Following construction of a new, £170m development for the University of Hertfordshire, Derwent fm took over the provision of all hard and soft facilities management activities on site in 2012. Under this design, build, finance & operate agreement, the Uliving consortium (composed of Bouygues UK and Derwent Living) constructed 2,511 student accommodation units at the College Lane campus. On completion, all of the new units achieved BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ status and it has been recognised as one of the leading schemes in the UK for student experience winning a range of awards.
The university also transferred 502 of its existing residences to Uliving for refurbishment and Derwent fm now provide a full range of support services to the renovated units.
The new build scheme incorporates modern sports pitches, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces. A new, dedicated bus route has been incorporated into the complex to provide regular transport links with the university and local community.
One of the university’s key objectives in launching this scheme was to improve its ‘student experience’ ranking. Derwent fm’s exemplary standards of service provision are crucial to this goal, contributing to greatly improved levels of satisfaction with the accommodation and support available to all students. Working alongside the university and Student Union, we achieve this through initiatives such as:
- Fostering an unparalleled community atmosphere – something which is often lacking in such large developments;
- Tailoring common room provision to the students in residence by listening to their views on what facilities should be available
- Ensuring our teams are always available, approachable and supportive
- Organising social events and excursions which are tailored to the existing student population.
The cleaning element of the contract has also been seen as a vital in the part it plays in enhancing the student experience, particularly during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this has included enhanced cleaning of public spaces to offer students reassurances and as Emma Scott, Operations Manager, Uliving @ University Of Hertfordshire commented ‘Your approach to COVID-19 has been excllent, we have had minimal cases on campus, even in the initial pandemic phase cases remained extremely low which is a testament to the vigorous cleaning processes’