Essential repairs and improvement works 2017/18

The information contained in this webpage may be subject to change.  We are seeking to provide you with as much detail as we are able to at this moment, however this could be changed by events outside the University’s control. For the avoidance of any doubt, the refund associated with the disruption will only be payable if the works proceed.

Please be aware that essential repairs and improvement works, are scheduled to take place on a number of blocks located at both our Lafrowda and Birks Grange Village residences during the 2017/18 academic year.

There are two main categories of works planned:

  • Updating the exterior of the building
  • Refreshing shower room flooring

Please note that these works have been planned for some time and are unrelated to the public concerns raised following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London. We can also confirm these buildings and associated works do not involve Reynobond or Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).

The planned works do not affect the operation of the accommodation, which remain safe, fully functioning and able to be occupied. However, blocks directly affected will have reduced rents, to acknowledge that these planned works will have an impact on students living in these residences. The works will be planned carefully to ensure the impact is as minimal as possible for those residents in the affected blocks.

Exterior works

The current installation of external cladding is fully-compliant with fire safety regulations however it is not achieving its anticipated performance and durability parameters. As such, it has been decided to re-install the cladding, to update the exterior of the buildings, in alignment with the manufacturer's recommendations. The original building contractor will be undertaking this work using the same product specifications and suppliers.

To complete these works it will be necessary to have scaffolding added to the exterior of the building.

Shower room flooring

For flats where there is a requirement to refresh the shower room floors, students will need to move from their accommodation to an alternative flat, in a different block in the same residential area for a period of one week.  Students will remain living with those they originally shared a flat with and will be required to vacate and move back in to their accommodation during the weekend period.  Moving boxes and transportation will be provided.  However, you will be required to pack all of your belongings on preparation of the moving including your belongings in the communal/kitchen area.

The blocks which are likely to be directly affected by these works are outlined below.  Please note the planned works are subject to change and may alter throughout the year due to circumstances outside of our control. 

Exterior and shower room flooring

Accommodation BlockProposed duration
Lafrowda - Block A
(En-Suite)

Exterior works: September 2017 - March 2018

Shower room flooring works: October 2017 - December 2018

Lafrowda - Block B
(En-Suite)

Exterior works: September 2017 - March 2018

Shower room flooring works: January 2018 - April 2018

Exterior works only

Accommodation BlockProposed duration
Birks Grange Village - Block G
(En-Suite)
September 2017 - February 2018
Birks Grange Village - Block L
(Studio)
September 2017 - November 2017
Birks Grange Village - Block M
(Studio)
November 2017 - April 2018

Shower room flooring works only

Accommodation BlockProposed duration
Birks Grange Village - Block F
(En-Suite)
October 2017 - February 2018

We will make every effort to reduce the disruption of these works; however we will include a rent reduction (subject to works taking place) to acknowledge the fact that these works will inevitably have an impact on the students living in these residences in 2017/18.

Rental reductions will be available for:

  • Students who have works taking place to the exterior of the block they live in
  • Students who need to move out of their flats to allow shower room works to be completed

Please note blocks in close proximity will not be eligible for a rent reduction.

Rent Reduction

External works

If you live in a block where external works will be taking place you will receive a rent reduction of £20 per week. This will be applied to cover the period the works are taking place in each rent instalment as below:

Works undertaken between September and December

Rent instalment 1

Reduction will applied to your account in September
Works undertaken between January to April

Rent instalment 2

Reduction will applied to your account in January
Works undertaken between May to June

Rent instalment 3

Reduction will applied to your account in May

Should you move from your accommodation during this time, the amount of reduced rent you will receive will be calculated based on the period you occupied the affected room, and your accommodation account will be amended accordingly.

Shower room flooring works

Should you be required to move from your flat for a period of one week, to enable your shower room flooring to be refreshed, you will receive a one off rent reduction of 50% of your weekly rent.

The rent reduction will be credited to your student account once the work has taken place.  For example, if your shower floor is refreshed in Term 1, your Term 2 fee will be reduced by 50% of one week’s rent.

How can I check my account?

Throughout the year you can check your account with the University of Exeter by accessing your online statement. This can be done by logging into your iExeter account and clicking on the ‘Student Record’ and ‘Finance’ tabs.

‌‌When applying for accommodation you will have the opportunity to specify if you would consider living in an area where works are planned.

We advise students to check their accommodation offer carefully, at which point you will know if you have been offered a room where works are taking place, and the level of rent reduction you would receive. The information above will be updated so that you can check the detail of works planned for your allocated accommodation.  Please consider all information carefully before accepting your offer.

Frequently asked questions

A large amount of the planned works are scheduled to take place over the summer period; however there is a requirement for us to continue the works in certain blocks during the 2017/18 term time period.

During the application process you will be asked to indicate your additional preferences for accommodation. We will take these into account when allocating accommodation but please note that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to fulfil any of these additional accommodation preferences.  

It is your decision as to whether or not to accept the offer made to you.  If you reject an offer of accommodation we may not be able to make you another offer unless there are special circumstances which we were unaware of at the time of allocation.

Yes.  The planned works do not affect the operation of the accommodation, which remain safe and habitable for student occupation.

The safety of residents, staff and contractors remains of paramount importance to the University of Exeter and UPP, which owns and manages the Lafrowda and Birks Grange Village residences.

As outlined the duration and type of the works taking place on each block will differ.  Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the timescales shown above, these may be amended throughout the year due to circumstances outside of our control.  You would be notified if there is a change in schedule to your block.

Due to the nature of the project noise should be expected; however, works will be restricted to 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday.  Further information will be provided on arrival, and weekly updates will be available with the latest information and the times when more noise is likely.  Study spaces are available across the Streatham Campus and we would encourage students to make use of these during the times of possible disruption.

Net curtains will be provided in all rooms which will still allow visibility out of your window but will reduce visibility in.  The scaffolding will be visible.

The net curtains should provide protection against people seeing in through your window.

For the external works there will not be a requirement for any contractor to enter your room.  However, access for normal checking, testing and maintenance is required and is carried out using our normal safety and notification systems.

For the shower room flooring, access will be required but only during the period in which you will be required to vacate your room and remove your belongings.

 

We can reassure residents, prospective students and their parents that all accommodation is subject to regular fire risk assessment and is attended by staff trained in fire safety procedures 24 hours a day.
 
The accommodation also benefits from a high-standard of fire detection, weekly alarm testing and managed fire drills to ensure all residents know how and where to evacuate the building. We also operate an ‘all out’ evacuation policy, with staff available to manage an emergency evacuation process.