A living space to nurture academic success and career prospects

Future students at The University of Queensland will have access to a bright new living space that will set a benchmark for university student housing.

The proposed 1300-bed residence will help grow Queensland’s share of Australia’s $19 billion education and training export market and allow more students from regional and remote areas to attend university.

What is the Student Residences Project?

The Student Residences Project will provide accommodation for 1300 students, offering best-practice in student care and well-being. The architect-designed facility will support academic success and quality lifestyle, with 24-hour pastoral care and security.

It will be ideal for students from regional, rural and remote areas and from overseas, with easy access to campus sporting facilities, cultural programs, gardens and transport links.

The self-catering units will be competitively priced and will widen the accommodation choices available to students.

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Project schedule and upcoming activities

The University of Queensland’s Student Residences Project at St Lucia in Brisbane is undergoing a public consultation process from 11 November-9 December 2016.

UQ is developing the project in three-stages.

In the first stage, a high-level design was adopted, after a competition.

During the current stage two, detailed design work and public and stakeholder consultation are under way.

Stage three will include the relocation of the child care centre and construction and fit-out of the new student housing.

In May 2016, the Queensland Government backed the project by approving a Queensland Treasury Corporation loan to UQ.

Stage 1

January - August 2014 Feasibility studeis and internal approvals
November 2014 Competition to decide high-level architectural design
December 2014 Wilson Architects and Partners Hill announced as winners
October 2014 Early engagement with stakeholders on high-level design and operational matters for the child care centre nad the Student Residences Project.
October 2014 Detailed design for the new Margaret Cribb Child Care Centre starts with Suters Architects.
May 2015 Queensland Treasury Corporation Loan approved

Stage 2

January - August 2016 Feasibility studeis and internal approvals
August - November 2016 Competition to decide high-level architectural design
September - November 2014 Wilson Architects and Partners Hill announced as winners

Stage 3

Mid 2017 Relocation of child care centre
Mid 2017 - late 2019 Construction of Student Residences Project
Febuary 2020 Students move in


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Approvals and planning

UQ is undertaking community consultation on the Student Residences Project.

The views of surrounding residents and businesses, and of staff, students and other interested parties, are welcome and will be considered.

On 10 November 2016 the UQ Buildings and Grounds Committee on behalf UQ Senate approved the Student Residences Project for specific public consultation based on the documents provided:

Frequently asked questions about the project can be found here.

The schematic design for the SRP was available for community review and feedback from 11 November – 9 December 2016. This process has now closed and the feedback is being considered for the next phase of the project.

You can contact the project team at studentprecinct@uq.edu.au.

Community Information Sessions

UQ held two community information sessions on the proposed design of the Student Residences Project and the St Lucia Campus master planning process on Saturday 19 November. Just over 100 community members spoke to University staff and consultant technical experts at these drop-in sessions and had their say on these significant projects.

The information displayed on the day can be found at the links below:

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How many students will it house?

Accommodation for 1300 students. The University is intending this accommodation will primarily be focussed on first year undergraduate students.

When will it be complete?

Students are expected to move in by early 2020

Where is the site?

The SRP site is located on the western boundary of the St Lucia Campus and is in proximity to existing student accommodation at Grace College, Cromwell College, International House and the privately owned ‘UniLodge’

What is happening with the child care centre that is currently on site?

The Margaret Cribb Childcare Centre will be moved to a new, central campus location. The new centre will be able to take twice as many children, and will be able to look after more children aged 2 and under.

Development of the new student residences will not commence until the new childcare centre is built and operational.

Is the accommodation focused on attracting international students?

This project is an addition to the variety of existing accommodation and residential options for domestic and international students who attend the University.

Education and training is Australia’s second largest service exports, after tourism. International students spend $2.9 billion in Queensland, and sustain about 19,000 FTE jobs. Accommodation is one of the factors that will contribute to the appeal of Queensland as a student destination.

Growing UQ’s share of Australia’s $19B education and training exports to 20% by 2026 (from the current 16%) is projected to generate $7.5 billion in annual export income and create an additional 6,800 jobs. Projects such as this one will help us achieve a market share that is a truer reflection of the quality of both our education, and the wonderful lifestyle that international students can enjoy in Queensland.

Why is it desirable to have students living on campus?

One of the many benefits is that it will reduce the number of students travelling daily to the St Lucia campus by some 1,300. This will have a significant positive impact upon traffic flow into and from the campus. We also know that students who live on campus in a supportive, collegial community are more engaged, achieve better results in their studies, and are more likely to continue with their studies.

How will this residence differ from the other student residences?

The Student Residences Project will be owned by The University of Queensland. It will be self-catered and there will be opportunities for students to live in cluster apartments.

What will be the impact on surrounding colleges?

UQ will maintain construction industry standards, and ensure that impacts on surrounding residents and colleges will be minimised throughout the construction period.

The University will publish construction activity forecasts each week to identify potentially noisy activities and the approximate timing of these events.

What impact will an additional 1300 students have on car parking and public transport?

Locating more students on campus will reduce the public transport demand and parking demands on campus. Due to the location of the development there is an excellent opportunity to reduce the carbon emissions related to transportation of people throughout the precinct and surrounding area. Design initiatives include bike parking and storage, bicycle maintenance facilities, bike sharing, and inform students about sustainable transport options.

A detailed traffic study has been conducted and is included in the Environmental Assessment Report.

What will be the impacts on surrounding private residents?

The impact is likely to be minimal. UQ has engaged consultants to assess the impact and prepare the Environmental Assessment Report which is available on this web site.

What impact will an additional 1300 students have on the campus and St Lucia?

Increasing the number of students living on-campus should improve the utilisation of the facilities at the St Lucia Campus and the retail facilities in St Lucia Village.

Has consideration been given to the environmental impacts of this build?

We will comply with any regulatory and environmental requirements. Some established trees on will become features of the new landscape and an arborist will assess the other vegetation to identify exotic and weed species for removal. More information can be found in the EAR.

What will happen to Cairngorm?

Cairngorm, built circa 1900, was originally the home of the Mitchell family, makers of fencing wire. This building will be carefully refurbished and repurposed as a social space. Extensions added to the original house over the years will be removed. The large fig trees in front of Cairngorm will be retained.

What will be the impact on St Lucia businesses?

The units will be self-catering, so it is expected that local grocery and food venues will benefit.

How many jobs will this project create?

The Student Residences Project is expected to create 620 construction jobs for the two-year construction period, and about 30 ongoing jobs on the site.

Who will manage the facility?

The University is considering a range of management options.

Why did the Queensland Government provide a loan to create the project?

The Queensland Government has approved a Queensland Treasury Corporation loan to fund the $251 million student residences project as the project has implications for both the Queensland and Australian economy.

Growing UQ’s share of Australia’s $19 billion education and training exports to 20 per cent by 2026 (from the current 16 per cent) is projected to generate $7.5 billion in annual export income and create an additional 6,800 jobs.

Who designed the Student Residences Project?

Wilson Architects and Partners Hill were the winners of a high level design competition held in late 2014. The design has evolved since this time to incorporate technical and stakeholder input. A schematic design was available for review and feedback. This process has now closed and the comments received are being considered for the next phase of the project.

What studies have been completed as part of the detailed design process?

An Environmental Assessment Report was produced for the SRP site. A number of sources of information have been used to describe the baseline conditions at the site, including:

  • The UQ Draft Master Plan 2015
  • GIS data including geological mapping and acid sulfate soil mapping
  • Remnant vegetation mapping and high risk flora survey trigger area mapping from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP)
  • Aerial photography and topographical mapping
  • Brisbane City Council Planning Scheme 2014 Mapping
  • Brisbane City Council NALL Mapping (eBimap)
  • Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) Cultural Heritage Database
  • Previous reporting including Stage 1 and 2 Environmental Site Investigation for the childcare site (Parsons Brinckerhoff 2012)
  • Bureau of Meteorology climate data
  • DEHP Air quality monitoring data.

The following studies were also conducted as inputs to the EAR:

  • Site Based Stormwater Management Plan (Robert Bird Group 2016)
  • Environmental Noise Report (ASK Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd)
  • Traffic Engineering Review (MRCagney 2016)
  • Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) Strategy (Arup 2016)
  • Geotechnical Investigation including acid sulfate soils and contamination (Butler Partners 2016)
  • Landscape planning (WAPH 2016)
  • Visual Assessment (WAPH 2016).

What, besides accommodation rooms, will be housed in these buildings?

Study space, retail and café space. The development will also formalise streets, improve pedestrian and network connections and introduce services to the western campus.

What does the design include?

Three new buildings, and the refurbishment and integration of Cairngorm into the development.

The proposed buildings will vary in height from 3 to 15 levels.

Accommodation will include single rooms, six to twelve bedroom cluster apartments, and self-contained studio apartments. There will be some live-in management accommodation as well as office and support space for the operator/UQ. In addition, there will be a shared laundry, learning support, social and recreation areas, bicycle storage and limited car parking (130 spaces).

What opportunities have the community had to be involved in the detailed design?

Design decisions to date have been based on technical requirements and the vision of the architects. Wilson Architects and Partners Hill have also run a series of focus groups with students to identify their study living habits and priorities for their living space to ensure the design is suitable for purpose. The detailed design was available for review and feedback This process has now closed and the comments received are being considered for the next phase of the project.

How do I get more information?

You can to keep up to date on progress through the website and provide feedback via +61 7 3365 1113 or email studentprecinct@uq.edu.au.

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