Sanctuary Students

Delivering an exceptional student experience with quality assured upgrades

Client: Sanctuary Students
Location: Preston, Manchester, Liverpool and Bradford

Student living specialist, Sanctuary Students, prides itself in offering residents ‘more than just a room’. The company understands that a great place to live is part of an exceptional student experience, so its developments combine high quality accommodation with excellent on-site facilities.

Since JSJ first began providing joinery services for Sanctuary Students’ Moor Lane development in Preston seven years ago as a sub-contractor, our relationship with the company has grown. After discovering how much more we could offer, we were appointed
to work under its principal contractor on five student living schemes: Moor Lane Halls in Preston, Grafton Street in Manchester, Marybone Student Village in Liverpool, Tramways in Salford and Wardley House in Bradford.

Our role is to ensure that each of these property assets is upgraded on an annual cycle, working on each location in rotation and delivering the agreed project scope within strict and business critical deadlines. We take responsibility for co-ordinating all trades, including decoration, electrical, lighting, plumbing and flooring, ensuring every project runs smoothly and providing the client with singlepoint-of-contact accountability and quality assurance.

Each project is aligned to the budget available for the year, so the scope can vary between an upgrade to communal areas and a full re-fit of student apartments. Working with the client to plan months in advance, we agree the programme and budget in early spring and have all the trades booked in ready to start work on site as soon as access is available at the end of the summer term.

When a full re-fit is required, we take vacant possession of the accommodation blocks the day after the students move out. We then strip out the kitchens, bathrooms and furniture, taking each cluster back to its shell before completing the fit out with kitchens, furniture and sanitaryware designed specifically for use in the student living sector, which is custom-manufactured and fitted by our team.

Providing this turnkey approach requires meticulous scheduling and logistics. The scale, complexity and tight turnaround of the student accommodation upgrades demands detailed management of all the trades and rigorous sequencing of works to avoid delays. As there is usually a small number of students that remain on campus throughout the summer break, we also plan around this, decanting them to other areas where necessary to minimise disruption and enable work to continue unhindered. We work to extremely tight deadlines as it is critical that each programme is completed before the students return for the new term.

As time has moved on, our brief for these projects has grown, with the addition of laundrettes, cinema rooms, gyms and communal study areas adding to the variety of work involved. We are able to leverage our considerable expertise in the sector to adapt to this broader remit and ensure we always meet the client’s expectations of quality, cost and time management.