Moorfield acquires 64% more efficient Essex PBSA project

Property fund manager Moorfield Group is acquiring a student accommodation building in UK town Colchester and says that the £40 million project will result in a building that is 64% more energy efficient than typical PBSA buildings.

Moorfield has signed a development agreement with Melberry Developments to acquire the project on Hawkins Road, close to the main campus of the University of Essex. The project, which has a £40 million gross development value, utilises Moorfield’s first ESG-linked development agreement, and the development team is specifically incentivised to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

The building, designed by architects HNW and engineers Campbell Reith, is expected to complete for the start of the 2023/24 academic year and will provide 282 cluster and studio rooms over nine floors, with facilities including social, study and gaming spaces as well as indoor and outdoor fitness suites.

Technology and engineering methods are being used to reduce embodied and operational emissions, as well as to utilise recycled materials. Features include air source heat pump heating of hot water, there will be zero gas usage, the building will be smart system enabled and will have a grey water irrigation system and charging points for electric vehicles.

“Sustainability sits at the core of Moorfield’s strategy, and this latest student development, working with partners who share our ethos, will be our most environmentally friendly scheme yet,” said Moorfield Group head of origination Ross Netherway. “It is well placed to bring together growing consumer and investor interest in the environment and sustainable development.”

He added that the University of Essex faces a critical supply/demand imbalance of high-quality student accommodation, which underpins the company’s confidence in the project.