New £13M nine-storey YMCA campus completes

07 July, 2020

We are delighted to have provided architectural services for a flagship YMCA campus that has now completed in Milton Keynes, creating 199 new apartments, alongside accompanying offices, community facilities and commercial units.

The new facility, built by main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, will transform the lives of young people, creating necessary housing, much-needed employment opportunities and delivering real social value for those who need it most.

Following the demolition of the existing 1970s buildings, the site has now been revitalised by Peveril Securities – the development arm of Bowmer + Kirkland –  and development manager Mayforth, resulting in a total GIA for all floors of the new facility of approximately 8,900 m² (95,800ft²).

John Sharp, regional director at Pick Everard said: “This 199-apartment scheme will transform the lives of at-risk youth in Milton Keynes and represents a significant upgrade to YMCA MK’s existing facilities.

“The scheme not only provides affordable homes but has also created conference room facilities, meeting rooms, a nursery, cafe and space for local businesses. Social enterprises on the ground floor level will also offer employment and training opportunities for the local community.”

The campus had a tight delivery timescale to adhere to. A highly coordinated Building Information Model (BIM) of the entire scheme supported this effort at the design stage and a hybrid modern method of construction (MMC) ensured an efficient construction programme.

John added: “In terms of MMC, the lower section of the building has used a steel frame, with the top levels utilising panellised lightweight steel framing (LSF) – used to support walls and flooring.

“However, the utilisation of LSF also presented challenges. As the build began, building regulations relating to LSF were updated, so changes had to be made. As a result, we worked closely with the main contractor and specialist sub-contractors to assess and co-ordinate the necessary changes. These were managed successfully, and the upgrades were carried out without impacting the rest of the scheme.

“The new campus has transformed YMCA MK’s offering and it’s a project we’re proud to have been involved in.”

Simon Green, chief executive at YMCA Milton Keynes, said: “The new YMCA Milton Keynes Campus provides much needed homes to more than 200 young adults in a high-quality environment right in the heart of Milton Keynes. Our innovative project could only be delivered through the backing of many supporters including Homes England, the South-East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, The National Lottery Community Fund, MyMK BID, Milton Keynes Council, The Garfield West Foundation, and many other small supporters.

“The homes provided – as well as the nursery, coffee shop, conference facilities, retail units and social enterprise hub – create a fabulous community facility for Milton Keynes and especially its young people.”

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