading reputation on the university world stage continues to attract both domestic and international students, which is exacerbating the accommodation supply-demand imbalances.

“The student housing sector offers investors long-term, inflation-linked income streams and defensive, structurally underpinned characteristics.

“We are proud of the green initiatives that we have introduced into this building that complement the strategy of environmental improvements we are making to our existing assets. Our exposure to both funding of new development projects and investing in existing homes offers diversification as well as different routes to achieving our environmental goals.”

Heiko Figge, Head of Operational Assets, Moorfield Group

The building has been designed by HNW Architects and built by Watkin Jones plc, and Ekho Studio’s designed the interiors of the scheme. Enso contains studio rooms and cluster flats across nine floors. Communal amenities include study, social and gaming spaces as well as indoor and outdoor fitness facilities.

The development is now one of Colchester’s most sustainable PBSA schemes, achieving a BREEAM “Excellent” rating and incorporating a series of carbon-cutting measures at the construction and operational phases.

These measures include the supply of electric vehicle charging points, three different types of bike storage, greywater irrigation systems, a water attenuation system that prevents overcapacity into the public drainage system, and air source heat pumps to power a zero-gas hot water system. All timbers used in the construction of the building were also responsibly sourced.

“We are delighted to practically complete and hand the Hawkins Road development over to our clients, Moorfield Group and Melberry Developments. This project reflects our continued commitment to provide the highest quality PBSA accommodation, in great locations across the UK, that students can call home. With sustainability at the forefront and state-of-the-art facilities, this development represents our commitment to elevating standards of student living and creating a homely and positive experience for residents.”

Richard Harris, Group Delivery, Managing Director (MD), Watkin Jones

Enso has also secured a WiredScore Platinum award; the highest available accreditation in recognition of its digital connectivity and infrastructure.

A further 2,000+ beds are being aggregated through Moorfield’s joint venture with We Are Kin – a partnership that aims to improve the experience of student accommodation in existing houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).