Strategic redesign makes student housing viable at Globe Works

SRP were asked to deliver a previously consented 520 room student housing scheme in Birmingham for our client L&UK. The due diligence review, carried out as part of our strategic briefing process, revealed concerns about the building’s size and how it fitted on the site, omissions in the accommodation schedule and overall cost.

We redesigned the building up to the edge of the canal towpath to fit the site more efficiently, reducing build cost by over £2 million. A simple, gridded brick façade referenced the site’s industrial heritage; a more contextual response which helped secure planning permission for the amended scheme.

We improved the mix of room types to help with lettings, introduced a mini mart and café at ground level to revitalize the street and provide additional amenities for students, adding a communal lounge, cinema and gym. We redesigned the south-facing courtyards that open onto the canal to provide external amphitheatres, play spaces and quiet seating areas.

In a challenging financial climate, we worked closely with the our client, building management company and the main contractor to meet the funder’s requirements, managing out risk to help secure a phased release of funds critical to the project’s realisation.

‘SRP led the due diligence review, suggested actions, solutions and a timetable to move the project forward, working directly with us to identify ways to simplify the design, speed up the programme and meet our clients funding milestones’.

Martyn Hicks, Director, DW Hicks Building Co Ltd