The iQ Student Accommodation (iQ) project in Echo Street, Manchester, is one of the first purpose-built co-living schemes in the UK and the first of its kind in the city. An existing student accommodation block will be demolished and replaced with a single structure building, rising from 13 to 25 storeys. The development will include up to 863 bedrooms in a mix of studios, shared or co-living apartments and student accommodation, designed to attract undergraduates, recent graduates and urban professionals who are often priced out of the area.


Miller Goodall was brought in by iQ to carry out the noise and air quality aspects of a full environmental impact assessment, looking at the impact of current air quality and noise on future users of the site as well as the impact the development may have on existing receptors around the site. The assessments were complex because of the location and size of the site and the position of plant servicing the development.

Along with supporting evidence for the planning application, we also provided detailed acoustic and sound insulation advice in relation to the mixed uses within this exciting development, including a gym, amenity spaces and a retail unit on the ground floor.


We gathered baseline data in relation to air quality around the site and modelled the existing air quality at the development sites and surrounding areas. We then carried out computer modelling on combustion sources associated with the new building and their impact on air quality, including new boiler plant and standby generators. This data was used to determine what mitigation was necessary to ensure compliance with relevant Air Quality Objectives.

Action and outcome

Data and investigation showed that, with appropriate mitigation, the site was suitable for the proposed development. Existing air quality made the site suitable for residential accommodation, and any impact on surrounding air quality from the development would be insignificant. Outline planning permission was subsequently granted, subject to some conditions.


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