Continued growth in student numbers, combined with universities’ desire to provide a room for all first-year students, means there is more demand than ever for accommodation.

This is being delivered both on campus and offsite by universities’ own developments and external developer
/operators. REAL Consulting has successfully worked with both.

Due to the scale of many projects, we know it is crucial at the outset to establish three things: The configuration, the groupings and the style of rooms.

These are key to a positive outcome, both in terms of final delivery and evaluating the cost per room for benchmarking purposes.

More recently we have seen the market driven by a combination of room types, with a corresponding choice of rents. The changing demographics of the student population, as well as different needs of mature and postgraduate students, contribute to these decisions.

Timing is key. Accommodation is required at the start of the academic year and this determines the delivery timings and construction methods. We consider full off-site production of key elements, say, bathroom pods, as well as onsite repeat framed systems e.g. cross laminated timber frames. We review products and materials to inform the longer life of the project.

REAL Consulting looks at the project holistically, assess key supply chain providers and their ability to deliver to fast programmes. We have a robust approach to snagging large volumes of units at the same time, to minimise outstanding defects during occupation.

REAL Consulting has delivered a high number of student rooms for universitydirect developments and developer/operators. We understand this sector and are appreciated for improving budgets, programme performance and delivery.