21st July 2009
Aston University has been awarded the highest environmental standard for its new Aston Student Village (ASV) residences project.
The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating means that the £215m scheme will give Aston one of the most sustainable university communities in Europe, comprising 2400 brand new en suite bedrooms, 1300 of which will begin to be made available from late 2010 as part of Phase I of the project – and a new all-weather sports pitch.
Richard Middleton, Chief Operating Officer at Aston University and ASV trustee, commented, ‘We are delighted to be one of the first universities in the UK to achieve BREEAM’s ‘Excellent’ rating. Aston is very much committed to green buildings and through our campus redevelopment programme we have the opportunity to implement best practice and to push the frontiers forward.’
The new residences feature some of the most environmentally friendly heating, power and mechanical systems available, as well as high specification glazing and other energy efficient measures. Some of the more innovative features on the buildings includes a wind turbine on the roof, wastewater recycling, green roofs and recycling plants in each block. The residences will be powered by Aston’s Combined Heat & Power Plant, which the University launched in June 2009, to vastly improve its energy efficiency. The scheme has also obtained ‘Secure by Design’ accreditation, making it a safe environment for students.
In more good news for the project, the University has authorised the ASV team to proceed with Phase II, which will see a further 1050 rooms available from 2013, as well as retail and additional green space on campus. Phase II will also include the demolition of Aston’s 1970s high-rise accommodation towers.
ASV has already appointed Solihull-based construction consultants, Emprima, to project manage Phase II. Neil Pountney, Emprima’s Managing Director, hailed the news as a ‘tremendous boost’ for the construction industry: ‘Ours has been one of the worst-hit sectors of the current recession. The ASV Trust’s decision to move towards the second phase of its ambitious programme demonstrates confidence in the ability of the Midlands to bounce back from the recession, whilst helping to provide much-needed employment opportunities within the construction industry and allied trades.’
Richard Middleton is equally pleased with progress: ‘We are determined to provide the best possible facilities for our students as part of our commitment to make the University even more attractive to today’s best young talent. It is important for us to keep on track with our plans, so the go-ahead for Phase II is excellent news. We are delighted to continue working with Emprima. We have secured an innovative project management team with a proven track record of delivery and service excellence.’
Notes to editors:
The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance. For more information, please visit www.breeam.org