Facade Newsletter of the Architectural Cladding Association Winter 2008 Decomo misses the party E dinburgh in late July and early August was in party spirit with the renowned annual ultimate benefits gained by – involving and Festival in full swing. Not so for Decomo, however, as its specific instructions/aim appointing specialist subcontractors/suppliers had been to avoid the festivities at all cost. at an early stage. This could even be before the main contract is awarded. This, of course, actually refers to their work To some, this might not seem much of a Edinburgh-based Cre-8 Architecture, working on the Bovis Lend Lease project, for Scottish challenge though it is probably the biggest with Arup Façade Engineering, had produced Widows, at Edinburgh’s Exchange Place, challenge of all and one that has frustrated the design intent for the Exchange Place where it was vital that the site tower cranes members of the ACA and the architectural project. The stone selected for the panels were dismantled and removed ahead of the precast concrete industry for many years. It is was Warthauer sandstone, quarried in Poland festival. This meant that Decomo had to ensure all too commonplace for the complexity and and cut in Kirchheim, Germany by Zeidler that some 230 stone-faced and architectural amount of work/time involved, particularly in and Wimmel from where it was collected by concrete cladding panels, to two separate the design stage of a package, not to be fully Decomo and taken to its production facility buildings, would be installed within a year appreciated and so project programmes often in Belgium. of the award of the subcontract for the full fail to allow enough lead-in times for specialist design, manufacture and installation package works. The ‘challenge’ has been, and remains, for these panels. to convince all parties of the need for – and continued on page 2 page 1 continued from front page At the time of Decomo’s appointment, the design and fabrication of the primary steelwork was well advanced, and there was little opportunity to incorporate builders’ work details within this. Predominantly, two types of fixing system were adopted at steel column locations. Lindapter fixings were used to avoid the need for much drilling of holes to the columns along with Halfen ‘Hanger’ system. Where load-bearing connections were needed, these were specifically designed to transfer the loads back to the primary frame, thus mitigating the need for and cost of much additional secondary steelwork. These fixings were within floor voids and cavities so as not to intrude upon the lettable floor area. St David’s, a capital Panel installation began in May and was completed in time for the tower cranes to be dismantled and removed as planned. Panels were delivered to site via the ports of Rosyth and Immingham with insulation already fixed. The choice of port was scheme dictated by the height of some of the panels and the restrictions in place. The maximum height of any individual load was 4.37m. V Once on site, the panels were installed by isitors to the heart of Wales’s two erection crews, working concurrently but capital will be impressed by the independently of each other, on the two buildings. overall scale and rate of progress Owing to weight or access restrictions, mobile being achieved on the St David’s cranes were needed to install certain units: the development. heaviest panels weighed up to 16.5 tonnes and were beyond the capacity of the tower cranes. Due for completion in 2009, St David’s is a This work was often required at weekends and £675m joint-investment, by Land Securities and road closures had to be organised. Capital Shopping Centres, in the future of the city as a leading national and international centre. Access for setting out and installation works Being constructed in two concurrent phases, was by means of MEWPs externally and mobile St David’s 1 focuses on the modernisation of access towers and an electric ‘pop-up’ machine the existing St David’s Shopping Centre whilst internally. This avoided the need for a full St David’s 2 is a retail-led mixed-use project access scaffold. that includes new stores and luxury residential apartments. The topping out ceremony of St units 8m wide and weighing up to 10 tonnes Probably one of the most difficult areas of David’s 1 took place on 2 October. each. The units are being cast at Marble installation and certainly the one requiring the Mosaic’s factory in north Somerset using greatest level of coordination, on site, with Involving architects of the respected calibre of 50mm thick facings of Warthauer sandstone, another trade was the ‘picture frame’ to the Benoys, Glenn Howells and Chapman Taylor, supplied as dimensioned and finished facings by Fountainbridge elevation. With the exception the development is being constructed by Bovis Zeidler & Wimmel in stones that are typically of those to the bottom of the frame, all panels Lend Lease with its various specialist trade 450mmx1250mm, generally with a 150mm were installed after the curtain walling: all the contractors. These include The Marble Mosaic thick backing of reinforced concrete. Each bracketry had been installed beforehand as it Co Ltd who are responsible for the detail spandrel panel, many of which are curved passed through the curtain walling and associated design, manufacture, delivery and installation on plan, typically includes 40 to 50 individual EPDMs from an internal to external zone. In of the sandstone and granite faced precast stone facings that are each secured to the this area, the architectural concrete panels are concrete units that feature in the external backing concrete by stainless steel dowel pins. fixed in front of the curtain walling and provide cladding of various new and refurbished Before despatching to site, the back of the an aesthetic feature. They do not form part of buildings for both phases, in work packages precast panels is being faced with insulation the fabric of the building envelope. totalling some £3m. to enhance their thermal performance. The panels, delivered on a just-in-time basis to Decomo is pleased to have been able to The typical panelisation of the elevations is suit site progress, are installed using stainless continue their association with Bovis Lend based on pairs of storey-height precast column steel fixings by teams of specialist erectors Lease, following the success of a previous facing units supporting grid-width spandrel managed by Marble Mosaic. project at Coleman St in London. page 2 The versatility of architectural precast concrete cladding by Stephen Maddalena chairman Architectural Cladding Association A rchitectural precast concrete cladding panels are produced in all shapes and sizes, colours and textures to fulfil the aspirations, expectations and needs of the value-conscious developer, his ambitious architect, his able builder and the qualified advisors within his project team. The ranges of precast cladding finishes and than 1000 bricks arranged in complex shapes facings are comprehensive. They include to include cills, soffits, reveals and coping etched reconstructed stone and polished sections. concrete finishes with chameleon-like abilities to emulate the appearance of The applications of architectural precast natural limestones, sandstones and granites. cladding are similarly diverse. Whilst historically Precasting techniques also enable facing focussed on the commercial office sector, materials such as natural stone, brick and examples of their use on recently completed The use of architectural precast concrete panels terracotta to be pre-assembled into larger contracts and major projects currently under is recognised as being more practical, efficient building elements. A single precast concrete construction also include residential, retail and cost-effective than other traditional forms panel may, for example, incorporate more and leisure developments as well as hospitals, of cladding construction in most sectors of the than a 100 individual stone facings or more universities and schools. UK building industry. In addition to articles on the new office buildings at 1 Coleman Street and 198-202 But what other reasons are there for the Piccadilly in London, recent editions of Facade have described the residential developments increasing demand for architectural precast at Masshouse in Birmingham, at the Beetham Tower in Manchester, Clarence Dock in concrete cladding? Leeds and at Imperial Wharf and Metro Central in London. The applications of precast cladding in the retail sector have similarly been covered at Barton Square in Manchester, One answer lies in the properties of high quality Highcross in Leicester and The Grand Arcade in Cambridge. They have also instanced the precast concrete. Produced in accordance with Centre for Contemporary Arts in Nottingham, the Humanities Building for the University BS 8297:2000, precast concrete is a robust of Manchester and even a railway station at Wembley Park. Future editions of Facade are and durable cladding material that is inherently planned to cover the continuing progress of the St George Wharf residential development capable of lasting much longer that the usual in London and the major retail schemes in Bristol and Bath as well as office developments 60-year design life requirement for most new for both the private and public sectors elsewhere in the UK. buildings and, perhaps as importantly, without the need for frequent maintenance. It is also inherently a sound insulator, non-combustible and fire-resistant. Dense concrete is air- and watertight, providing superior weathering performance and corrosion resistance. Insulation can be incorporated either as a lining to the internal face of a panel or as a core between two concrete layers, readily achieving U-values of 0.30W/m2K and better. Moreover, the thermal mass of concrete serves to reduce peak heating and cooling loads. A second answer follows the point that the comprehensive service provided by the specialist producers of architectural precast cladding, such as the members of the Architectural Cladding Association, typically covers the detail design, manufacture, delivery and installation. One Coleman Street, London page 3 construction of the floor slabs can be simplified, potentially enabling significant cost and programme reductions to be realized. The use of large panels also enables the structural frame to be safely, efficiently and rapidly enclosed. Even with shared-use of the main contractors craneage facilities, a 4-man team of installers can be expected to fix six to eight panels per day, potentially corresponding to outputs well in excess of 150m² per day if in Imperial Wharf, London large storey-height or grid width units. A third lies in the direct and incidental are consistently achieved. The completed There are also financial advantages inherent advantages of precast cladding construction and panels are held in designated storage areas in architectural precast concrete. Off-site the expertise of these experienced companies during which time there is the opportunity prefabrication and increased on-site productivity, to optimise and realise them for each project’s for any window apertures within the panels to especially using the largest units that are practical overall benefit. These advantages are many be framed and even glazed before despatch to deliver and handle, give optimum value. and varied. In addition to the versatility of its to site. Deliveries of panels are scheduled on Similarly, with less dependence on site-based appearance, precast cladding valuably enhances a just-in-time basis to suit site progress and to activities, construction cost is stabilized and quality and safety, improves efficiency and avoid any need for their double-handling or construction time shortened, so reducing productivity, and facilitates programme and temporary storage at site. financing costs. The rider, of course, is that price certainty. these many advantages can be attained only by The economics of precast cladding construction early involvement of the specialist precaster. Architectural precast concrete panels are favour the use of as large a panel that firstly produced off-site in purpose built and equipped can efficiently be transported by road to site, Precast concrete cladding also scores well in factories by established workforces of skilled bearing in mind clearance under bridges, and terms of sustainability. Its production creates operatives. In addition to the workshops secondly can practically be handled at site by negligible waste with just enough concrete in which the panels are cast, production the available craneage facilities. being batched to fill available moulds at the resources include facilities for the manufacture factory and the materials used in the moulds and adaption of moulds, for the fabrication of Large panels are typically designed as storey-height subsequently being re-cycled. The curing steel reinforcement cages and for the batching units spanning between floor slabs or as grid width of concrete is an exothermic reaction and and mixing of special concrete mixes, all subject units set between structural columns so as to avoid does not therefore require an input of heat to quality management systems which operate the need for secondary structure for their support energy. Moreover, the installation of precast to ensure that high standards of craftsmanship and lateral restraint. They are typically supported cladding panels is particularly efficient and its at each floor level, but may be stacked from environmental impact is therefore minimal. At ground level. They are usually fixed by bolting to the end of the economic life of a building, the holes in structural steelwork or to channels cast precast panels may be refurbished for re-use or into a concrete frame. Additionally, the use of crushed as hardcore. There are also examples grid-width panels can reduce mid-span loadings of precast concrete clad office buildings from on the structural slab edge. If considered at a the 1960s and 70s being simply converted to sufficiently early stage in the design process, the suit prime leisure and residential usage. Clarence Dock, Leeds Beetham Tower, Manchester page 4 Echo 24, Sunderland Spending time in the north east O ver recent years the north east The eye catching, curved white precast In 2007 Trent returned to Newcastle of England has become familiar exterior of Citygate caught the attention of to work on the Time Central Building, territory for Trent Concrete’s Mario Minchella Architects who specified it Gallowgate. Just a short sprint from Citygate managing director David for their own £38m new build, Echo 24, this distinctive seven storey office building Walker and his team. Said David, “Being a high-quality apartment development in features spectacular Stanton Moor stone Nottingham based we are ideally situated to Sunderland. faced cladding that provides it with a lasting meet opportunities anywhere in the UK but appearance that epitomises the modern since the Citygate Development in Newcastle It wasn’t just aesthetic beauty the architects urban environment being created in the some seven years ago we have been involved wanted to achieve for this landmark building, city. in a number of prestigious projects in that given the city centre location, they required region. In fact Citygate followed our work speed of installation, acoustic insulation It was essential that the cladding embodied on the Quayside development in the city.” and durability. Mario Minchella explained: the city’s contemporary environment and “When we saw the product on Citygate we complemented Lister Architects’ bold design. In 2003 Trent announced a £1.32m follow on knew it would offer good acoustic properties To meet this brief 1,500m² of Stanton Moor cladding contract for an extension to the Citygate because it was on a busy road. Therefore, it stone faced cladding, divided across 217 Development on St James Boulevard opposite had the density required by us for Echo 24. individual panels, was produced. All finished Newcastle United’s stadium. The company It had also weathered well and maintained products arrived on a just in time basis, where manufactured 5300m² of acid-etched white the right, clean appearance.” they were lifted off the trailer using site cranes reconstructed stone to match the first phase. and fixed directly to the structure, with no The 470 panels form a spandrel and mullion Widely recognised as the north east’s additional plant, equipment or scaffolding combination to glazed areas and incorporate premier development, Echo 24 has been requirements. large flat panels to flank and gable sections. In key to the regeneration of Sunderland’s river addition 650m² of low-level plinths in a shallow- quarter. Dominating the skyline, it houses Concluded David Walker, “We are delighted etched grey mix incorporating mica sand for residents’ parking, two commercial units regional architects recognise the quality of extra sparkle, and feature panels in a black mix and 179 luxury apartments over eleven our work. It is a testament to architectural to match the glazing panels were produced. floors. precast concrete.” page 5 Going higher and higher D ue for completion in 2009 Ballymore Properties’ development, Pan Peninsular, can claim to be, at least for the present, the tallest residential project in Britain. The two blocks of 40 and 50 storeys, the latter being 153 metres high, tower above South Quay Tube Station in Canary Wharf and its neighbouring structures. The two buildings, consisting of 700 luxury apartments, are linked by an impressive 7-storey landscaped podium incorporating retail units and a variety of leisure facilities. The top floor of the 50-storey tower will include a cocktail bar offering spectacular views across London. Reflecting the high quality internal finishes the façade features alternating vertical planes of precast concrete panels and curtain walling with glass fronted balconies punctuating the elevations. Following early consultation with the architects, SOM, precaster Techrete was commissioned to manufacture, supply and fix the precast cladding for the scheme. This entailed casting approximately 1,900 panels, most of which were 6.5m high and weighing 10 tonnes, using a white dolomite facing mix with an etched finish giving a very white overall effect. Manufactured at Techrete’s UK factory at Brigg, the various panel sizes were achieved with moveable steel magnetic side formers to the casting tables, minimising the use of timber and other consumables. The double storey height units were fixed to the concrete frame with stainless steel support corbels, with stainless steel and galvanised restraint bracketry attached to channels cast into the frame. Commented David Kennell of Techrete, “Close cooperation and early involvement with the client and the design team resulted in a rapid enclosure enabling follow on trades early access. The external cladding for the towers is another example of concrete’s versatility and aesthetic appeal.” Architectural Cladding Association 60 Charles Street, Leicester LE1 1FB. Tel: 0116 253 6161 Fax: 0116 251 4568 Website: www.architectural-cladding-association.org.uk A product association of British Precast Member Companies The Marble Mosaic Company Ltd Winterstoke Road Decomo UK Ltd, 180-186 Kings Cross Road, London, WC1X 9DE. Weston-super-Mare, BS23 3YE. Tel: 0207 689 8058 www.decomo.be Contact: Paul Desmet. Tel: 01934 419941 www.marble-mosaic.co.uk Contact: Stephen Maddalena. Techrete (UK) Ltd, Warren Court, Feldspar Close, Warren Park Way, Trent Concrete Ltd, Colwick, Nottingham, NG4 2BG. Enderby, Leics, LE4 5SD. Tel: 0115 987 9747 www.trentconcrete.co.uk Contact: David Walker. Tel: 0116 275 0785 www.techrete.com Contact: David Kennell.
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