RPS project wins ‘MMC Project of the Year' Award 2023

16 Aug 2023

We're thrilled to share that our client's University of York’s ‘Campus for the Future’ masterplan project has won Construction News ‘MMC Project of the Year Award 2023’.

GRAHAM's, £130m scheme, completed in September 2022, provides 1,480-bed Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) to help transform the University’s Heslington East Campus.

We worked closely with Sheppard Robson Architects and embraced Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), including building fabrics and bathroom pods that were manufactured off-site. MMC was critical to ensuring successful programme delivery due to the project size and complexity.

With sustainability at the heart of the design, the scheme achieved BREEAM Excellent certification. The passive design utilised the district heat network, which helped reduce energy demand. We carefully designed and analysed each block, to optimise sustainability measures such as thermal mass, solar shading, and night cooling.

Through our initial thermal modelling we discovered that the corridors and bedrooms would overheat in the summer requiring mechanical cooling. Our ventilation design solution maximised the benefits of natural ventilation. We used thermally modelled window arrangements that support excellent year-round conditions, with a choice of natural or mechanical ventilation and high levels of daylight. Robust building detailing resulted in an airtightness value of less than 1.5 m³/h/m and enhanced the energy efficiency of the student residential buildings.

Simon Bourke, Operational Director – Building Services said: “It was a pleasure to have been involved in this remarkable project and to collaborate with a great project team. We delivered an elegant, low energy design that maximised prefabrication and used the structural mass to regulate internal temperatures, avoiding the use of mechanical cooling.”

Gary Holmes, Regional Managing Director at GRAHAM Building North, said: “The successful delivery of the new space at the University of York will offer exceptional quality living spaces for students. We’re proud to have delivered sustainable residences that embraced MMC while ensuring the development addressed the needs of both students and the wider university community. Working with the wider project team, we delivered a prime example of considerate development which enriches the local region.”

Harvey Dowdy, Director of Technology, Estates and Facilities at the University of York added: “Our new colleges are a fantastic asset to the university. To deliver a project of this size through a global pandemic is a tremendous achievement for everyone involved.”

The project also achieved a RIBA Yorkshire Regional Award 2023.

Learn more about the project here.

Campus for the Future, UoY.png (1)

Campus for the Future, University of York Image credit: GRAHAM



Simon Bourke

Head of Building Services - UK T: +44 (0) 113 220 6190 Email

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