We went and had a look at the construction site for the new Sussex accommodation

How are things coming along?

On a windy January morning, we got exclusive access to the construction site of the new East Slope residences. It seems as if the building works have been going on for ages but soon, the doors will open for next years freshers.

Before we could enter the site, we had our fingerprints scanned and were kitted out in high-vis jackets, boots, goggles, gloves and hard hats. We’ve never felt so dashing.

We were shown around the new accommodation while it was being built and heard all about the University’s plans. The new East Slope will be the home to 2,117 students, approximately 300 of which will be ready for September’s students, leaving 280 fewer bedrooms than old East Slope for the new intake of students this year.

The site consists of a mixture of townhouses, which will home nine students, and blocks of flats with six to eight students per flat, costing £156 per week.

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Each of the new flats will have a large kitchen and social area as well as a separate study room where you can work with your flatmates. If working in your flat isn't your thing don't worry, the University have created special spaces for study.

Bookable meeting rooms, complete with a kitchenette, will be in the reception of the accommodations. Aiming to make student living even more sociable for new students, the entrances of the blocks will mostly face into a courtyard area where you can hang out. However, possibly most exciting of all, you'll now be able to see when your takeaway has arrived with the swanky security camera.

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We also heard about the new development of the area surrounding East Slope Bar. A main road will be built through the accommodation, resulting in the road between Bramber House and Swanborough becoming mostly pedestrianized, leaving access to deliveries and some other vehicles.

This new road allows for two bendy buses to pass a corner at the same time, so there'll be no more awkward bus-turns at Brighthelm. In the place of the student bar, there will be a retail area, with approximately five units to be rented to yet-to-be-specified shops and services. Maybe we'll finally get a Superdrug?

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The building works exist within the red dotted line. As you can see, a main road will come from the top of the university to where Park Village is currently

The University and Balfour Beatty have come up with a host of initiatives to make the construction process and the accommodation as environmentally friendly as possible.

To keep track of how much energy a flat is using a new app will be released to help with utility monitoring. There have been talks of competitions between flats and prizes for the most eco-friendly flat in the new development.

As a result of the well-insulated buildings students, in theory, will barely need any heating to keep them warm in the winter months thus reducing their energy use. Never again will you have to wait in the laundry room for your washing because the machines will be linked to the app and will message you when your load is done.

With the new buildings being more visible than the rest of the University, the roofs of the buildings, like Jubilee and Northfield, will be covered in seeds and natural material, allowing grass to grow. A greywater system is also being installed, where the water from the sinks will be cleaned and re-used for the toilets, ensuring the accommodation is as environmentally-friendly as possible with the water usage.

We left the construction site feeling very jealous of future generations of students who get to stay in the new accommodation. The price you pay to live here is a far cry from the old East Slope and you can see how these new eco-initiatives are being paid for. Maybe we'll have to do another degree and stay students forever, if we can afford it.

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University of Sussex