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Balfour Beatty wins £42m Birmingham student halls job

Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £42m student accommodation contract at the University of Birmingham.

The 726-bed Chamberlain Halls project involves the demolition and rebuilding of the existing Eden Tower and design and build of a 20-storey tower and three buildings on Church Road in Edgbaston.

Balfour Beatty will plan the scheme using building information modelling to provide value engineering and long-term management solutions for the accommodation.

Construction News reported last week that estates directors at London’s leading universities are hesitant about using BIM on projects due to concerns over costs.

Balfour Beatty plans to build mechanical and electrical units housing ducting, cabling and pipework offsite at its Modular Systems+ facility in Wendnesbury to reduce construction time on site.

The buildings will meet the energy performance certificate A category for energy-efficiency with brick cladding for insulation, a copper rainscreen and glazed curtain walling to reduce heat loss, Balfour Beatty said.

Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK managing director of construction Tony Dixon said: “Through the extensive use of BIM and support from our specialist teams across our business, we will deliver a high-quality and great value-for-money scheme, which will achieve some of the highest levels of energy-efficiency, reducing whole-life costs of the facility.”

University of Birmingham director of estates Ian Barker added: “The university is committed to providing the highest quality facilities for students, staff and visitors to campus.

“This project forms an important part of our drive to make the university more environmentally sustainable – building on the 20 per cent reduction in carbon emissions that we have achieved to date.”

Construction is due to be completed in winter 2015.

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