UPP director says MMC to play bigger role in developments

Eleanor Rosa House credit to Robert Greshoff - external

Construction in the higher education sector must do more if the country is serious about hitting its zero emissions targets, a leading student accommodation developer has said.

Speaking to Building, Jon Wakeford, group corporate affairs director at developer UPP, admitted: "In order to meet the UK’s legally-binding net zero emissions target by 2050, the student accommodation sector and the university sector more generally will have to work harder to become more sustainable.”

He added: "Modern construction methods are an integral part of the process of ensuring quality, sustainable accommodation and we must take our responsibilities seriously when it comes to decarbonisation."

The developer was behind the UK's first PassivHaus-certified student accommodation scheme Carnegie Village at Leeds Beckett University.

Wakeford also said it was imperative that both main contractors and subcontractors were held to account for being "innovative and consider[ing] the [use of the] latest technology".

UPP currently has more than 35,000 rooms in operation or under construction through long-term partnerships with 15 universities.

His comments come just weeks after students moved into the developer's first off-campus accommodation scheme (pictured), a 33-storey high tower in Stratford, developed for the University of London.

The £100m scheme, designed by Hodder + Partners, the practice of former RIBA president Stephen Hodder, was built by Watkin Jones and includes 511 student bedrooms, 44 residential apartments and 3,150m2 of academic space.