An £8million halls of residence extension providing an extra 154 rooms for students has opened at St George’s, University of London.

Students have now moved into the new block at the Horton Halls development in Tooting. The development brings overall capacity to 486.

The new five-storey building was developed using feedback from residents of the first block, which opened in 2008 to replace the old halls of residence. Students’ input has resulted in more spacious rooms, wider beds, larger en-suite bathrooms, softer carpets and redesigned desk spaces. They also have access to a 300-square-metre common room.

The project was designed with environmental sustainability in mind, and includes energy-efficient heating and electrical systems as well as improved levels of insulation. This means it will achieve Excellent status by BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), the global environmental assessment and rating system for buildings.

The development was designed by architecture and building firm Hunters, and built by construction company Willmott Dixon.

Ian Penistone, assistant director of Estates and Facilities at St George’s, said: “When we started planning the development, as well as ensuring we met the needs of the students it was important to make it sustainable for the future. We included features such as high-quality insulation and a combined heat and power plant that will minimise future energy use and bills without having a major effect on cost or space.

“It was certainly a challenging project, particularly with the timeframe. Construction started last July, so it’s been a fantastic effort from everyone involved to have it ready in time for all our new students. We’re delighted with the end result and we’re confident the students will be too.”