Bradwell Street Student Accommodation
Elementa have been providing the MEP design and sustainability consultancy on Queen Mary University new student accommodation, Bradwell Street, based in Mile End, London. The new student halls will help to meet the increased demand for university accommodation as student numbers increase, providing 350 new build rooms as well as flexible space at ground floor level for future works.
One of the more unique aspects of this project is due to its location. The development consists of two east-west orientated, massing blocks, located south of and directly adjacent to, the rail corridor connecting Liverpool Street and Stratford Stations. Because of this, Elementa were commissioned to provide a glare assessment for the new student accommodation to prove that the development does not impair the vision of train drivers in either direction along the rail corridor.
It was established that the façade of the new student halls consists of brick, glazing and perforated screens with a matte finish. Reflected sunlight from buildings can give rise to uncomfortable and potentially unsafe situations in the built environment with these issues at up most importance when considering tasks that require a high degree of concentration, such as the control of vehicles, and in this instance, trains. Because of this it was essential that for this proposed development that the glare risk to train operators in the adjacent rail corridor had been fully assessed in terms of ‘disability glare’. Providing this analysis was a strict condition to meet planning and National Rail requirements.
The close proximity of the building to the rail tracks and other accommodation buildings also created other design challenges with respect to meeting acoustic and overheating requirements. This resulted in sealed design of a highly efficient fully mechanically ventilated system with VAV control and tempered air. The air is cooled using hybrid AHU-heat pumps with internal condensers to minimise noise breakout.
Elementa engaged with the client and contractor extensively throughout the design and construction stages to optimise value engineering solutions to meet the clients cost plan and high performance standards. Workshops and meetings allowed for options to be talked through and all opinions to be heard, challenged and advanced.
Another challenge on this project was due to the greenfield site meaning there is no local power supply. To overcome this Elementa coordinated closely with UKPN to coordinate a very long route through public land for the power supply to a new on-site substation.
With student accommodation, particular system requirements can be adopted. On this project Elementa implemented SMART access control throughout the new residence, a system that monitors access control and occupancy of the rooms so the building managers can be alerted of any unusual lack of movement and check on the occupant’s wellbeing.