Offsite steel selected for Durham sustainable campus build

Fusion Building Systems has been contracted by Keepmoat Regeneration, part of the ENGIE group, to supply offsite-manufactured light gauge steel panelised superstructures, for the sustainably-designed Neville’s Cross student campus at Durham University.

Fusion’s offsite light gauge steel superstructures will contribute to the sustainability of Neville’s Cross student accommodation – picture courtesy of GWP Architecture

Fusion’s offsite light gauge steel superstructures will contribute to the sustainability of Neville’s Cross student accommodation – picture courtesy of GWP Architecture

The Northampton-based offsite construction company started work on site earlier this summer, erecting the 274 high quality en-suite studio bedrooms which will make up the new campus. Located across six blocks of three, four and five storey-buildings, they have been designed by GWP Architecture for Eco-Res Limited to achieve the ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ rating for sustainability.

Of the environmental credentials of the overall build and ongoing operation of the accommodation, Fusion’s contribution as an offsite manufacturer is significant. Its low to zero-waste manufacturing process, five-times fewer journeys to site than traditional building methods, and low levels of embodied CO2 in the superstructure of the buildings, are hoped will contribute to securing the highly-acclaimed BREEAM ranking.

Stewart Hackney, Fusion Building Systems’ Business Development Manager, said: “We’ve built more than 6,500 student beds over the past 15 years making us one of the most experienced operators in the industry. Our offsite solutions are often specified for this type of accommodation or for city centre schemes because of our fast, predictable build times and our ability to operate on sites with restricted access – what’s often overlooked however, are our outstanding environmental credentials.

“We’ve worked with Keepmoat Regeneration and Eco-Res Limited on a number of projects over the past few years. Both know our offsite solution has significant sustainability benefits over traditional building methods and can therefore help to earn additional BREEAM credits. In fact, it’s projects like this that are helping others in the industry to see the benefits of offsite methods of building and appreciate why they should be given increasing priority in the future of UK construction.”

Fusion is on site at Neville’s Cross in Durham erecting six blocks of new student accommodation using offsite-manufactured light gauge steel superstructures.

Fusion is on site at Neville’s Cross in Durham erecting six blocks of new student accommodation using offsite-manufactured light gauge steel superstructures.

Fusion is using its tested panellised system for Neville’s Cross which sees individual, floor and wall panels transported to and erected on site. Compared to other offsite solutions, this panelised system allows for bespoke architectural designs, flexibility with the build on site and total cost control for the developer.

Stewart continued: “The designs for Neville’s Cross were developed through the collaboration of all three companies. They’ll see the new campus made up of differing building types to enhance the streetscape of the route into the city centre, brilliantly illustrating how light gauge steel superstructures can be incorporated into any design or external finish.”

Fusion’s build programme for Neville’s Cross is estimated at 26 weeks and after just six weeks, one accommodation block has already been erected.