BAM designed and built the four storey Green Lane Student Accommodation, which provides 112 luxury studio rooms for students living in the centre of Durham. Each of the hi-spec apartments is unique and includes its own kitchen and bathroom, making Green Lane a fantastic home for students.
We used lean construction to meet the customer’s aspirations of creating a modern hall of residence, and the building achieved an EPC A rating and BREEAM Very Good. The lean construction approach is a highly efficient construction process, taking into consideration all aspects of the design and build, and resulted in reduced down time and improved resource efficiency.
Embraced lean construction techniques
Tackling Climate Change
This project was the first in its region to use the El-Bjorn heating system during the construction process. This heating system helped the project to remain on its lean construction programme because, unlike traditional blown heat products, El-Bjorn heaters were able to dry rooms quickly, even in winter. Dry rooms could then be plastered with little down time in between, increasing productivity and also reducing hire costs as heaters were only needed for a short time period.
In the final building, heat recovery units in each room draw in the latent heat of the building and then mix it with fresh air. These heat recovery units are combined with time restricted electric panel heaters to effectively regulate the ambient temperature of each room, reducing the heating and air conditioning demands on the building.
PIR sensors ensure lights are switched off when not in use, helping reduce building energy use.
Heat recovery units efficiently regulate internal temperature
Lean construction techniques helped resources to be used efficiently throughout the project. We reduced material use wherever possible, for example skirting was only fitted where visible and standard module sizes were used to reduce off-cuts e.g. plasterboard. Silos were used to mix mortar which gave better control and quality of mixes and also reduced water use on site.
The team also used concrete bricks to top off interior block walls, thereby avoiding cutting masonry blocks on site, reducing waste from offcuts, but also preventing the health and safety risks of dust from cutting.
We procured our own timber and blockwork on the project. This allowed greater control over the materials to ensure they were of the correct specification, that optimal amounts were ordered, and that ‘just in time’ delivery could be implemented which reduced the amount and the time that materials had to be stored on-site, reducing material damage and wastage.
We set up a ‘timber reuse’ area on site for offcuts, so any excess timber could be reused on site.
Actions such as these helped the project to achieve a construction waste production figure of just over 6 tonnes per 100m², well below the industry norm. The project was able to achieve a 99% waste diversion from landfill.
Waste diverted from landfill
The site had multiple neighbours, so we were keen to engage with the local community throughout the build. Project bulletins were regularly dispatched to local residents and consultations kept them up to date on progress, while giving locals a chance to discuss future works. From meetings such as these, noise concerns from the local residential blocks were raised which allowed BAM to implement strict working hours.
BAM worked closely with Durham City Rugby Club to use their car park for contractor parking, ensuring local roads remained free from parked cars. The rugby club also opened their café during the week to cater for the workers on site.
Regular consultations with the local community
Before starting works, we conducted an ecology report that revealed the presence of bats. We erected six permanent bat boxes on trees to provide alternative roost sites and a large internal crevice roost site was created within the brick walls of the new building. Toolbox talks were also given to all workers on bats, to understand the importance of preserving them on site.
New trees were planted and new house martin boxes erected externally on the new buildings. Eight trees had Protection Orders so during construction these were fenced off to protect them from damage.
Bat habitats created