Press Release

Balfour Beatty awarded £42 million student accommodation contract for University of Birmingham

22 November 2013


Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has been awarded a £42 million contract to design and build new student accommodation to provide 726 bedrooms for the University of Birmingham.

The contract to deliver the ‘Chamberlain Halls’ halls of residence involves the demolition and re-building of the existing Eden Tower and the build of a new 20-storey tower, together with three linear ‘finger’ buildings situated along Church Road in Edgbaston.

By fully deploying its range of capabilities, Balfour Beatty will deliver the project in just 100 weeks.  The company will utilise BIM (Building Information Management) for the planning of the project, providing value-engineering and long term management solutions. Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering will carry out piling with Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, through its Modular Systems+ facility in Wednesbury, providing bespoke pre-fabricated mechanical and electrical units housing ducting, cabling and pipe-work for the building which can be installed quickly on-site further reducing construction time. Furniture for the bedrooms and communal areas will be provided by Footprint Furniture, a Balfour Beatty company.

The building will meet the highest Government approved EPC ‘A’ category for energy efficiency through the use of brick cladding for insulation, a copper rainscreen and glazed curtain walling to reduce heat loss.

This contract award builds on Balfour Beatty’s consistently strong performance in the student accommodation sector for which it has recently been awarded schemes at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Bangor and University of Exeter as well as for student accommodation providers Urbanest and Unite.

Tony Dixon, Managing Director of Construction at Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK said: “This scheme for the University of Birmingham builds on our significant portfolio of work in the student accommodation sector.

 “Through the extensive use of BIM and support from our specialist teams across our business, we will deliver a high quality and great value for money scheme which will achieve some of the highest levels of energy efficiency, reducing the whole life costs of the facility.”

Ian Barker, Director of Estates at the University of Birmingham, said: “The University is committed to providing the highest quality facilities for students, staff and visitors to campus. This project forms an important part of our drive to make the University more environmentally sustainable - building on the 20% reduction in carbon emissions that we have achieved to date. We were impressed by the work which Balfour Beatty has done in this sector and are delighted to have appointed their experts to carry out work on the new Chamberlain Halls of Residence.”

Construction is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2015.

Media enquiries:
Scott Wilson
Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK
Tel. +44 (0)20 7963 2150

Notes to editors:

1. The project is being carried out for the University of Birmingham with architects Glancy Nicholls, Structural Engineers Nolan Associates, M&E Engineers Couch Perry and Wilkes. More information can be found at:

2. Footprint Furniture, a Balfour Beatty brand, is a leading contract furniture supplier. We work with all of the leading furniture manufacturers and specialise in ensuring multiple furniture factories deliver according to the client's overall interiors master plan.

3. Balfour Beatty Engineering Services specialises in providing mechanical, electrical, data, instrumentation and building services, with related design, engineering, construction, commissioning and specialist manufacturing disciplines. It focuses on providing outstanding mechanical and electrical solutions, with an emphasis on environmentally efficient technology.

4. Modular Systems+ is the brand under which Balfour Beatty Engineering Services develops and manufactures off-site mechanical and electrical products ranging from small electrical modular wiring components to multi-service modules and complex, fully operational packaged plant rooms, utilising purpose built off-site manufacturing facilities in Wednesbury in the West Midlands.

5. Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering is a leading geotechnical specialist providing a comprehensive range of foundations solutions including piling, retaining walls, ground improvement and testing services. Previous and current projects include London Heathrow Terminal 2b, The Shard in the City of London, Glasgow Velodrome, Blackfriars station and the Beauly to Denny Replacement Transmission Line in Scotland.

6. Balfour Beatty’s UK construction business ( is a leading integrator of complex, sophisticated and innovative projects that improve the UK’s national infrastructure and an experienced provider of local and regional projects that help build lasting communities.

We offer a broad range of capabilities in construction, civil engineering and mechanical & electrical engineering services.

With offices throughout the UK, we deliver a locally-focused service with the support of our national network of expertise and resources.

Balfour Beatty’s UK construction business employs 10,000 people.

Avatar for Media Team

Media Team

+44 (0)203 810 2345