UPP - Design & Technical Solutions Lead



JUNE 2021



Introduction to University Partnerships Programme


Our Partnerships


The Student Experience


The role of Design and Technical Solutions Lead


Job description and person specification


Benefits of working at UPP


Further Information and Application Process




We are the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure. We have over 36,000 rooms in operation or under construction through long-term, bespoke partnerships with 15 leading UK universities. With approximately 1000 employees, since 1998 UPP has invested well over £3bn in the UK higher education sector and provided homes to over 400,000 students. Our unique, long-term partnership approach enables our university partners to develop their estates whilst reinvesting in their core services of teaching and research. We design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) new, on-campus residential and academic infrastructure, and complete estate transfers of existing accommodation, for concession periods ranging from 40 years to 125 years. By providing high-quality and affordable accommodation on campus we aim to deliver the very best student experience in partnership with universities.

University of London

Our Vision

To be the leading infrastructure and services partner to UK universities by delivering next-generation campuses. To deliver on this ambitious vision we have developed a strategy focused on preserving and growing the value of our business through partnership, innovation and delivery. 1. Preserve the value of our business through active asset/investment management, maintaining a compliant estate and enhanced proactive marketing 2. Grow the value of our business by expanding our offer and working with leading UK universities 3. Partner more actively with universities through strategic relationship management 4. Innovate to deliver next generation products and services, driven by a new Innovation and Enterprise hub 5. Deliver for our partners by empowering our teams to provide an exemplary service, building the capability of our people, technology and processes, and driving a performance culture through strong leadership



Student Experience

Great space and services with student experience built in.

Our partnerships enhance the support and connection we have with the students who make their home with us. We currently manage the needs of more than 35,000 students every term and this means we never stop learning and we share our experience with our partners. We also know that every university is as unique as the thousands of students it serves and this ensures that we are never complacent, and never take a one size fits all view.

Listening, responding, adapting

Students can be demanding, and their needs constantly evolve. Independent qualitative and quantitative research helps us understand the evolving needs of students, and face to face focus groups and regular surveys with our residents enable us to check and adapt our approach quickly. As specialists, the quality of our teams and their in- depth understanding of the unique environment and the people for whom we provide services enables us to support universities, understand their aims and their strategy and together deliver tangible improvements to the student experience. Our design teams work to understand how students want to use space, and how they interact with each other, leading to seemingly small improvements to the specification of a bedroom, or major changes that impact on construction or technology. At UPP we aim to deliver great places to live, with student experience literally built in.

Transforming the Campus Experience

At UPP we want to reinvent the way students live and learn at university by transforming the campus experience. Our new and clearly defined strategy for growth is based on our overarching mission to develop long- term partnerships, supporting universities in improving the quality of their physical infrastructure and services to students. In aligning the interests of both parties, our unique approach provides security in the delivery of revenues and, in turn, expected returns to investors. Our strategy seeks to protect and grow the value of our existing business, innovate our partnerships, and deliver the very best experiences to our student residents. Our strategy will: • Grow the number of partnerships we have with selected universities • Expand and innovate our next-generation product offer to universities • Enhance our experiential offer for our partners and their students • Empower our teams to deliver by building capability • Transform and optimise our Portfolio through strategic asset management • Drive a proactive and multi-channel approach to business origination • Develop an energetic performance culture with leadership at its heart • Embrace technology in our products and services and to improve our processes • Expand our complementary facilities management strategy

Our University Partners

Imperial College London

1,172 Rooms / FM Services

Lancaster University

4,347 Rooms / Eco-Residences / FM services 2,038 Rooms / Eco-Residences / FM Services

Leeds Beckett University Loughborough University Nottingham Trent University Oxford Brookes University

1,310 Rooms / FM Services

4,402 Rooms / Academic / Retail / FM Services

771 Rooms / FM Services

Plymouth University University of Exeter University of Kent

1,764 Rooms / Academic / FM Services 3,555 Rooms / Academic / FM Services

1,840 Rooms / Eco-Residences / Academic / FM Services

University of Nottingham University of Reading

2,223 Rooms / FM Services

4,971 Rooms / Accommodation Office / FM Services

University of York

1,043 Rooms / FM Services 1,711 Rooms / FM Services

University of London University of Hull Swansea University

1,750 Rooms

2,472 Rooms / FM Services

Our Business Units

UPP comprises three business units;

• Asset Management Responsible for the long-term asset management of the Portfolio

• Residential Services Delivering facilities management services to our residences

• Commercial Designing, funding and development of new assets, as well as delivering strategic programmes

Each business unit, and the wider Group, is supported by a range of corporate services


Reporting to the Construction Director within UPP’s Asset Management Division the purpose of the role is to coordinate and drive the business-wide response to UPP’s accommodation and academic offering (i.e. service offer, technology solutions, building design, technical solutions etc.) to achieve our stated purpose of helping to transform our university campuses in order to deliver a great student experience. The role will lead on the appointment of design teams and play an influential role in driving design innovation and design standards to future proof UPP’s product and service offering and explore innovative new ways of creating student spaces to enhance student experience. You will lead on the implementation of strategic objectives to continually evaluate the future of student living requirements with regard to our products, services, and technical requirements, taking into account the future advances in technology on learning, living and operational performance, with a strong focus on sustainability best practice (Passivhaus and EnerPhit). We are therefore seeking an individual with proven experience and track record in design management on large-scale and complex construction projects, with an understanding of technical (including compliance and fire safety) and cost implications of construction delivery and asset management life-cycle, preferably on high-volume residential projects. You will have experience of successfully working with client partners to develop compelling and innovative design solutions with a detailed understanding of construction technology and applying innovation in design development through leadership of design teams and contractors. The role calls for the role calls for an individual who has exceptional presentation, communication and stakeholder management skills. The Role of Design & Technical Solutions Lead



Job Description

Job Title

Design and Technical Solutions Lead

Reports To

Construction Director



Job Purpose

The role of the Design and Technical Solutions Lead is to coordinate and drive the business-wide response to UPP’s accommodation and academic offering (i.e. service offer, technology solutions, building design, technical solutions etc.) to achieve our stated purpose of helping to transform our university campuses in order to deliver a great student experience. Reporting to the Construction Director the purpose of the role is to take a pro-active approach that harnesses our resources to drive innovation that future-proofs UPP’s solutions to ensure relevance to our partners and improve our overall competitiveness. The Design and Technical Solutions Lead will conduct market research and analysis including competitor offers and alternative sectors for future technical and service developments. They will manage a programme of sector engagement to develop understanding of future university/student requirements. The role will provide timely technical support as required to any relevant Strategic Programme established in support of the delivery of UPP’s strategy and ensure that the UPP design guide and product book is updated to reflect agreed innovation, lessons learned and regulatory/statutory changes. The role will work alongside the wider Asset Management Team, the Transaction Management team and other support functions to help ensure design is progressed – and commercial, legal and technical issues are adequately identified, managed and mitigated. This role will involve providing commercial, project management and product development support for new build or estate transfer transactions and refinancing projects, along with support for redevelopment and refresh opportunities within the wider portfolio.

Role & Responsibilities

Design and Technical Solutions Primary Responsibilities

• Head up the coordination and review of our design consultant appointments and ensure a suitable framework of design experts is maintained.

• Lead and manage the strategic programme for driving innovation and improvement in UPP’s product and service offer.

• Lead the development and implementation of UPP’s strategic approach to capturing and evaluating future university/student requirements with regard to our products, services, and technical requirements. In particular ensure the current and future impact of technology on learning, living, and operational performance is fully considered and adopted where appropriate. • Establish and maintain a robust whole life cost approach to design and technical solutions to enable improved construction and operational delivery whilst also maintaining UPP’s competitiveness in bidding.

• Ensure sustainability is fully considered in the development of UPP’s product and service offer.

• Head up reviews to ensure the benefits and issues surrounding current best practice initiatives e.g. Passivhaus and EnerPHit, are fully understood from a buildability and operational perspective. • Lead and manage the process for capturing lessons learned from completed transactions and construction projects to drive continuous improvement in UPP’s products and service offerings. • Ensuring the UPP Design Brief and Product Book are updated to reflect lessons learned and current design and technical best practice and innovation for incorporation into future projects.



Pre-Construction Design and Technical Solutions Responsibilities

• Undertake the activities of pre-construction design and technical solution lead on transactions including:

• Reviewing and confirming consultant appointments – scope of services and fee schedules.

• Confirming UPP design instruction and parameters to external design teams and managing design teams through the bid processes and from preferred bidder to financial close.

• Instigating and governing the cost planning process for new build projects including compiling the design and build related cost inputs for the financial model.

• Working with the wider asset management team to determine whole life costing for new build and estate transfers.

• Working with the construction implementation team(s) to ensure delivery risks are properly considered and mitigation strategies developed during the design phase.

• Ensuring the preparation of accurate and robust Employer’s Requirements.

• Ensuring a seamless transition from pre-financial close to construction phase.

Construction Phase Design and Technical Solutions Responsibilities

• Provide support and guidance to the construction delivery teams during the construction phase including:

• High level monitoring of design compliance during delivery.

• Providing overarching design and technical guidance to the construction delivery team(s) with any significant NCR’s or variation items.

• Providing guidance to the construction delivery team(s) with design and technical solutions for remediation of significant defects. • Monitoring the output of RDD and design reviews to ensure correct interpretation of UPP Design Brief and Product Book. • Working with the construction delivery team(s) during the construction completion process to ensure that the correct design and technical requirements for the transition to operational readiness have been incorporated into the works.


• Consistently perform in a manner which aligns to Above and Beyond Behaviour Framework

• Other duties as commensurate within the post

16 UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAMME Person Specification Attributes Essential criteria

Desirable Criteria


Extensive post-qualification professional employment in the built environment sector

Experience of project finance (DBFO/PFI/ PPP) commercial delivery contracts and transaction closure experience Experience of HE academic buildings Experience of BREEAM / Passivhaus / Well Development and implementation of effective processes and procedures to improve the development and delivery of technical or service solutions

Experience of developing new/innovative solutions whilst retaining existing business capability and capacity within a competitive environment Direct involvement in developing residential or student accommodation solutions Experience of developing technical solutions within a DBFO context that accommodate not only current but also consider the implications of future operational requirements Demonstrable experience in extracting requirements from clients and developing appropriate solutions to meet their needs Management of the design process from concept, through planning and into operations

Implementation and utilisation of BIM

Skills/ Ability/ Knowledge

Project Management competencies, including well developed planning and organisational skills, the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines Able to think strategically and analyse complex issues Robust decision-making based on effective analysis of options

Ability to prepare Whole Life Cost analyses, review sinking fund assessments and their formulation

and interrelationship through the whole life approach Facilities management services delivery Performance measurement systems and payment mechanisms

Ability to understand and challenge service offerings in order to future-proof and enhance design solutions

Robust understanding of design and build process from concept, through planning and into operations A comprehensive and detailed understanding of construction technology Commercially astute in the identification of value management opportunities within design Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including presentation skills Excellent interpersonal, persuasion and influencing skills

Full and proficient ability with MS Outlook, PowerPoint Word, Excel, MS Project / other planning software


Essential criteria

Desirable Criteria

Education/ Qualification

Construction biased Commercial Management or Project Management degree, or Technical Design background complimented by commercial acumen Evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development Intuitive communicator who is able to interact effectively with diversely skilled colleagues, external consultants, Universities, construction partners and investors Naturally inquisitive and challenging with the intention of driving continuous improvement and excellence Translates big ideas and visions into viable implementation and change programmes, linking strategy to operational performance management States own opinion clearly and presents in a highly skilled, confident way; developing respect and building relationships to influence decisions Understands how own style and behaviours impact upon the performance of others, and actively challenges and works to tackle ‘silo attitudes’ Adapts to address new challenges, opportunities and priorities, supporting a culture that embraces change

Membership of a recognised Professional body (preferably RICS or CIOB)

Personal Qualities



The benefits of working at UPP

In addition to a competitive basic salary level and industry leading annual bonus potential UPP offer a diverse range of employee benefits, including: • Salary exchange pension – matched contributions of 5% • Private Medical Insurance – single cover with the option to add dependants • Private Health Insurance (Group Income Protection) • Life Assurance x4 salary (x2 salary if opted out of pension scheme)

• 29 days annual leave, plus 8 days bank holiday • Holiday purchase option – up to 5 days (FTE) • Bonus Exchange • UPP Payroll Giving (Give as You Earn) • UPP Rewards (discount portal) • Employee Assistance Programme

This is an exciting time to join a commercially focused, high performing, customer and results oriented organisation that operates with energy, pace and passion. We strive to develop a highly-engaged, skilled and collaborative organisation that is diverse and has an embedded culture that promotes equality of opportunity. We offer the opportunity for flexible working and an inclusive environment for our people. We have an ongoing commitment to making UPP a great place to work for our teams, and as a reflection of this, the Company has been awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People (IiP). This internationally recognised accreditation is the sign of a great employer and a great place to work with a clear commitment to sustained success through people.

Further information and application process

For a confidential discussion to learn more about the role and opportunity please contact the UPP’s appointed recruitment partners Nicholas Coppard and Ben Duffill of The Management Recruitment Group.

Ben Duffill T: 0203 962 9900 M: 07976 125 010 E: ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk

Nicholas Coppard T: 0203 962 9900 M: 0789 6079 495 E: nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk

Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV and supporting cover letter. Applications should be sent to ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk and nicholas.coppard@mrgpeople.co.uk.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 27th June 2021.

All candidates are also requested to complete an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form which will be available upon submission of your application. Privacy Notice: Please note that by submitting your details, you are accepting that MRG and UPP is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. You will receive an ‘Applicant Privacy Notice’ if your application is progressed. This notice will make you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of recruitment, and how long it will usually be retained for.

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