The work at Birks Hall sees a Hydro Stormbloc stormwater storage unit set within the foundations of the new building, with the capacity to hold 400cu m of surface water runoff.

The project is being overseen by UK campus infrastructure and residential management services provider University Partnerships Programme (UPP), which said the latest initiative is in line with its sustainability goal for the site.

As a result, the storage tank constructed by consultant engineers Airey & Coles uses modular storage within the foundation structure, enabling the redeveloped site to meet strict sustainable drainage requirements.

An Airey and Coles spokesperson said that the challenge was “complex” as the reconstruction of the 3.6hectare site to create a modern residential hall for 360 students resulted in a runoff surface area of 12,800sq m.

He added: “It took some lateral thinking to mimic a natural storage pond feature as part of the building construction, but the modular configuration of the Stormbloc made it quite easy to install.”

Additional site constraints included the adjacent arboretum, which contains numerous rare tree species, which could not be disturbed by construction or alteration in surface water drainage patterns.

Carys Matthews

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