Project Overview

This project involved the design and construction of a new high-quality student accommodation building on Western Way, Exeter. 

The new five-storey building provides 203 contemporary studio apartments for students, which range in size from 18m² to 28m². Each apartment is fitted with a kitchen and a private en-suite shower room. The building also includes common areas, a reception, laundry and day rooms, with two staircases and a 13-passenger lift to all floors. 

Dawnus worked with the design team to develop the proposals from concept design. We proposed a change in the envelope from brickwork to brick slips, which reduced the amount of steelwork required and the time needed to install. 

The substructures are traditional trench fill foundations with an in-situ concrete ground floor complete with all internal drainage. The superstructure is part steel-framed completed with timber frame up to and including the roof. External facades are a mixture of brick facings, render panels and cladding complete with a feature wall. Windows and doors are double-glazed aluminium. All rooms have modular bathroom pods, constructed offsite and transported for installation. 

The external works included the installation of a new storm water system complete with attenuation and an outfall to a new connection on the site and the installation of a new foul water system. Works also involved paving to all external areas, fencing and landscaping, complete with a covered cycle store.

Project Gallery


Downing Students (Exeter) Ltd



Project Value


Contract Period

79 weeks