Hot Topics at the Student Accommodation Conference 2023 & Another Award-Winning Project

Yesterday saw us partner with Property Week for another fantastic Student Accommodation Conference and Awards Night. As a Silver Partner, we took a space in the exhibition area where we were able to reconnect with familiar faces and meet new contacts, all of whom are committed to delivering the future of PBSA. The event is the perfect opportunity to network, discuss and exchange ideas to gain a new insights into this ever-evolving and dynamic sector.

We were particularly delighted to see University of Arts London win at the Awards in the category University Halls of Residence for Archwood House which was one of our projects with long-term client Hollybrook Homes!

Like the rest of the construction industry, there are some serious challenges facing the sector such as financing and energy costs but with such an incredible, unfulfilled demand for student beds, everyone agreed that it is one area that shows no sign of slowing down and is a safe investment opportunity.

Our very own Andy Stanford took to a panel, discussing ‘Navigating Accommodation Challenges‘, sharing his insights from an engineering perspective. He particularly noted the emphasis on “flexibility” and that delivering buildings in innovative ways whilst tackling the challenges of brownfield sites will be key to keep up with demand. He outlined how Walsh has seen this sector develop over the last 17 years and how we have been delivering innovative solutions that address our client’s challenges. You might want to read our White Paper which covers this and discusses how the buildings need to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of each generation of students.

Discussions around retrofitting of the first generation of PBSA were also highlighted with the buildings that were delivered in the noughties being due for this first major refit. We’re looking forward to bringing our retrofit expertise to bear on these projects in due course.

The final area of note is that the PBSA world (which has always been quick to spot social trends) have really embraced and demonstrated a heightened focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations. This was core to many of the award wins so we are delighted to see this being so high on everyone’s agenda.

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Taking Sustainability Seriously

Sustainability is in our DNA and we have our own ambitious goals to achieve Net Zero as a business and with our designs. With innovative in-house monitoring tools, Walsh clients have seen on average reductions of 10-20% total embodied carbon, with some of our flagship work achieving 60-70% reductions compared with baseline figures.