The market for UK student accommodation remains buoyant. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the total number of higher education students stood at 2,383,970 in 2018/19, an increase of 2% from 2017/18. Student accommodation has a vital role to play, and universities that lack well located, quality accommodation with social facilities run the risk of deterring potential students.
An annual survey undertaken by HESA, identifies the most common types of student accommodation:
Greater demand for places, increased regulation and concern about the impact of student lifestyles on local communities has led to a shift from accommodation provided by private small-scale landlords to university halls of residence and the emergence of large-scale private sector student accommodation providers.
Student accommodation blocks, whether provided by the education facility or 3rd parties, typically feature economic building footprints with repetition achieving economies of scale; incorporating standard room types, often incorporating modern methods of construction such as bathroom pods. Some developments, particularly in the private sector, incorporate individual kitchenettes equipped with appliances to appeal to mature, post-graduate or international students, but have limited social space preferred by younger students and are more expensive to build with consequently higher rents.
University halls of residence layouts commonly comprise en-suite study bedrooms arranged in clusters of 4, 6 or 8, each with communal kitchen and recreation area. Study bedrooms are the most intensively used part of a development, which vary in size of between 12-14m2, accounting for between 50% to 60% of the gross internal floor area of the building. As a result, this is usually the focus of the most expenditure for fitting out typically on finishes, furniture, heating and lighting.
Fusion Project Management Ltd recently submitted a £20.3m student accommodation development for the University for the Creative Arts, located in Farnham, Surrey. The 6,6492m2 development comprises 5Nr 3 and 4 storey blocks of student flats providing 246Nr standard en-suite bedrooms
(14m2 each) and 6Nr larger en-suite bedrooms (21m2 each) for the impaired, arranged in 4Nr, 6Nr and 8Nr clusters, each cluster with adjacent communal kitchen/dining/lounge. The en-suite bedrooms account for 54% of the gross internal floor area.
The building cost at £2,329/m2 (2Q2019), compares with the average of £2,124/m2 for students’ halls of residence projects on the same basis on the BCIS Online database.
The functional unit cost equates to £61,449 per bedroom/person.
Substructure, at £120/m2 includes:
Superstructure, at £1,056/m2 includes:
Finishes, at £201/m2 include:
Fittings and furnishings, at £136/m2 include:
Services, at £696/m2 include:
Prefabricated Buildings and Building Units, at £120/m2 include:
External and facilitating works at a cost of £3,922,029 include:
All costs include preliminaries at 14.17%.
BCIS would like to thank Fusion Project Management Ltd for providing the data and all those who have submitted projects to be published online.
Cost analyses are available as part of the BCIS Online service.
BCIS Online is an industry repository for building project costs analysed elementally. It provides clients, consultants and contractors with secure online access to their project data. The analyses can be prepared from contract documents used in most procurement routes, for example: