UNITE Staniforth House – Student Accommodation
Staniforth House is Unite’s latest student development located in the heart of Birmingham. Previously a self-storage facility, the 15,2000sqm site provides modern student accommodation housing 586 bedrooms, plus a number of common rooms and meet and greet areas across 14 floors. The scheme utilises the panoramic views across the city of Birmingham with a roof top garden for students to relax and take a break from their studies.
Commercial construction specialists, The RG Group were appointed to handle the design and build of the development, with East Midlands Landscaping managing and implementing the construction of the roof gardens. Initial landscape designs for the rooftops were put together by Weddle Landscape Designs. Plans were put in place in 2016 for the design of the outdoor area and our design team submitted a number of CAD drawings for bespoke planters and seating, showing suggested options for the best use of space available. Plans were approved and the landscaping of the external terrace began in April 2018.
The space was divided up into two areas, one featuring stone paving and the other using artificial grass, the latter features a series of large rectangular WoodBlocX planters, bordered with integrated seating which utilise the height of the planters as a backrest. The paved area features a continuous WoodBlocX structure with a long, slim rectangular planter which acts as the backbone of the design and three large square planters extending outwards bordered with seating.
All WoodBlocX structures were finished with flush capping to provide a linear finish throughout. Additional lighting and a steel pergola framed the roof terrace creating a relaxed environment that can be used day and night. The WoodBlocX structures were installed in under two weeks and the build was completed in July 2018.
The project was BREEAM assessed, achieving ‘Excellent’. Furthermore, the project scored ‘Excellent’ (41/50) under the Considerate Constructors Scheme. The contractors were delighted with the speed in which the beds were built and the minimal mess and disruption caused on site, which is essential at such a late stage in the project. Lead WoodBlocX designer Harry Paulin put together the final CAD drawings for the WoodBlocX structures on this project. He states “Integrating seating into the planter walls was a challenge at first but using our modular blocks to create supporting pillars for our benches gave a really effective solution”.
Speaking about the development, WoodBlocX director, Henry Blake said: “I am extremely pleased with the Staniforth House project, it’s been a great showcase for WoodBlocX, the design came together well and demonstrates how our system can be used to create modern and vibrant designs utilising contemporary colours and materials”.