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Ewen Rose Jul 8, 2024 4:40:12 PM 2 min read

JB Hopkins hosts US students on fact finding mission


18 students from Alabama’s Auburn University were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of a major London M&E project as the first stop on their technical visit to Europe and the Middle East.

Hopkins hosts US student visit

The 16 undergraduates and two masters students from the university’s McWhorter School of Building Science were the guests of JB Hopkins who are delivering the £14 million building services package at the new student accommodation building for the London School of Economics (LSE) in South London.

The tour of the Glengall Road Project was organised by Kip Bahra, London and South East regional manager of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), as part of the long-standing collaboration between the UK trade body and its counterpart the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA).

Auburn associate professor Keith Rahn is a prominent member of the MCAA and is leading the students on their 2024 ‘Building Science Europe and United Arab Emirates’ study abroad programme.

The students toured the basement level of the project and saw first and second fix examples of the commercial and residential spaces. They were guided by JB Hopkins project director Mick Reader and lead design engineer James Mintram, who explained the details of the project and then answered questions during a Q&A session over lunch.

The Glengall Road project is a major student accommodation development being built by main contractor Equans in partnership with the LSE and the developer SPARK Living. It involved the demolition of a warehouse to be replaced by a 15-storey modular pre-cast concrete frame building which was largely manufactured off site.

It includes a basement plantroom, 676 student rooms, a 2,375 sqm commercial floorspace gym, external courtyards, shared kitchens, cinema room, laundry room, amenity space and staff offices. It is due for completion in December.

BESA chief executive David Frise thanked everyone involved for making the visit possible and said it was a great example of the enduring collaboration between the two industry organisations and their members.

“Our partnership with the MCAA has endured for more than half a century and we value it more than ever,” he said. “We must continue to strengthen our ties and give our young engineers more opportunities to broaden their horizons by learning from each other and being exposed to this kind of practical experience.”

JB Hopkins' major projects director, Dominic Harman said it was “a genuine pleasure to support the young graduate engineers visiting from America” adding that the initiative not only fostered international collaboration “but also highlighted the talent we have nurtured within our own organisation”.

“Our designer, who began his journey with us as a graduate, had the invaluable opportunity of presenting the project design, demonstrating his own growth and expertise,” he added. “This experience underscores the immense benefits of investing in the younger generation, who bring fresh perspectives and significant value to our industry. Their contributions are vital to our ongoing success and innovation.”