Chinese firm hails new containerised student blocks at UK’s Newcastle University

A Chinese manufacturer of modular building components today hailed the opening of six student accommodation blocks at the UK’s Newcastle University, built quickly with its prefabricated container units.

Galliford Try, general contractor on Park View Student Village, said the project took two years when building it in the traditional way would have taken more than three years.

Shenzhen-headquartered CIMC Modular Building Systems Holding Co (CIMC MBS) said the scheme is "believed to be the country’s largest of its kind".

CMIC said its method allowed more than 90% of the buildings to be finished in a factory, cutting build time and waste.

The village consists of 1,261 standard rooms from 789 separate modules, with a total area of 37,000 square meters.

It cost £75m ($97m), making it the university’s largest investment project, CIMC said.

"It would have taken three years minimum using traditional techniques. But using the modular services provided by CIMC MBS, the construction company was on site for a total of 110 weeks, a significant reduction in the construction period," said Paul Milburn, project manager of Galliford Try, the project’s general contractor.

The British project follows another completion in the US, where CIMC delivered modularised student accommodation at the University of California, Berkeley.

CIMC cited a report by market research firm MarketsandMarkets, which estimated the modular construction market value stood at $106.2 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $157.2 billion by 2023, representing an average annual growth of 6.9 percent over the period.

Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2017 in terms of value, with China contributing a major share of it, the report said.

Image: Newcastle University’s Park View Student Village (Newcastle University)

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