Student rooms developer to strip HPL cladding from 22 buildings

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
Share

Student accommodation developer Unite has identified 22 high-rise buildings in its portfolio fitted with dangerous high-pressure laminate cladding.

Waverley House, one of six Unite buildings where ACM cladding has been replaced
Waverley House, one of six Unite buildings where ACM cladding has been replaced

Unite, which completed replacement work on all buildings fitted with Grenfell-style ACM cladding last year, said it was committed to replacing the cladding over the next 12 to 36 months.

Around a year ago the student home builder estimated that it would spend around £20m replacing HPL. But following detailed surveys it has now put the cost at nearly £100m.

The firm this morning said it would seek to mitigate the costs of cladding replacement through claims from contractors under build contracts, and was confident of recovering a proportion of its share of replacement costs.

Richard Smith, chief executive of Unite Students, said: “We are committed to going above and beyond minimum standards to provide a safe and secure environment for our students and employees.

“We were one of the first companies to take action to remove aluminium composite materials cladding from our buildings where needed and, in line with Government advice, have undertaken a thorough review of the use of high-pressure laminate cladding on our properties.

“Following additional assessments during the period, we have now identified 22 high-rise properties with HPL cladding within our portfolio. In line with our value of doing what’s right, we will remove this cladding where it fails to meet regulations. All of our properties have been independently reviewed by fire safety experts and confirmed safe to operate and occupy.”

He confirmed that Unite’s share of the total £96m cost would be around £45m.

Paddington scheme at former Travis Perkins site is aiming to the most environmentally sustainable purpose-built student accommodation blocks in the UK

The firm also revealed it has submitted plans for its first “fully net zero carbon” student accommodation scheme in Paddington, London.

The 833-bed project will cost around £147m to deliver and forms part of a £582m spending pipeline on new projects over the next four years.

It also recently exchanged contracts to acquire a 1,000 bed development site in Stratford, east London on a subject to planning basis.

Total development costs are estimated at £160m with the scheme targeted for delivery for the 2025/26 academic year.

Despite current cost pressures, Unite said it continued to see opportunities to add to its development pipeline at attractive returns and would factor expected inflation into appraisal of future schemes.

Smith said: “We are seeing some upward pressure on build costs, which typically account for 50-70% of our total development costs, reflective of supply chain pressures in securing materials as economies reopen and a reduced supply of EU labour post-Brexit.

“Build cost inflation is currently running at c.3-5% p.a. but we anticipate a softening over the next 6-12 months as supply chains begin to normalise.

“Development costs are already fixed for our 2022 completions through design and build contracts. We will be entering into build contracts on our 2023 schemes in the coming months and anticipate that current cost pressures could reduce development yields by c.10-20 basis points.”

 

 

Latest news

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
17 hours ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
12 hours ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
16 hours ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
21 hours ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
21 hours ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
21 hours ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
21 hours ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
20 hours ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
1 day ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
2 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
2 days ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
2 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
2 days ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
2 days ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
2 days ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
3 days ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
3 days ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
3 days ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
3 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
3 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
3 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
3 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
3 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
3 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
3 days ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
4 days ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
4 days ago

Housing contractor Durkan suffers second year of losses

More fire safety provisions tip firm into £3.9m loss
4 days ago

Farrans makes breakthrough on tricky tunnel job

Tunnel under Tees latest part of new £155m water pipeline job
4 days ago

Heidelberg buys aggregates and earthworks specialist B&A

Latest deal follows acquisition of Mick George
4 days ago

Contractor services