Queen’s gets green light to build largest eco-friendly accommodation on island of Ireland

  • Permission for Northern Ireland’s first Passivhaus student accommodation has today been granted by Belfast City Council planning committee.

    The 459-unit student housing block will be the first certified Passivhaus Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in Belfast and the largest certified Passivhaus project on the island of Ireland. Passivhaus certification is a globally recognised standard whereby very little energy is used for heating and cooling, making the building ultra-low emission.

    Northern Ireland’s Higher Education providers estimate that approximately 6,000 additional student beds are needed across the city in forthcoming years. Queen’s currently owns and manages over 3,500 beds across the city and it is estimated that 3,000 more rooms will be needed in Belfast within the next five years for Queen’s students alone in line with an increased demand from students opting to live in high quality student accommodation.  

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    Caroline Young, Vice-President of Students and Corporate Services at Queen's University Belfast, said: “We have seen a huge demand for student accommodation in recent years. This site will help us in part to meet the demand for quality student accommodation while working towards our Strategy 2030, which has sustainability at its core.

    “The site at Dublin road will house up to 459 students, offering the first ultra-low emission multi-occupancy building in the city centre. We are delighted to be at the forefront of such a significant milestone for sustainable development in Belfast and beyond, which resonates with the Belfast City Council’s aim to future proof the city for generations to come.

    “We are committed to achieving our ambitious net zero target for 2040 whilst providing the best student experience, not least by continuing to offer high quality accommodation at one of the best values across the UK. ”

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    Queen’s currently has over 24,000 students and almost 5,000 staff. A recent report by London Economics highlighted that the university’s impact on the economy is £3.2bn, driving economic growth in the region and beyond.

    Ms Young added: “This site marks an important part of our longer term accommodation plan to meet growing demand. This site will not only positively impact the economy for the foreseeable future in terms of job creation and the transformation of the area but also in the long-term with the impact expected to be seen for generations of students to come.” 

    Source: Written from press release

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