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Nvelope system chosen for Hull University’s new £155m student village

A new student accommodation development at the University of Hull, which will provide more than 1,450 high-quality bed spaces together with a range of supporting facilities close to the main campus, is being constructed using the Nvelope NV1 rainscreen support system.


Westfield Court is the latest development on the Hull campus by University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure. UPP will design, build, fund and operate the student residences and as part of its 47-year partnership with the University.

The complex will consist of nine accommodation blocks alongside an urban green and avenue featuring a café, convenience store, laundry facilities and formal and informal outdoor areas. The scheme responds to demand from students for high-quality on-campus accommodation and will feature a range of single rooms and one-bedroom apartments, with 478 new rooms ready for the first students to move into for the 2018-19 academic year.

UPP has appointed Vinci as the construction partner in a build programme worth £97m. It is tasked with constructing the nine blocks of the development to be consistent with the scale and context of the campus and neighbouring buildings.

Each of the buildings is clad with either a masonry outer leaf or rainscreen cladding. Here Vinci has appointed leading building envelope contractor Speedclad, who have an excellent track record on educational building projects including the University of Hull’s flagship Allam Medical Building in 2017.

Around 7,000 sq. m of Marley Eternit and CGL rainscreen cladding that Speedclad will install at Westfield Court will be secured using the Nvelope NV1 back frame and support system. This package of brackets and rails provides a high quality, robust support solution for rainscreen panels with a great degree of adjustability to ensure the finished façade is both secure and fully matches the architect’s aesthetic ambitions.

Michael Ryder, Pre-Construction Manager at Speedclad said: “Having worked on the University of Hull campus previously, we’re delighted to have been appointed to deliver the building envelope on this latest exciting project. Its vast scale reflects the popularity of the university and the growing appeal of the 2017 City of Culture as a whole, with students increasingly seeking modern accommodation within easy reach of the main educational facilities.

“The Nvelope team have played a key role in making the project a success. Their technical support and advice has enabled us to deliver the best possible result for the client, with the NV1 system again proving to be a highly adaptable and trustworthy solution.”

NV1 is used extensively throughout the UK for vertical cladding applications. Nvelope ‘T’ and ‘L’ profiles are fixed using Nvelope support brackets, fixed through a series of fixed and flexible points. The system’s flexible point brackets absorb wind loading and allow for expansion and contraction, with Nvelope fixed point brackets absorbing vertical dead loads.

The Westfield Court project’s professional team comprises TP Bennett (Architect and Planning Consultant), Curtins (Drainage and Structural Engineering), Hulley & Kirkwood (Mechanical & Electrical Engineering) and Faithful & Gould (Principal Designer) has worked alongside Vinci to deliver all supporting technical information.

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