Student experience

The student accommodation sector has seen a revolution in the last decade, bringing hotel-style experiences to the student market – and with it, an injection of cash, into city centre economies.

As a leading provider of student accommodation Vita Students operates nationwide, adding Vita Student Nottingham, to its list of locations in October 2020.

Part of the regeneration of Nottingham’s southside, the 319-room accommodation block is situated in easy reach of Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham and a stones’ throw from the City’s train station.

Designed by architect Fuse Studios and delivered by main contractor Morgan Sindall, the 101,375 square foot development the contemporary build is split into three tiered towers of six, eight and ten storeys each.

There’s also a 6,000 square ft communal hub space for co-working and socialising, complete with a coffee bar, separate study rooms and private, bookable lounges.

Acorn Aluminium was appointed by Morgan Sindall to design, manufacture and install, windows, panelling and louvres, into the £24million scheme.

Given the location of the site within in metres of tram and railway lines, the brief included a specific focus on acoustic insultation.

Part of the regeneration of Nottingham’s southside, the 319-room accommodation Vita Student Nottingham is part of a series of next generation student accommodation projects supported supported by Acorn Aluminium
 
Our approach

Supplied in RAL7006 Beige Grey, open-in casement windows were manufactured by us in the acoustically rated and tested Technal FY65 aluminium commercial window system.

Installed in a stacked formation across sequences of two-storeys, they also featured louvre grills, sitting under panels, used to face floor levels, to provide background ventilation.

We also developed a dual specification of standard and acoustic energy efficient IGUs, which were installed in the acoustically rated and tested Technal FY65 aluminium commercial window system.

This meant that combined with high performing units manufactured in 8.8mm acoustic laminates, 18mm cavity and 6mm toughened glass, we were able to achieve a Sound Reduction Index (RW) rating of as high as 42dB.

This specification was used on those elevations exposed to potential noise from the street and transport networks, with installations on less noisy elevations achieving RW ratings ranging from 35 – 39dB RW.

Argon-filled and with a centre pane u-value of 1.0W/m2K, the combined window and unit u-value was an ultra-energy efficient 1.3W/m2K.

 

“The site in the very heart of Nottingham’s southside and right next to the train station, tram network and busy street scene. Acoustic performance consequently formed a very big part of the project.

 “The Technal FY65 is fully accredited and acoustically tested, which meant when paired with an IGU with acoustic laminates, we were able to achieve a very high level of performance and a significant reduction in sound transmittance.”

Paul Stevens, Commercial Director, Acorn Aluminium

 

It was key that our installation teams worked agilely and in sequence with the construct of the floors. These were built in cast concrete, with a steel framed system providing structural support around the outside.
 
Additional considerations

While acoustics formed a key element of the brief, there were a series of additional challenges in installation.

This included a key requirement to work agilely and in sequence with the construct of the floors. These were built in cast concrete, with a steel framed system providing structural support around the outside, with windows installed as the flooring and structural contracting teams moved on to the next storey, but before brickwork was completed.

Delivery during the early stages of Lockdown 1.0, generated further complexity, as did the city centre location and a very limited site footprint.

Given our location in Nottingham, we worked around this by using our own facility as a ‘satellite’ extension of the main site, storing product in our own facility until the day of installation, because of limitations on space.

 

Product overview: The Technal Soleal FY65 Casement/Tilt-and-Turn

The Technal Soleal FY65 Casement/Tilt-and-Turn is available in a either a minimalist or visible flush sash option, plus concealed hardware and through-frame drainage and venting to create a highly contemporary aesthetic. With top and side hung casement, plus tilt-and-turn configurations, the SOLEAL FY65 offers the ultimate in design flexibility, combining it with advanced energy efficiency with U-values as low as 0.9W/m2K and enhanced security.

 

The Technal Soleal FY65 Casement/Tilt-and-Turn:
  • Multi-chamber 65mm system
  • Minimal and standard framing options
  • Top and side hung casement. Inward opening tilt-and-turn
  • Advanced thermal breaking technologies to achieve U-values as low as 0.9W/m2K
  • Accepts units of 24mm to 42mm and 52mm in depth fixed light
  • Weather tested to BS6375 Part 1: Air 600Pa; Water 600 PA; Wind resistance 1200Pa
  • Anodised to BS EN 12373-1 and Qualicoat polyester powder coated
  • Single and dual colour and textured options
  • Green Guide A Rated
  • Enhanced security PAS24 tested

 

Summary
  • End Client: Vita Students
  • £24million development completed October 2020
  • Commercial partners: architects, Fuse Studios. Main contractor, Morgan Sindall. Glass Saint Gobain
  • Three tiered towers of six, eight and ten storeys each, accommodating 319-unit student accommodation scheme.
  • Key requirement: acoustic performance, designed to achieve 42RW rating
  • Almost 400 (1,500m2) windows in Technal Soleal FY65 Casement
 
Closing thoughts
 

“There were challenges on this project. The impact of COVID-19 and a very limited site footprint, plus the complexity of the build, threw us a couple of curved balls.

“We, and our partners, however, adapted to them and delivered a landmark project, with a glazing element that combines a very high level of acoustic and thermal performance, which we very much hope will positively add to the generations of students which will call Vita Nottingham home, for the duration of their studies.”

Paul Stevens, Commercial Sales Director, Acorn Aluminium
 
For more information, please contact:

Paul Stevens, Commercial Director, Acorn Aluminium

tel. 0115 9282166

mob, 07721128254

paul.stevens@acornaluminium.com

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