One of the world’s largest Passivhaus student accommodation blocks to be built in Bristol

Passivhaus student accommodation Bristol

Plans for one of the world’s largest Passvihaus student accommodation schemes in Bristol have been approved. Work will begin on site this September.

The 280,000 sq ft University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) scheme, designed by architects Stride Treglown, will comprise 900 bedrooms and conform to Passivhaus standards. The project has been managed by JLL

Passivhaus buildings use very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany.

This means that once complete, the complex of buildings will operate at a 75 per cent carbon reduction compared to the same size buildings of traditional design and construction. It will require almost no energy to heat, with what little it does require generated by photovoltaics and recirculated from the ventilation systems.

Tim Harris, project director and head of UK operations for project, cost and net zero carbon design consulting at JLL, said: “It is brilliant to see UWE Bristol invest in the future of its students like this, not only from a sustainable design point of view, but also providing a new level of focus on student wellbeing. The University and project team have remained totally committed to delivering the core objectives of this first phase of the development  and it will become a game changer for the student accommodation market with many lessons learnt that can be shared globally.  As the project team continue the journey to procure a constructor, with its ‘one-team’ mindset, I have no doubt that the objectives of the University will be fully delivered.”

Alongside sustainability, student wellbeing has been a key target, with biophilic design values applied to interior spaces and landscapes designed to Building with Nature principles.

This project significantly addresses the University’s 2030 carbon targets, operational costs and their mission to appeal to discerning future students.

Professor Martin Boddy, UWE Bristol Pro Vice-Chancellor, said: “UWE Bristol are delighted to be working with the project team to deliver this development of student accommodation on our main Frenchay Campus. This will enable us to meet our clear commitment to make high quality purpose-built university accommodation available to all of our first-year students. The project will be built to the highest ‘Passivhaus’ sustainability standards – a first nationally for a development of this scale and a key step on our ambition as a University to be carbon neutral by 2030.”

The scheme will start on site in 2021 with the first phase completed by the 2023 academic year.