UNITE - Kelham Island

Design & Build

This scheme comprised construction of accommodation for 767 students located in Sheffield City Centre, using modular construction techniques.

The accommodation comprises clusters of 3 to 6 bedrooms with a number of ensuite study bedrooms and kitchen/lounge facilities.


The 12,750m² development is set in a brownfield site within a conservation area. Construction was restricted by the River Don and Inner Relief Road.


Modular construction was identified early on as being critical to the successful and timely delivery of the project.  As a ‘turn-key’ form of construction, the pod system helped reduce the amount of time spent on-site thanks to rapid-assembly and a streamlined supply chain from the factory. Modular units were manufactured utilising integrated structural steel framing with solid concrete floors. Integrated structural design facilitated the assembly of the building up to 7-storeys without the requirement for a secondary structural support system.  The units were manufactured, delivered and erected fully fitted out. Once units had been erected the building envelope was progressed and tied back to the modular units.

The superstructure was a multi storey composite steel frame with in-situ concrete basement with in-situ concrete transfer slab above on metal decking. Elevations were finished with feature stone at lower levels, facing brickwork, through coloured render, zinc panels, cedar boarding and aluminium windows and curtain walling. The roof consisted of a traditional steel structure covered with metal cladding and powder coated aluminium capping and flashings.


Enhancing the surrounding area formed a significant aspect of the scheme, with associated public realm works including:

  • Cycle path
  • Amphitheatre
  • Ecological works
  • External public art