Constantine College, York

Situated in the heart of York University Campus, ‘Constantine College’ provides bespoke accommodation to the students of the University of York.

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The Project

Located on Kimbelow Lane York, deep within the University of York’s campus, the new £25 million ‘College 9’ wooden development provides bespoke student accommodation in the heart of the university’s grounds. HE Simm undertook the Design and Build MEP services for this development which provides 621 beds in the form of apartments, all with ensuite bedrooms in clusters of 12 rooms, as well as a Nucleus Administration Building and its own self-contained village. ‘Constantine College’ was the third of five projects the university has committed to construct.

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Project Objectives

The ‘Constantine College’ phase is part of the York University’s strategy to replace its stock of student accommodation and provide a first-class student experience. The university wanted to develop a scheme which demonstrates its ongoing commitment to meeting government carbon reduction targets. These ‘eco residences’ were therefore designed to utilise environmentally-friendly technologies and achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. To meet these requirements, we implemented a wooden structure and a heating system which runs from the university’s existing district heating infrastructure, requiring no new major plant. Due to the previous phases not being handed over as program, the University accepted HE Simm’s invitations to attend fortnightly workshops in which all University departments were invited to talk through our design and add their experience of the way the University wished all systems to run and be controlled.

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Project Challenges

The development’s location on the grounds of the university meant all work had to be installed with minimal noise and disruption due to the site’s centrality and proximity to other residential areas. The contract had to be coordinated fully with the university and all district heating, LV distribution, fire alarms, data, CCTV, intruder alarms and water mains had to be vigorously checked and queried by the university’s departments. HE Simm had to accept a very late instruction to provide all the active data equipment and have it all installed and fully commissioned eight weeks before the programmed completion date. The University wanted 100% witnessing on all life safety equipment, which in reality meant that every smoke head, emergency light and external light needed witnessing over a six week period. On handover day HE Simm had to produce a completed D1- D4 form that the university needed completing before they would accept the building. This was a document with over 1000 pages of information.

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The Results

The project was completed to schedule in August 2014, meaning that 100% of students were able to move into ‘Constantine College’ on time. ‘Constantine College’ successfully met government efficiency and sustainability targets and achieved an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. The best result of the whole project was on handover when HE Simm were advised that this building was the first of any of the university’s projects within the past decade which had their D1- D4 form completed for handover.

Meet the Team

Ryan Dixon, Engineer

Ryan was reasonably new to HE Simm as an electrical engineer and was fully responsible for all electrical systems and HESQ duties on ‘College 9’. His hard working approach made both GMI and the end user appreciative of all his efforts.

“Further to the new construction of the Constantine College Accommodation Project on our Heslington East Campus; could I offer my appreciation on behalf of the University of York in the considerable effort that Kev Shaw in particular provided, ensuring that the University received an installation of the Mechanical and Electrical Services to an acceptable standard.

As we are all aware, a project of this size is always likely to have a sizeable snagging list on completion that needs attending to and once again the effort you are providing to ensure that we are working through to completion of all outstanding issues is much appreciated.”

Kevin Roberts, Contract Supervisor, University of York