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Mortar Buoy increases speed and saves money

Mortar Buoy increases speed and saves money

Instarmac Group plc

UltraCrete’s latest product innovation, Mortar Buoy®, has been used by AL Civils to reinstate a CW2 cover on a busy Shropshire road.BackgroundAL Civils, experienced utility contractors, have many years of experience reinstating and repairing access covers across the north west of England. As part of their routine repair works, AL Civils were required to reinstate a defected CW2 cover on a busy Shropshire road.The ChallengeIn order to provide the best possible results and minimise disruption to motorists, AL Civils were keen to try UltraCrete Mortar Buoy®, a ground-breaking access cover installation aid, to help increase speed, reduce costs and make the installation process less labour intensive.The SolutionAL Civils specified Saint Gobain’s Install Plus installation method, which was used alongside UltraCrete Mortar Buoy® and Envirobed® CD534 Flowable.UltraCrete Mortar Buoy® is an inflatable device that acts as a dam, allowing for a flowable mortar ironwork installation within seconds – revolutionising traditional methods.The Mortar Buoy® inflatable dam prevents any mortar seeping into the access chamber providing an efficient and seamless finish to the bedding around the chamber. This allows a single pour installation of Envirobed® CD534 Flowable, which encapsulates the flange of the access frame creating a solid bed and backfill in one.UltraCrete Mortar Buoy® is so easy to use, simply hold in place and inflate, and is guaranteed to save you time on-site as there is no waiting around for the dam to dry. Mortar Buoy® can be wiped clean and re-used on a number of installations and is available in 5 sizes to accommodate all ironwork and gully reinstatements.“Mortar Buoy® seems to be the future – no more messing around with damming mortar. Great products and innovations as always.” Michael Day, Area Manager at AL Civils.The reinstatement took place on a busy non-residential road on a mild, rainy November day in Malpas, Shropshire.The Results“Innovative products make our life so much easier. Mortar Buoy®, Envirobed® CD534 Flowable and QC10 F 100% makes life easier and saves money.” Michael Day, Area Manager at AL Civils.
Sponsored
Lime mortar for restoration and redevelopment of York Guildhall

Lime mortar for restoration and redevelopment of York Guildhall

Tarmac

Limelite Heritage Lime Mortar, a lime based cement free mortar was chosen for renewal of iconic York Guildhall site. As well as matching the visual aesthetic, the flexibility of Limelite Heritage Lime Mortars allow for slight movement and thermal expansion throughout the life of the building and reduce the risk of cracking. They can also reduce the need for expansion joints to improve the final appearance and along with the ready-to use pre blended formula, reduce build time for the contractor. 
Sponsored
Swindon Station is back on track with Ultrascape's Mortar Paving System

Swindon Station is back on track with Ultrascape's Mortar Paving System

Instarmac Group plc

Ultrascape's BS 7533 compliant mortar paving system has been used to deliver a modern and stylish forecourt outside Swindon railway station. The redevelopment has transformed what was previously a heavy traffic dominated area, into a prestigious pedestrian focused arrival space which features seating, planting, lighting and a millennium clock. Work was carried out by specialist civil engineering contractor, Britannia Construction and included the installation of 500 tonnes of high quality natural granite and Pennant Sandstone using Ultrascape's Pro-Bed HS fine bedding concrete, Flowpoint rapid setting grout and Pro-Prime slurry primer.
Sponsored
Dry Silo Mortar Provided for Bank Station Upgrade In London

Dry Silo Mortar Provided for Bank Station Upgrade In London

CEMEX UK

Outlining the supply of primary spracyed concrete to Bank Station in London
Sponsored
From Mortar Bedding to Dry Fix Roofing – what price quality?

From Mortar Bedding to Dry Fix Roofing – what price quality?

Manthorpe Building Products Ltd

Editorial on dry fix roofing and the factors to consider when making a product choice.
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UltraCrete and Telent join forces to tackle failed ironwork

UltraCrete and Telent join forces to tackle failed ironwork

Instarmac Group plc

Leading UK utility contractor, Telent, have used UltraCrete’s superb ironwork installation materials to repair and install a CW1 access cover in Sutton Coldfield.BackgroundAs part of their ongoing commitment to maintaining the UK’s national utility infrastructure, Telent have used UltraCrete’s latest product innovation Mortar Buoy® to repair a chamber and install a CW1 ironwork access cover in the West Midlands.The ChallengeLocated on a busy junction, it was crucial that the repair and installation of the CW1 cover was carried out quickly to minimise disruption to motorists. With a reputation drawing on decades of experience in the design, build, support and management of the UK’s critical infrastructure, it was imperative that Telent used reputable installation materials that had been tried, tested and proven to work in the road network.The SolutionUltraCrete’s independently tested and approved ironwork installation system was specified by BT Openreach to complete the project.The new CW1 cover was installed using the Install Plus method. To begin, Mortar Buoy® was inflated in the existing chamber to prevent debris falling into the cavity and causing potential damage to the network. Once inflated, the team were able to use Mortar Buoy® as internal shuttering and repair the damaged chamber using QC10 F rapid strength flowable concrete.QC10 F, part of UltraCrete’s range of high specification concretes, is rapid setting fibre modified concrete for backfilling around manhole frames and gullies and for surface repairs.To complete the installation, Mortar Buoy® was used as a dam and Envirobed® CD534 Flowable was poured around the edges of a chamber for a permanent installation.Specially formulated for utility reinstatements, Envirobed® CD534 Flowable high performance bedding mortar is BT LN550 and LN320 compliant and offers superior compressive, tensile and flexural strengths in just 3 hours.Mortar Buoy® is a ground-breaking, innovative, inflatable access frame that acts as a dam, allowing for a flowable mortar ironwork installation in seconds – revolutionising traditional methods.Enhance your specification and upgrade your reinstatement with UltraCrete Mortar Buoy®.ResultsThe project took place on a mild winter day in December 2021. The work was completed without delay and with minimal disruption. Using Mortar Buoy® instead of a traditional damming mortar increased the speed of the installation, reduced costs and made the install less labour intensive for the team.On the performance of Mortar Buoy®, John Doherty, Area Supervisor for Telent commented: “Mortar Buoy® makes life much easier versus traditional shuttering for both chamber repair and bedding the ironwork. It is also much faster.”
Sponsored
The Restoration of Westminster Fire Station

The Restoration of Westminster Fire Station

Lime Green Products Ltd

The Westminster Fire Station restoration and regeneration was all about creating an experience for those that live there, with sustainable and natural materials,” says Jennifer Benningfield, experienced architect and founding principal of Openstudio Architects.v “We needed to find a reliable supplier of sustainable and natural materials, which were suitable to tie in with the heritage structure. “The challenge was sourcing the right materials that were compatible with the fabric of the existing buildings. Working with Lime Green, we managed to develop a solution that matched the original building’s beautiful aesthetic and historic character. “As a key supplier of lime-based products, their flexibility and reliability helped to make our job easier – and we received a lot of praise for the high-quality and beautiful new courtyard building. The lime mortar is an integral part of the brickwork and proves that it is appropriate for contemporary, as well as historical, structures,” praises Jennifer. About the project Using a team of specialists, Openstudio Architects supported the site team in using old and traditional construction techniques to refurbish and develop buildings in a contemporary way, with beautiful results. “There were two phases to the Westminster Fire Station project,” explains Jennifer. “The first involved refurbishing the existing building, the Grade II Listed Edwardian Fire Station built in 1906 and decommissioned in 2014, to create a restaurant and bespoke housing. “The second involved developing the site further by adding a new residential building to the rear of the site surrounding a garden courtyard, which is where we used Lime Green’s mortar.” Supporting the local community “The project was situated on a very constrained and challenging site,” continues Jennifer. “With its central location, the construction works undoubtedly had an impact on those living and working in the local area, which is why we wanted to ensure the community were completely happy with the project. “As we wanted to make sure the new build tied in with the older fire station, there were inevitably challenges that we didn’t anticipate along the way. However, most importantly, we needed to ensure we sourced the right materials, which were compatible with the existing building, both in terms of performance and appearance. Selecting the right materials “We wanted to work with natural materials, which would age well and ensure robust construction that has longevity and sustainability,” says Jennifer. “We chose specific products, including handmade Danish bricks and handmade glazed bricks to give depth and texture to the new building. We wanted to ensure use mortar that had a texture and a grain to it, so it would work with the nuances of the bricks, as well as being a colour match. “Finding the right colour mortar to match the pale Danish bricks was key. These bricks were handmade, so we needed the mortar that integrated with the historic Edwardian building to create a seamless whole. “When planning the project, we recognised the importance of lime products, because of the material’s sturdiness and robustness. This means it doesn’t wear with structural movements and changes in the seasons. “That’s why Lime Green was the perfect fit for the project. With an extensive colour range, the team was able to colour-match the mortar with the materials of the new building perfectly. The consistency between the samples Lime Green gave us and the final product delivered was incredible, which was important given the scrutiny by Westminster City Council over the project and the appearance of the new building. “The flexibility of the products also helped us to minimise the amount of movement joints, as it accommodated movement in a much more forgiving way than other products, such as modern cement mortars. “We really enjoyed working with the Lime Green team – they were easy to work with, responsive and very supportive of the project. As we couldn’t store a huge amount of supplies on site, Lime Green was very accommodating in delivering exactly what we needed, at the right time. “The best part was that we were able to develop a solution with Lime Green that supported the original building’s beautiful aesthetic and historic character, with a new building that pays similar attention to detail.” A sustainable, natural and beautiful finish “People love the building, and neighbours even call it ‘the golden citadel’. It’s widely recognised in the local community for its high-quality, beautiful finish,” continues Jennifer. “One of the Fire Station’s previous residents – who had moved out during construction – has moved back after the restoration works and loves the development. That was the icing on the cake for us, it really felt as though our vision had materialised – enhancing people’s experience of new buildings made with sustainable and natural materials that stand the test of time. “The Westminster Fire Station development truly looks beautiful, and the quality of the natural and sustainable products used has a huge role to play in that. Lime Green’s product quality and customer service is outstanding. We’re already working with Lime Green on another project, and we can’t wait to see the finished result,” concludes Jennifer. “It was a pleasure to see our Hydraulic Lime Mortar used on this new development project. We’ve loved working with Openstudio Architects on Westminster Fire Station, and we’re glad to be working with them on their next project,” comments Simon Ayres, co-founder and managing director, Lime Green Products. For more information about the Westminster Fire Station project and the products used, visit Lime Green or call 01952 728 611.
Sponsored
St Pancras Station Restoration

St Pancras Station Restoration

Tarmac

St Pancras StationProject briefLimelite Heritage Mortars and Grouts to help restore St Pancras station buildings to their Victorian splendour.The ProjectMortars and Grouts from Tarmac Building Products, the leading manufacturer of blended cementitious products in the UK, have been extensively used in the historic conservation of St Pancras station.The major redevelopment of St Pancras includes the enlargement and refurbishment of the ticket hall, restoration of St Pancras Chambers as well as new passages to the existing Tube ticket Hall and Channel Tunnel Rail Link. PAYE Stonework and Restoration, a leading conservation specialist turned to Pozament for its expertise in pre-blended products formulated specifically for historic conservation work.A hydraulic lime-based combination of materials that offers sympathetic controlled strength was blended by the team to meet the specific requirements of PAYE Stonework and Restoration.Help from Tarmac Building Products – Limelite Heritage Mortars & GroutsAround eight tonnes of lime based, cement-free materials including Heritage Mortar 4 and Heritage Grout 7 were supplied to point the brickwork joints of passages to the existing tube ticket hall and Channel Tunnel Rail Link and to repair sofits in the Grade I listed St Pancras Chambers.Problems facedSt. Pancras Station is a Grade I listed building, meaning it is a building of exceptional interest and is one of the best Victorian buildings in central London. It has been voted one of London’s favourite landmarks and so great care had to be taken with the restoration work.OutcomesThe extensive redevelopment of St Pancras and Kings Cross Underground was completed by the end of 2007.  QuotesGary Hodges, project manager, PAYE Stonework and Restoration said, the range of pre-blended heritage grouts and mortars were ideal for this restoration project. Heritage Mortar 4 was highly suitable for the St Pancras Chambers repairs, reaching maximum strength within 7 days rather than the usual 90 days for other materials.Stuart Allerton, Quality & Technical Services Manager, Tarmac Building Products said, The Limelite Heritage range has specifically been designed to be sympathetic with historic buildings and caters for a number of applications. Our re-pointing mortars and free-flowing grouts are manufactured at our Swadlincote facility in Derbyshire to order, typically within five working days.·      Location: London·      Product: Limelite Heritage Mortars and Grouts·      Timescale: Completed in 2007
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Roehampton House

Roehampton House

Tarmac

Project briefTarmac Building Products were asked to supply Queen Mary’s development (a historic London hospital converted into apartments) with Limelite Heritage Hydraulic Lime Mortars.The ProjectThe project ‘s aim is to convert Grade I Baroque stately home Roehampton House into residential use with a mix of old and modern construction materials. Roehampton House is a Grade I Baroque Stately Home built by Thomas Archer over the years 1710-12 and later enlarged by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1910. The house is being carefully restored, maintaining its original features both internally and externally, with Doric columns and wrought iron railings giving way to panelled walls, ornate painted ceilings and black and white marble.Help from Tarmac Building Products – Limelite Heritage Lime MortarsWe supplied Limelite Heritage Hydraulic Lime Mortars in mobile dry silos to the large-scale heritage site in Roehampton, south-west London. The product is predominantly a bedding masonry mortar but due to its versatility, can be used in other areas and is ideal for projects such as this one because it is a cement-free traditional product and so recreates an appearance in keeping with the history of the building. It is being supplied alongside natural and Y101 white mortar in dry silos.Our Heritage Hydraulic Lime Mortar is ideal for projects such as this one because it is a cement-free traditional product and so recreates an appearance, maintaining the history of the building.Problems facedThe former hospital developed into a stately home is a Grade I listed building, meaning that any new building work needs to blend in well with the existing building work. Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important; only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.The project site is located within Flood Zone 1 and so a Flood Risk Assessment is required as the site is over 1 hectare. OutcomesRoehampton House, its two gate houses and the remainder of the Roehampton Estate are being redeveloped to provide luxury new housing. The development is called Queen Mary’s Place. Of the original 30 acres, only 14 remained following the building of the new hospital, but the developer, St. James has preserved 30% of the land for pleasure gardens for the new residents.The Grade II listed sunken and rose gardens have also been lovingly restored to provide the perfect setting for the newly created 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and two 2 bedroom gate houses.·      Contractor: St James Development·      Location: Roehampton, London ·  Product: Limelite Heritage Lime Mortar
Sponsored
Allington Sluice Lock Gate, River Medway, Kent

Allington Sluice Lock Gate, River Medway, Kent

Saint-Gobain Weber

A £2.7million Environment Agency project to renovate an ageing river sluice facility on the River Medway in Kent, has required the technical attributes of webercem five star repair concrete and the high-build properties of webercem HB30 mortar. The structural sluice repairs are now complete with new gates and operating systems installed, bringing the sluice performance up to standard. Reflecting the substantial improvement in the river water quality over recent years, a new fish and elver pass has been created to enable fish to travel further upstream in the clean waters. This has enhanced the habitat in upper sections of the Medway, whilst allowing migratory and freshwater fish free passage. Constructed in 1937 the Allington Sluice lock gate is the last on the River Medway before it becomes tidal. Although the sluice is not listed, the Environment Agency took a keen interest in the repair of the structure due to its location adjacent to the Museum of Kent. Areas of failed surface concrete that had spalled, due to 70 years of weathering, were repaired sympathetically to match the existing finishes. These areas were cleaned back to sound material with all loose material removed. The major repair areas required shuttering before pouring in the flowing recasting concrete. webercem five star repair concrete is a pre-blended cementitious material that conforms with BS EN 1504 : 3 as an R4 mortar and also with the Highways Agency specification BD 27/86. It contains non-reactive aggregates and low alkali content. This is a shrinkage-compensated, high-strength flowing repair concrete specifically designed for permanent structural repairs that delivers a compressive strength of 65N/mm² after 28 days.Additional smaller damaged areas of the sluice structure have been improved with webercem HB30 repair mortar which is ideal for façade repairs where high compressive strength is not required. webercem HB30 is an acrylic-polymer modified, high-build façade repair mortar that complies with BS EN 1504 : 3 as an R3 mortar. Damaged areas were cut away and any steel re-enforcement was cleaned and coated with webercem keycoat prior to the application of the webercem HB30. This product has a unique shrinkage compensation system that ensures long-term dimensional stability. webercem HB30 is easy to apply with low permeability to water, carbon dioxide and chlorides.Main contractor Jackson Civil Engineering of Maidstone, Kent, carried out the sluice gate works while Structural Renovations Ltd of Slough, Berkshire, carried out the concrete repairs in the overall reconstruction, renovation and modification programme of the main structure. The project was designed by Atkins for the Environment Agency, who also undertook site supervision during the renovation procedure. In addition to the repairs and fish pass, a new wheelchair access has been formed allowing cross river access at this point on the Medway.
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Rainey Restoration Ltd | SMET NHL 5 | Repointing of Norman Tower

Rainey Restoration Ltd | SMET NHL 5 | Repointing of Norman Tower

SMET Building Products Ltd

Job: Restoration of Norman CastleProduct: SMET NHL 5 BinderDescriptionSMET NHL 5 Binder was specially selected for the restoration works in this historic Norman Castle and Tower.  Rainey Restoration Ltd used our superior-quality pure Natural Hydraulic Lime binder SMET NHL 5 to produce a superior-quality lime mortar.SMET NHL 5 is a high-quality, pure, Natural Hydraulic Lime binder, produced under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management systems to EN 459-1. The eminent hydraulic strength development of SMET NHL 5 makes it suitable for producing lime mortars for masonry work, rendering, plastering base coats, and limecrete in extreme weather environments and exposed areas.  An eminently hydraulic lime binder for the production of mortars particularly suited for ecological new build, restoration, and preservation works in extreme weather environments and exposed areas. The product’s special composition allows the mortar product to breathe and also permits constant hygrometric exchange between the substrate and the environment.NHL binders, available directly in-store and online via our distribution partner Haldane Fisher, are particularly suited for ecological new builds, conservation, restoration, and preservation works. The products’ special composition allows mortars to breathe and permits constant hygrometric exchange between the substrate and the environment. This restoration is another showcase of sympathetic historic building restoration, using superior-quality NHL products available from SMET.Our restoration and preservation NHL is available from Haldane Fisher online. Superior quality combined with exceptional technical support and aftercare, are the key drivers in the selection of SMET natural conservation products.ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 accredited Smet Building Products Ltd, demonstrating – once again – best practices in supporting Smet Supported Partners in Natural Hydraulic Lime products.
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UltraCrete prevents dangerous accident in Carmarthen

UltraCrete prevents dangerous accident in Carmarthen

Instarmac Group plc

MJ Quinn and subcontractors, HT Installations Limited, have used UltraCrete’s market-leading Flowable Installation System to repair a faulty carriageway frame and cover on the B4299 in Carmarthen.BackgroundA large section of a rural road in Carmarthen was severely damaged. The area in question is located at the bottom of a hill and over time, the relentless force in which cars and tractors have hit the road surface has severely deformed the surface.The consequence of this damage also caused structural damage to a nearby carriageway frame and cover.The ChallengeLocated on the B4299, this rural road is the main thoroughfare for the village, with tractors and cars using the road daily. The repair needed to be carried out quickly to minimise disruption, and most importantly, it needed to be a first time permanent repair to prevent any further disruption and damage to the surrounding road surface.In this instance, HT Installations Limited, the subcontractor working on behalf of MJ Quinn, the main contractor for Wales for Openreach, were only responsible for repairing the frame, cover and trim back area. However, in order to prevent further deterioration caused by the deformed road surface, HT Installations went above and beyond and replaced the heavily deteriorating asphalt on the CW2 frame and covers leading edge. This would ensure a longer life expectancy for the new carriageway frame and cover installation and avoid costly return visits.The SolutionHT Installations Limited utilised UltraCrete QC10 F flowable fibre modified concrete to repair the brickwork chamber and their Envirobed® Flowable Installation System to install the replacement CW2 frame and cover – a process used by Openreach for all their carriageway repairs.To begin, the entire area was excavated and spoil removed. The contractors assessed the chamber and utilised the Mortar Buoy® installation aid within the chamber as an alternative to formwork/shuttering. They proceeded to mix and pour UltraCrete QC10 F, rapid set flowable concrete, to repair the damaged concrete chamber. Utilising Mortar Buoy® significantly speeds up the repair process, helping to save you time and money.QC10 F sets in less than 20 minutes, so a very short time after being poured, Mortar Buoy® was re-inflated inside the chamber and the CW2 frame dropped into position ready for levelling with the existing road surface. A sand bund was then formed 50mm beyond the flange edge, as opposed to shuttering, to retain the flowable mortar.UltraCrete Envirobed® CD534 Flowable Red was mixed and applied to fully encapsulate the frame flange up to 20mm above and 50mm beyond the frame edge. Envirobed® CD534 sets within 20 minutes, allowing the sand bund to be swept clear and site prepared for hot asphalt application, really quickly.ResultsThanks to the rapid high strength gain and setting superior performance qualities of UltraCrete’s Flowable Installation System, HT Installations were able to carry out their repairs quickly, safely and permanently, much to the delight of MJ Quinn, Openreach and the local residents.
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UltraScape creates RHS Award-winning gardens

UltraScape creates RHS Award-winning gardens

Instarmac Group plc

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the greatest horticultural event. It is known all around the world for its fabulous floral displays, thought provoking and beautifully landscaped show gardens and for nurturing gardening trends and talent.Held in the most beautiful grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is guaranteed to inspire and wow everyone who visits.One such garden is the RBC Brewin Dolphin Garden designed by one of House & Gardens Top 50 Garden Designers of 2023, Paul Hervey-Brookes. This stunning Silver-Gilt show garden ‘draws creative inspiration from the way knowledge is passed down from generation to generation and interpreted for the modern world.’To assist with the longevity and sustainable features of this garden, landscaping expert and garden consultant, G K Wilson Landscapes, opted to use UltraScape eco-bed environmentally friendly bedding mortar and slipbond brick slip adhesive to install the beautiful Lunar Sand pavers and Dover Taupe porcelain wall tiles. For the finishing flourish, the paving was grouted using UltraTile ProGrout Flexible in Bahama Beige and Grey.In a Chelsea Flower Show first, garden designer and RHS ambassador for inclusivity and diversity, Manoj Malde married his partner in his own magnificently designed RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity feature garden. This powerful and vibrant garden is inspired by Manoj’s Indian heritage and has inclusivity and sustainability at its heart. Alongside peat-free planting, the garden also embraced the use of reclaimed materials to create the limestone path and used UltraScape eco-bed environmentally friendly bedding mortar to install the limestone paving.Two further award-winning gardens to benefit from Instarmac’s expertise are Darren Hawkes’ Silver-Gilt Samaritan’s Listening Garden and Emma Tipping’s Gold Medal St George ‘Alight Gere’ Balcony Garden.UltraScape were honoured to have supported, and sponsored, each of these beautiful gardens.UltraScape has been manufacturing and providing the industry with high quality, specialist paving installation materials for over 25 years. Their proven and trusted range includes BS 7533 complaint bedding mortars, primers, jointing solutions and brick slip adhesive. UltraScape’s premium products are specified by contractors, architects, consultants and engineers for an ever-expanding portfolio of major schemes across the UK.Choose UltraScape’s proven and certified BS 7533 Mortar Paving System for the performance and assurance that comes with a UKAS seal of approval – you can’t afford not to!To find out more about UltraScape’s range of paving installation materials, please email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk, visit ultrascape.co.uk or call their team of experts by ringing +44 (0) 1827 254402.
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Rhondda Heritage Park

Rhondda Heritage Park

Polyroof Products Ltd

The Rhondda Heritage Park is a renowned tourist destination in South Wales, offering a glimpse into the coal mining community that thrived in the area for over 130 years until the early 1980s. Every year, thousands of visitors take a guided tour led by former colliery workers to experience the life of coal miners.The Heritage Park takes great pride in its appearance and the local heritage it represents. However, the aging asphalt roof terraces that covered the old mine shafts had been leaking constantly, damaging the visual appeal of the visitor site.The ChallengeThe Polyroof technical team was called in to help with the waterproofing and refurbishment of the two roof terraces, measuring over 1100m², that protected the underground mining attraction. After conducting a thorough survey of the roof terrace areas, a customized specification was prepared. This specification included a comprehensive set of recommendations for addressing the issues that had caused the aged and worn condition of the terrace areas over the years. To support the proposal, additional information was provided to the client to demonstrate how a liquid system could seamlessly encase and waterproof the terraces while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing solution that was true to the authenticity of the site.Satisfied that the solution proposed would provide the long-term peace of mind they were looking for, the Heritage Park awarded the contract to RM Polymers Ltd.Before starting the work, any areas affected by fungal growth or moss were treated with Polykill Anti-Fungal Wash to eliminate all spores. Any holes in the asphalt were smoothed out or removed, and levelled using Polyroof Structural Repair Mortar. All large cracks and voids were cleaned and repaired using the same mortar.PVC protrusions were removed and surfaces were cleaned with acetone. Any damaged, loose, or unsound concrete or brickwork was removed and repaired using Polyroof Structural Repair Mortar. All repairs were allowed to cure and dry before priming.The SolutionOne of the main features of the tourist attraction is the mining carts that were used to transport coal around the mine tunnels during its operation. Similar to train tracks, the mining cart tracks are fixed into the ground using metal bolts and fixings which over time had become a weak point for water ingress. Concrete and sandstone had been used as a “quick fix” to prevent rainwater entering the mine shaft below but a long-term solution was now needed. The cement and sandstone was carefully chiselled from the rails, exposing the original metal tracks which were then lifted and abraded back to their original condition. Whilst lifted, the underlying surface was made good before the application of the Protec System. Railway sleepers were then laid on a sacrificial layer on top of the waterproof membrane, upon which the tracks and mining carts were re-instated.As the terraces are constantly trafficked by the general public, the client was clear that an anti-slip finish would be required on any walkway areas.Following the application of the Protec System, Polyfinish and Quartz Sand Anti-Slip was applied to all walkway areas, to provide slip resistance and surface protection. A 50mm margin around the perimeters of the terrace was masked off to provide a neat termination of the anti-slip finish. Ensure masking tape was removed whilst resin was still wet. Then a third coat of Protec Resin was applied at a minimum coverage rate of 0.5Litres/m² (2.0m²/Litre) and whilst wet, clean dried quartz sand (0.7 – 12mm) was broadcast at an approximate coverage rate of 4.0kg/m². Once cured, the loose sand was removed.WorkmanshipThe engine houses along the tour experience featured vast amounts of intricate details and unique items and structures, such as “Bertie and Trefor” – the names given by the mine owner to the mine head stock wheels. This presented an exceptional challenge, particularly in regards to the difficulty of working on the intricate details of the degraded mastic asphalt upstands and decking.As a result of many years of weathering and gravity, the vertical sections of asphalt on the raised terraced roof had slumped and rippled, leading to stress cracks and ultimately water ingress. To overcome this ugly problem, the asphalt was stripped from these vertical sections back to the concrete and removed from site in accordance with the Health and Safety policies in place. The contractor then installed new 18mm OSB3 to these areas to create a flat substrate for the Protec System. The incorporation of Polyroof pre-formed GRP Drip trims at the bottom of the OSB3 ensured the timber would not be exposed to any rain water in the future as well as provide a neat, edge detail.To keep the overall aesthetic feel of the site, the application of the liquid waterproofing system at wall abutments was critical. This, combined with the undulating nature of the stone and brickwork meant that the contractor would not be able to install a cover flashing or termination bar. Instead, the contractor carefully dressed the system onto the wall to the standard minimum 150mm upstand height and into a chase.The edging was then finished with a mortar to provide a neat and clean weatherproof finish, in-keeping with the traditional methods of the site at the time of its construction.The roof terraces that cover the old mining areas also act as the main walkways to the Heritage Centre’s tour routes. Therefore, one of the main challenges of the project was the complex planning of the works to ensure that the site continued to operate so not to financially impact the heritage park. It was imperative that works were complete within an 8-week period with 17,500 visitors booked in for their annual Santa’s Grotto Experience Tour beginning in early December.The application speed of the catalyst cured Protec System, combined with communication between the contractor and the site to ensure unobtrusive installation, meant the centre stayed open and the tours running with minimum disruption.The benefits of using a fast-curing liquid waterproofing solution were also vital due to the ever-changing micro-climate in the Welsh valleys. On any single day, the weather would serve up anything from bright sunshine to windy, rainy conditions. Therefore, the fast-curing Protec System, combined with the flexibility of the installation team, who gave up weekends when required, ensured the project was finished on schedule. The works were completed to an extremely high standard with full encapsulation of the roof terrace areas and without a single detail being left exposed to the elements.ConclusionThe unique aspects of this project certainly kept the team on their toes. But they were determined to complete the project on time.The team worked tirelessly, even giving up their weekends to ensure that the project was completed on schedule. Despite the harsh Welsh weather, they pushed on and were determined to make sure that Santa could visit the children of the Welsh Valleys. It was a challenging project but the team’s hard work and dedication paid off.Finally, the project was completed and the results were astounding. The roof terraces are now fully waterproofed and refurbished, and the visual appearance of the visitor site was greatly improved. It was a project that was both memorable and rewarding to all those involved.
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Donegal Parish Church Restoration | Rainey Restoration Ltd | SMET NHL 3.5

Donegal Parish Church Restoration | Rainey Restoration Ltd | SMET NHL 3.5

SMET Building Products Ltd

SMET NHL 3.5 binder was specially selected for the restoration of the Donegal Parish Church.  Rainey Restoration Ltd selected our superior-quality pure Natural Hydraulic Lime binder SMET NHL 3.5 to produce a superior-quality lime mortar. The selective hydraulic strength development of NHL binders makes them particularly suitable for producing lime mortars for masonry work, rendering, and plastering on historical buildings and monuments. Rainey completed a full restoration program on the Donegal Parish spire and tower with all masonry joints being raked out and repointed with this hydraulic lime mortar. In addition, there were a number of stone indents, stone replacements, and stone repairs.NHL binders, available directly from SMET and nationwide online or in-store via our distribution partner Haldane Fisher, are particularly suited for ecological new builds, conservation, restoration, and preservation works. The products’ special composition allows mortars to breathe and permits constant hygrometric exchange between the substrate and the environment. This restoration is another showcase of sympathetic historic building restoration, using superior-quality NHL products available from SMET.
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The James Dyson Building, University of Cambridge

The James Dyson Building, University of Cambridge

Tarmac

Project BriefThe James Dyson Building and the Dyson Centre for Engineering Design at the University of Cambridge officially opened in May 2016.The technology hub was designed by Nicholas Hare Architects and funded in part by a £8m donation from the James Dyson Foundation, and will give some of the world's brightest young engineering students access to advanced laboratories.The Department’s priorities were for a low-energy building (targeting 100kWh/m2/annum total) that would showcase the state-of-the-art work of the Department and be sustainable.The ProjectThe James Dyson Building is located within the Cambridge Central Conservation Area and is also adjacent to the Grade II listed Royal Cambridge Hotel. Care was taken with both the scale and materiality of the building which was closely scrutinized by the Cambridge Design and Conservation Panel.The James Dyson Building provides flexible and highly energy-efficient research, seminar and meeting spaces for post-graduate students at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering.Linked by an atrium to the existing Department buildings, the new facility is located on a prominent and sensitive site within a conservation area and at a major gateway into Cambridge.Much of the concrete frame of the building is exposed internally to assist in maintaining thermal stability and natural ventilation is encouraged using a series of chimneys running through the building.Research groups worked with the contractor to incorporate active stress sensing of the concrete frame and low-carbon, magnesium blocks were also used in the build.A large proportion of the construction cost was met through a generous donation by The Dyson Foundation.Help from Tarmac - Limelite Heritage Lime MortarWe supplied Limelite Heritage Hydraulic Lime Mortar in bulk bags & 25kg bags to the new James Dyson Building in Cambridge. The product was a pure hydraulic lime bedding masonry mortar M2.5 but due to its versatility, durability and sustainability met all the requirements of the architects. This lime mortar is ideal for projects such as this one because it is a cement-free product and so recreates an appearance in keeping with the history of the adjacent buildings with a modern aspectOutcomesThe James Dyson Building for Engineering will support world leading research in areas including advanced materials, smart infrastructure and electric vehicles. Fibre-optic sensors in the foundation, piles, columns and floor feed back live data, about temperature and strain – providing a picture of how the building is behaving. The result is a building that’s more of a living creature than a passive block of material: we can ask the building how it’s feeling, and the building can reply.The Dyson Centre for Engineering Design will teach students about the design process – and provide space for over 1,200 undergraduate engineers to conduct their research."This new space for Britain’s best engineers at the University of Cambridge will catalyse great technological breakthroughs that transform how we live."Sir James DysonAWARDSRegional Finalist: Civic Trust AwardShortlisted: RIBA East AwardShortlisted: RICS Award - Design Through Innovation
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Union Court, Clapham

Union Court, Clapham

Keim Mineral Paints Ltd

Union Court is located in the Clapham area of South West London. It is made up of bright and varied workspaces to rent.Anton Boekhoudt of KEIM Mineral Paints was contacted by GPAD Architects as they were looking to update and change the façade of the building from a plain stock yellow brick colour. The architect wanted to use a breathable coating as a way of changing the appearance. Changes were also to be made to the window details and signage for the building along with new cladding areas. From their conversation an initial site unseen specification was produced.Following a site visit with the architect and Anton, sample trials commenced. Anton initially produced seven samples using KEIM Soldalit and KEIM Restauro Lasur in a selection of colours. Once GPAD Architects reviewed the samples, two further samples were applied on a larger scale. One sample with the mortar joints painted using KEIM Restauro Lasur and the other without. The preferred option was the brick faces painted only.KEIM Restauro Fixativ was applied to all brick faces and mortar joints. A 1:1 ratio mix of KEIM Restauro Lasur, in colour RB001, and KEIM Restauro Fixativ was then applied to the brick faces only. Two decorating companies worked on this project – Restore & Preserve and Chameleon Brickwork, who both used different techniques. Restore & Preserve used a spray technique after masking up all mortar joints, whereas Chameleon Brickwork hand painted each brick face. Both techniques have worked brilliantly, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.Graeme Winestone of GPAD Architects commented “We are delighted with the service that KEIM offered, including plenty of colour choices and on-site samples that allowed us and the client to make an informed colour choice for the finish of the brickwork.The existing building was given a new lease of life by the use of KEIM Paints, creating a uniform brick colour which complemented the new façade alterations.Frequent site visits provided by KEIM gave us peace of mind with regards to surface preparation and application of the KEIM products producing a very satisfactory end results.”
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Braefoot Jetty - Fife, Scotland

Braefoot Jetty - Fife, Scotland

Saint-Gobain Weber

Located between St. David's and Aberdour, the tanker terminal at Braefoot Bay is a base for the export of liquefied petroleum gas. The terminal consists of two jetties located on the north shore of Incholm Island. The gas is piped to the Mossmoran Plant in Fife direct from the North Sea, broken down to form ethane and then converted into ethylene, the basic hydrocarbon 'building block' of the petrochemical industry. The products are then piped the final three mile journey to the Braefoot Marine Terminal where they are fed into tankers and gas carriers for markets in Europe and the USA. The terminal is operated jointly by Shell Expro and Exxon.The jetty was suffering from increasing levels of deterioration of the reinforced concrete structure due to the relentless corrosive action of the marine salt environment on the reinforcing steel. A remedial plan was developed to carry out repairs and to introduce a cathodic protection (CP) system to greatly enhance the protection level and therefore extend the life of the structure. The plan was prepared by structural engineers from Shell, led by Hans Verheyde, and Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK (BBCS) was awarded the contract.Two major factors had to be accommodated within the repair programme. Firstly, the tidal flow that submerged the lower part of the jetty twice every 24 hours and secondly, the jetty is a fully live and very active transport hub and shipping schedules had to take precedence at all times. Round-the-clock flexible working maintained delivery of the twelve-month project.Saint-Gobain Weber's specialised repair concrete products were specified for the remedial actions on the Braefoot Bay jetty and technical application advice was provided for the active phase of the project. A suspended scaffold was designed and installed which allowed fast access when the tide ebbed so that productivity could be maintained. Traditional techniques were used to breakout the spalled and cracked concrete and to wash out the surface chlorides and clean the existing reinforcement steels.webercem five star repair concrete CP is a shrinkage-compensated, high strength, low resistivity, flowing repair concrete designed for use in conjunction with CP systems. This pre-blended cementitious concrete fully complies with the Highways Agency Specification Class 29F for high-strength flowing concrete for major structural repairs. It contains non-reactive aggregates with a low soluble-alkali cement content which is particularly important where CP is to be used. The rapid strength development and dimensional stability of webercem five star repair concrete CP – which reaches 27N/mm² in 24 hours – was especially valuable in the tidal conditions in Fife. Tight shuttering was used on the wide beam sections of the jetty to take the poured concrete which reached an integral bond with the original concrete. This process reformed the structural integrity using products with proven durability.An innovative CP system using Duogard® hybrid anodes from CPT was installed to protect the steel reinforcement with the anodes fixed into the soffits with a special CPT mortar. Where the CP installation required chases to carry the cabling, webercem HB40 high-build structural repair mortar was used to fill and seal the chases. webercem bondcoat, a polymer-modified, cementitious bonding aid and steel reinforcement primer, was first applied into the chases to ensure enhanced bonding. webercem HB40 is an acrylic-polymer modified, single component mortar and is lightweight with high build qualities. It can be applied in layers up to 75mm thick vertically, and 50mm on overhead soffits, and can be used without formwork. It was then applied onto the tacky webercem bondcoat primer and finished flush to the concrete surface.The Braefoot Bay terminal project has been completed successfully and Dewi Miller, contracts manager, BBCS, is confident that the jetty protection will extend the working life of the structure. "The products we have used are excellent and the application methods have enabled us to deliver a high degree of protection and reinstatement to the concrete structure. Working on a live site in a tidal zone has required a flexible work schedule but the whole project has worked exactly to plan and the client is very pleased with the result. The Weber materials have been the key to achieving this success."
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Dechomet Cemetery Moneyslane Restoration and repairs | Rainey Restoration Ltd | SMET NHL 3.5

Dechomet Cemetery Moneyslane Restoration and repairs | Rainey Restoration Ltd | SMET NHL 3.5

SMET Building Products Ltd

SMET NHL 3.5 binder was specially selected for the restoration works in Dechomet Cemetry, Moneyslane.  Rainey Restoration Ltd used our superior-quality pure Natural Hydraulic Lime binder SMET NHL 3.5 to produce a superior-quality lime mortar. The selective hydraulic strength development of NHL binders makes them particularly suitable for producing lime mortars for masonry work, rendering, and plastering on historical buildings and monuments.NHL binders, available directly from SMET and online or in-store via our distribution partner Haldane Fisher, are particularly suited for ecological new builds, conservation, restoration, and preservation works. The products’ special composition allows mortars to breathe and permits constant hygrometric exchange between the substrate and the environment. This Restoration is another showcase of sympathetic historic building restoration, using superior-quality NHL products available from SMET.
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Creating new homes in London with Off-site construction and Vandersanden

Creating new homes in London with Off-site construction and Vandersanden

Vandersanden Brick

One of the first residential developments created and offered for sale by Westminster City Council, Cosway Street, in Marylebone, London is a collection of 49 contemporary homes set around an attractive communal garden. Vandersanden’s Cayenne, Woodland Mixture and Lima bricks are integral both to the pre-cast Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) panels, forming the facades, and the traditional hand-laid brickwork lining the balcony spaces. This landmark building was inspired by the area’s Georgian terraces and Victorian mansion blocks. From the choice of materials to the precise proportions and the gentle curves of the scalloped panels, every element of the architecture has been considered to help stitch the scheme into its setting. David Miller Architects took over the project post planning approval. The design intent was to craft the building as if it had been carved from brick. A key decision was to employ pre-fabricated DfMA brick panels for the main facades, alongside traditional hand-laid brickwork for the inset balconies. Using this approach allowed the construction team to build quickly to a precise, high quality and efficient standard in a controlled manufacturing environment, using less energy and carbon and creating less waste. The idea was to split the building’s mass using the materiality, colours and textures of the three different bricks and the scalloped form of the panels to respond directly to the context of the site. The choice of bricks was incredibly important and had to meet the planning design intent explains Sundas Rohilla, project architect at David Miller Architects. “It was essential to ensure we were picking up the right tones of reds, yellows and greys from the existing buildings; Vandersanden’s Cayenne, Woodland Mixture and Lima do this perfectly. They also harmonise with the pigmentation of the concrete sills and copings, as well as with the window and balcony railing colours.” “We’d used Vandersanden products on a previous project for Westminster City Council and we’re now using them to deliver two other projects in the same area, Ashbridge Street and Ashmill Street. It comes down to the hues and the textures that the bricks offer and the company’s commitment to sustainability.” The mass of the building is reduced not only by the different blocks of brick colours but also by the gradation of the mortar colours across the façade. In all, there are five mortars with the darkest at the base of the wall and the lightest at the top. Using mortars in this way meant that there was no need to use different brick types to achieve the same effect, but it did mean that it was essential to have bricks of the right texture and consistency. The brick panels were pointed off-site in the factory. With such a complicated design, off-site construction meant that precise tolerances could be achieved, and the quality of the brickwork could be seamless. In all, 285 precast panels were manufactured by Decomo in Belgium to create 3.500m2 of finished facades. Dueto the façade’s differing curvatures, Decomo had to cut and bond the bricks to various sizes with 117 different shapes for each of the three brick colours. The bricks used by Decomo in Belgium exactly matched those being used on-site by the bricklayers, with Vandersanden working closely with the design team and directly with Decomo to manage this process. “Vandersanden was incredibly helpful and responsive from the start, providing samples and initial quotes during brick selection,” notes Rohilla. “The company’s approach to sustainability and collective wellbeing resonates with ours as an architectural practice. Knowing that Vandersanden has Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that are super open means that we can easily compare against other products. It feels like sustainability is really embodied into their culture.”  “Our experience with Vandersanden has been great and their products have helped us deliver top quality housing. Everyone involved is very proud of the building’s aesthetic and that is due to the bricks. It’s been a very good experience and we hope to keep working with them.”The design for Cosway Street was by Bell Phillips, realised by Osborne and David Miller Architects as their delivery architects. To find out more about the bricks used in this project or to see the wide range of high-quality bricks available from Vandersanden, click on the 'View more' link
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Spinners Grange, New Build, Cotswolds

Spinners Grange, New Build, Cotswolds

Arden Windows Ltd

Exceptional executive homes featuring Arden WindowsThe area surrounding Spinners Grange has a rich heritage in wool and silk production, with many historic mills still standing today. A rural haven in the heart of Gloucestershire, life in Spinners Grange is made more attractive by its excellent transport links and choice of local amenities.Designed by an award-winning Cotswold architect, Tyack, Spinners Grange creates an attractive entrance to the village reflecting the local architecture and a continuation of the existing village.The choice of external materials includes random natural stone, hand-mixed lime mortar, local Cotswold stone roof tiles, softwood boarding, conservation kerbs, granite edgings and an abundance of architectural detailing. Materials all reflect the local environment with stone sourced from local Guiting and Stanleys quarries, hand-mixed mortar hand coloured to match the stone, all built by traditional stonemasons. The corbels and quoins are also made specifically for the home.Local Winchcombe stone roof tiles have been used to blend with established older homes in the village along with timber windows from Arden, each with a warranty, complementing the timber casement French doors within the home.
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Weston Hills Carbon Neutral House

Weston Hills Carbon Neutral House

Forterra Building Products

An architect designed, self-build house with annexe for a multi-generational family built to zero-carbon standards.The scheme’s design is influenced by the architectural vernacular of the area. The surrounding houses are a legacy of the Land Settlement Association scheme, with distinctive mansard roofs, steeply sloping gables and dormer windows, constructed in a simple red brick with terracotta plain tiles.The mansard is reflected in the new house with the roof extending down to form the walls. Instead of terracotta tiles, large format slate has been used to form a modern equivalent. The house is mainly slate tile; however, it was felt important to also reflect local brickwork. As such, brickwork was used for two huge brick-faced chimney stacks that rise through the gable.PROJECT INFOTo form a contrast with the very smooth grey of the slate, a textured red brick with slight colour variation was sought. White mortar lightens the brickwork while recessed mortar joints are used inside to provide shadow to each brick. Perforated brickwork surrounds the stone coping on both chimney stacks, adding visual interest to the building through both the materials and the shadows created by the brickwork perforations.The brick selected was stock thrown Hampton Rural Blend from Forterra’s Ecostock range. It has a rustic finish resembling handmade brick. Ecostock bricks are manufactured using the latest technology in sustainability and production efficiency, producing bricks with low embodied energy as well as advanced colour consistency, dimensional accuracy and quality.The structure incorporated huge amounts of insulation, a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system, and a solar photovoltaic array at the bottom of the garden, along with a ground-source heat pump. These installations will ensure that the house generates more electricity than it could ever use.
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Bradford City Park

Bradford City Park

Instarmac Group plc

UltraScape Pro-Bed HS, Pro-Prime and Flowpoint ECO are being used to help make Bradford’s City Park a world class public park. Bradford Council, in conjunction with landscape architect Gillespies and consulting engineer Arup, have specified UltraScape’s Pro-Bed HS Bedding Mortar, Pro-Prime Slurry Primer, EP-R9 Epoxy Bedding Mortar and Flowpoint ECO flowable grout – in Natural and Charcoal – for use by the main contractor Birse Civils, to lay the setts, porphyry and sandstone in and around the Mirror Pool.
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Ultrascape Helps to Deliver World Class Transport Hub

Ultrascape Helps to Deliver World Class Transport Hub

Instarmac Group plc

Ultrascape's BS 7533 compliant mortar paving system has played a major role in helping to transform one of the UK's busiest train stations. The long awaited redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station has transformed what was previously a dark, overcrowded site into a prestigious gateway to the UK's second city. Work was carried out by MPB Structures Ltd. It included reinstating existing station platforms, installing new structures, hardscaping around the station perimeter and the creation of Birmingham's version of the 'Spanish Steps.' The paving was installed using Ultrascape's BS 7533 compliant mortar paving system.
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Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Steintec

An extensive hard landscape setting for the new Tottenham Hotspur Football Club stadium. The large 11,000 m2 paved area has been constructed in a combination of granite and concrete block paving units. Although the area is mainly pedestrian the brief required that the units be completely and permanently bonded into position. This was achieved using Steintec tuffbond in combination with tuffbed 2-pack Type 35 bedding mortar to achieve a minimum 2MPa adhesion between the paving units and the supporting layers. Steintec tufftop Type 40 jointing mortar was used to complete the installation.
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Wilton House Belfast | bauprocalc Lime Based Render & Plaster | Poplar Investments Ltd

Wilton House Belfast | bauprocalc Lime Based Render & Plaster | Poplar Investments Ltd

SMET Building Products Ltd

Job:Wilton House BelfastSmet Supported Partner:Kelly Bros Contracting for Poplar Investments LtdProducts:bauprocalc KG – Hydraulic Lime-Based Skim Coatbauprocalc 830 – Hydraulic Lime-Based Render/PlasterRelated DownloadsTDS CASEA bauprocalc KG – Hydraulic Lime-Based Skim CoatTDS CASEA bauprocalc 830 – Hydraulic Lime Based Render/PlasterEPD – CASEA bauprocalc 830SMET and Haldane Fisher NHL BrochureCLEAN WALL® BrochureDescriptionbauprocalc KG – Hydraulic Lime-Based Skim Coat and bauprocalc 830 – Hydraulic Lime-Based Render/Plaster was selected for the internal plastering and external render in the renovation of this important historical building in Belfast. Principal building contractor, Kelly Bros. on behalf of Poplar Investments Ltd was tasked with this mammoth renovation project which comprised 15 Luxury Apartments, in-situ concrete frame, brick and render & Zinc standing seam Facade, completed with a flat roof.WHY USE LIME-BASED RENDER AND PLASTER?SMET’s bauprocalc products are CE-marked, factory-produced hydraulic hardening skim coat plasters and render based on lime, specially designed for hand and machine application produced to DIN EN 998-1. bauprocalc KG and bauprocalc 830 contribute to a healthy internal atmosphere. They are an excellent alternative to plaster and renders containing gypsum or patent cement that have less vapour permeable qualities.They are ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and rooms where high humidity levels are expected. bauprocalc KG produces a mortar that is softer than cement mortar. After the initial set, stability and strength gradually build up over time, allowing enough flexibility to cope with minor settlement or movement in the building during this period, thereby reducing the risk of cracking.bauprocalc 830 has unique properties, making it suitable for application on low, medium and high-density substrates, especially suited for the renovation of old /listed buildings and ecological new builds. Good vapour permeability performance allows an unhindered transference of excess internal moisture through the building to the outside, thereby contributing significantly to a balanced and healthy internal atmosphere.SMET is delighted to have supplied its bauprocalc plaster and render for the lime rendering and plastering of Wilton House, helping Poplar Investments Ltd & Kelly Bros transform the 19th-century Belfast city centre building into unique, hotel-like, serviced apartments. Michael Brannigan from Poplar Investments said, “Historical features are preserved not only in the appearance of the building but also in the actual buildup, which was exemplified by the use of lime plaster as it was done 200 years ago to ensure wall breathability” (Source: NB 32-4).Check out SMET’s range of lime and lime-based products available from Smet Building Products Ltd.
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Hackney - Daubeney Road, Residential Bound Permeable Pavement

Hackney - Daubeney Road, Residential Bound Permeable Pavement

Steintec

This project employed the BS 7533-101 Type A method of construction (rigid/bound paving over an unbound roadbase) with the use of Steintec's tuffflow permeable paving mortar as part of this SuDS scheme.The Steintec tuffflow system of permeable bedding and jointing mortars was used to construct a SuDS permeable, bound/rigid pavement. The system allows the designer to capitlize on the low maintenance, high durability of a BS structurally compliant bound/rigid public realm pavement, while avoiding the disadvantages of loose bedding and jointing aggregates used in conventional SuDS pavement construction.
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Vandersanden bricks help create a striking educational superblock

Vandersanden bricks help create a striking educational superblock

Vandersanden Brick

Setting an aesthetic benchmark at the heart of the regeneration of London’s Royal Docks, Oasis Academy Silvertown is a new Department for Education school created by architects Rivington Street Studio. The landmark building serves 11-16 year olds and achieves a BREEAM ‘Excellent' rating while its striking appearance owes much to the use of Vandersanden’s Perla bricks.At the heart of an emerging community in West Silvertown, the Oasis Academy is an all-inclusive secondary school for 600 students on a constrained .25-hectare site. Arranged as a multi-storey ‘superblock’, the building incorporates outdoor social space at different levels and a full-sized sports pitch on its roof.The warm white Perla brickwork and large openings relate to the existing and new residential properties and the monumental listed Silo D nearby. The building’s thick external walls are folded to provide a layered façade in response to the elements. A double-height colonnade to the North Woolwich Road acts as a visitor entrance and engenders a civic quality to the building while also allowing for generous pedestrian movement and a deep threshold between the public domain and secure school environment.The site is surrounded by a mix of red brick residential properties, derelict industrial land and vast stretches of master-planned residential and commercial properties. “We wanted the Academy to stand out from this landscape,” explains Éimear Murphy, associate director at Rivington Street Studio. “Vandersanden’s white Perla bricks give the building a monumental quality, highlighting that it’s for the community and is not an apartment block.”Taylor Maxwell, the brick supplier, suggested Vandersanden’s Perla brick for the project. “What we really liked about Perla is that it’s not only a white brick, with no variation in the colour, but it has quite a rustic, handmade texture that gives it a warm feel rather than a shiny and engineered surface finish,” says Murphy. There were various challenges to creating the brickwork details. The sharp angles associated with the brick fins on the side elevations meant there were a lot of brick specials so these were scheduled with plans drawn through the fins at every other course at the different levels. The contractor then cut the bricks to the schedule. This was made possible because the Perla bricks are exactly the same colour all the way through. For the canted reveals of the double-height colonnade to the main elevation, brick slip panels were used. Rivington Street Studio worked with the brick subcontractor to develop a bespoke detail and different mock-ups were trialled. The brick slips are seamless in appearance, matching with the full bricks used elsewhere. The canted reveals to the windows on the south elevation were envisioned through extensive 3D modelling and the Perla bricks again proved highly versatile during construction.To achieve a homogenous feel to the building, the mortar was matched to the brick. From a distance, the structure resembles a white cube but, as you get closer, the surface detail of the mortar joints and brick texture starts appearing. At different times of the day, the building’s appearance changes as patterns of light and shade move across the texture of the bricks. "The Vandersanden bricks are incredibly high quality and the through colour simplified the construction process because the bricks could simply be cut to suit the building’s geometry, enthuses Murphy. “Another important factor was the excellent consistency of the batches as this was essential to achieving the building’s monolithic, one-colour look.” To find out more about the bricks used in this project or to see the wide range of high-quality bricks available from Vandersanden, click on the 'View more' linkProject photography Simon Kennedy & Rachel Ferriman
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Cohousing scheme sets the new Cambridge vernacular with Vandersanden bricks

Cohousing scheme sets the new Cambridge vernacular with Vandersanden bricks

Vandersanden Brick

An award winning, 42-home cohousing development in Orchard Park, Cambridge, Marmalade Lane is recognised as a leading example of best practice. To bring the scheme to fruition, TOWN, with its partner Trivselhus and supported by Mole Architects, was selected as the preferred developer by Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Cohousing. Much of the scheme’s aesthetic appeal is due to the use of three Vandersanden bricks: Majestic, Nevado Grey and Old Windsor. Cohousing is a mutually supportive form of living that is well-established in northern European countries and which is gaining in popularity in the UK. At Marmalade Lane, in addition to self-contained, privately-owned terraced and apartment homes, the community shares many spaces and facilities. These include a ‘Common House’ at the centre of the development and a car-free street that is the social heart of the scheme – a place for people to socialise and for children to play.  Marmalade Lane is one of the largest examples of group custom build in the UK so developers TOWN and Mole Architects worked closely with the future residents through a process of co-design from the start. “With a menu-based approach to dwelling customisation, purchasers were able to select their chosen brick colour from the palette of the three Vandersanden bricks plus the option of a white painted brick facade,” explains Meredith Bowles, director at Mole Architects. “Giving residents who committed to live in Marmalade Lane early on, a choice of the brick facing used for their homes was important," believes Neil Murphy, founding director of TOWN. “It has both endowed the place with a strong sense of ownership and has created a streetscape that echoes the ordinary historic Cambridge streets with their patina of age. The choice of Vandersanden bricks, with their good texture and colour, really brings the scheme to life.” Although Marmalade Lane is on the periphery of Cambridge, the aim was to give the scheme a quality that is found in the brick colours of the attractive streets in the middle of the city. Over time the bricks of the old houses have become sooted so the palette includes a kind of sooty grey hue, the more striking pale yellow of Georgian homes and also the red brick from the Victorian terraces; there are also a reasonable proportion of buildings where people have painted the bricks. Essentially, Marmalade Lane is a concentrated version of this collective vision. Bowles believes the choice of brick at Marmalade Lane perfectly complements this vision. “It seems to have become a Cambridge style with new developments all around now using the same mix of hues. Vandersanden’s Majestic, Nevado Grey and Old Windsor provide the ideal range of colours and offer the quality and textures that perfectly echo the vernacular. “There is a challenge in Cambridge because the planners are keen that things are built to match the local bricks but these aren’t being made anymore. The brick factor we used introduced us to Vandersanden by providing samples of the company’s bricks that showed us a lot of possibilities. These perfectly fitted the local vernacular, the overall aesthetic and the budget. It’s usually particularly tricky to find suitable grey bricks because they’re mostly double fired, so they cost, more but Vandersanden had what we needed at an affordable price,” says Bowles. The brickwork at Marmalade Lane is comparatively simple, the one exception being a few bands of projecting headers that create stripes of shadow as the sun moves across the facade of one of the apartment buildings at the corner of the site. Two mortar colours were employed with a dark mortar for the Nevado Grey bricks and a lighter, sandier colour for the Majestic and Old Windsor bricks. The Nevado Grey bricks have been employed to bring cohesion to many of the key elements of the scheme, including the flat roofed structures that house the air source heat pumps at the front of each house, the bicycle and bins stores as well as the Common House. Bowles is enthusiastic about the Vandersanden product. “It’s terrific and quite unusual to find one company with such a strong and varied range of characterful bricks. Part of the scheme’s success was finding bricks that worked and had lots of character within a reasonably modest budget. There is something special about the surface texture, patination, irregularity and the sense of liveliness that the Vandersanden bricks offer. They evoke a handmade quality found in older bricks that makes them much more attractive than so many of the bricks made today.”To find out more about the bricks used in this project or see the wide range of high-quality bricks available from Vandersanden, click on the 'View more' link.  
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Changing the perception of crematorium buildings with Vandersanden

Changing the perception of crematorium buildings with Vandersanden

Vandersanden Brick

A new crematorium facility for Huntingdon Town Council, Huntingdon Crematorium is a collection of buildings equipped with ceremonial spaces and the appropriate crematory functions. The specification of Vandersanden’s Perla and Morvan bricks has resulted in buildings that have made a striking contribution to the landscape of the greenfield site while also helping to change the accepted perception of crematorium buildings. “We were looking for a way of making the process of going to an end of life ceremony uplifting and hopeful,” explains Mark Doohan, managing director at Benchmark Architects. “We had the idea of creating a curved, white, brick building within which there are beautiful, light filled and airy spaces.” When envisioning the scheme, the team at Benchmark Architects realised that by inserting a black brick wall across the site they could create a ‘canvas’ that provided the separation between the front of house and working areas of the crematorium. Against this, on one side, they packed three curved white brick volumes to create the key spaces, adjusted in height according to the hierarchy of their importance: the entrance lobby, waiting room and chapel. Out of sight, behind the wall, are the cremators, plant rooms, offices and other functional elements. The design focuses on a central drum flooded with natural light. The main building contains the ceremonial hall for 125 people, waiting rooms and crematory with capacity for two cremators. A second building contains a multi-purpose function room - that can be used for wakes - and a café with associated catering facilities and administrative offices. Having created the design vision, the choice of appropriate bricks was crucial. Good white bricks are hard to come by, often they’re tinged with yellow or beige; finding black bricks that are not simply colour coated or are a dark blue is equally hard, says Doohan.“We were delighted when we were able to find the Vandersanden bricks. We genuinely love the texture and through colour quality of Vandersanden’s white Perla and black Morvan bricks. They set off our concept perfectly, with the white brick capturing the light in the way that we envisioned when first sketching out the idea.” A double soldier course heads the windows to form a band around the building and is repeated close to the top of the main drum. There is also a recessed course 500 mm off the ground that creates a scored line at the base, bringing additional balance to the building. This is achieved by setting one course back by some 25 mm. Another advantage of the Vandersanden bricks is that they can be used in the ground below DPC level, visually rooting the building to the landscape. It was essential that the volumes were homogenous in feel so a good mortar match was vital. Lime mortar was selected and was aesthetically important due to its colour, texture and because its flexibility reduced the number of movement joints required. The lime used, NHL 3.5, was naturally white; for the black brickwork it was pigmented. When seen from a distance, only the overall form of the building is perceived but, on getting closer, the brick details start to stand out. Then, when really close, the contribution that the texture, pattern, shape and almost handmade quality of the individual bricks makes to the quality of the building becomes clear. We’re always keen to specify products where we get really good technical support, notes Doohan. “Vandersanden were excellent at providing advice and technical backup whenever we had a question. Since becoming aware of Vandersanden products, they are our go-to source for brick. As architects, we’re image-based creatures so the website is incredibly helpful. It’s an excellent way of being able to see the bricks in loads of different and inspiring building types. Many brick suppliers don’t show that connection. Most importantly, our client for Huntingdon Crematorium is delighted with the brickwork.”To find out more about the bricks used in this project or to see the wide range of high-quality bricks available from Vandersanden, click on the 'View more' link
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Clare College Cambridge regenerates St Regis accommodation with Vandersanden

Clare College Cambridge regenerates St Regis accommodation with Vandersanden

Vandersanden Brick

Located on the edge of Cambridge’s De Freville Conservation Area, Clare College’s St Regis site has provided accommodation for postgraduate students of the University of Cambridge for over fifty years. In recent times, the need for regeneration became clear and Freeland Rees Roberts Architects was appointed to design a new scheme. The practice worked closely with Vandersanden, selecting brick as the principal element of the attractive new facades.While the old buildings failed to fit into the surrounding urban context and lacked the facilities required, the new scheme provides more and improved student accommodation for the college together with market flats. To achieve this successfully in a residential area, it was vital to consider the massing and perceived scale of the buildings. Consequently, the volumes were broken down to feel more like a series of big houses than large residential blocks.Clearly of a confident, contemporary design, the buildings respect their surroundings, repairing and maintaining the rhythm of the street scene. In large part, this is due to the choice of bricks and the splitting of the facades into separate gables with slopping roofs. Vandersanden’s Majestic and Luna Apollo facing bricks were selected and contribute to the detailing of the facades.“There is plenty of life and colour variation in the bricks,” explains Alexander Hobohm, director at Freeland Rees Roberts Architects. “This assists in breaking down the overall massing of the facades and works well with the dark zinc of the roofs.”The bricks act to soften the appearance of the facades and link the context of the new and neighbouring buildings. The beige grey Majestic brick predominates with the darker grey Luna Apollo providing detailing. It forms the plinth that anchors the buildings while a soldier course of Majestic bricks above provides the transition to the main body of the walls. At the junction with the zinc roof, the detailing is subtle with the transition provided by stepped courses of the Luna Apollo. Panels of projecting brick headers are a further feature, introduced to add a textural quality that brings light and shade to the facades.“The brick’s colour, tone and texture were qualities that other manufacturers couldn’t offer,” says Hobohm. “Usefully, Vandersanden invited us to see a number of projects using the same bricks which was so much more helpful than relying just on sample panels.”Another contributory factor to the look is the choice of mortar. This was specified to create a natural, lime mortar-like appearance and was achieved by fully pointing and, after the initial set, brushing back; there are no struck joint lines.A defining feature of the front facade is the public art. The college commissioned a carving featuring swifts in flight, inspired by the birds that were in residence in the original buildings. Swift boxes have been integrated into the new facades to provide a home for these beautiful birds. Using hand tools and following trials, stonemasons carved some 5-10mm into the face of the brickwork to create the design. A breathable paint finish was applied to highlight the indentations - a single bird at the very top is gold-leafed.  For Hobohm, working with Vandersanden was a positive, supportive and proactive process. “It was very straightforward. Early on, Vandersanden supplied product and technical information, plus a batch of the two brick types, enabling us to create sample panels. The bricks helped deliver the project vision and the client is delighted. It’s now one of the college’s signature buildings and has already won several awards.” To find out more about the bricks used in this project or to see the wide range of high-quality bricks available from Vandersanden, click on the 'View more' link 
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Fletcher Crane architects chooses Vandersanden brick for Tree House development

Fletcher Crane architects chooses Vandersanden brick for Tree House development

Vandersanden Brick

Award-winning Surrey-based firm, Fletcher Crane Architects, has specified Vandersanden’s 65mm Antro facing brick for interiors and exteriors at Tree House, an impressive, new, contemporary home in Ealing, West London. Located in a conservation area and constructed on a 12 x 12m former garage site, bounded by rear gardens, Tree House is a two-bedroom property that stands assertively against the characterful and repetitive villas in the street. Fletcher Crane has designed the home as an articulated series of volumes in a split-level arrangement of rooms around a central spine. The kitchen and living room sit on the upper storeys to make the most of natural daylight while the two bedrooms are submerged within semi-sunken floors.Boldly deployed and celebrated for the texture, variation and interest they provide, Tree House’s components are a fundamental part of the Fletcher Crane vision. Inside and outside the home, extensive use is made of three principal materials to create a naturally appealing, raw palette of black ash timber, tubular metalwork and multi-coloured Antro brick from Vandersanden.The load bearing Antro brickwork is exposed and flush-jointed with traditional lime mortar to create a unifying, almost monolithic appearance. ‘Baubuche’ structural timber joists span the brick structure, while, in the basement, the in-situ concrete frame is left bare. The central staircase is encased in ash timber panelling which is set against more curved Antro brickwork and sharp metal balustrades. Outside a sunken planted courtyard is accessed using stepped Antro brick planters and a paddle stair constructed of black cobble setts.“We like the texture, the tones and the variety that the Antro brick gives us at Tree House,” says Harry Reid, Architect at Fletcher Crane Architects. “Vandersanden offers a significant range of these light multi-coloured bricks, both in white and grey hues which are very attractive for this type of project. The company supplied us with a number of sample options for comparison and contrast, and we duly selected Antro as our brick of choice. We’re delighted with it, particularly in how the Antro brick combines with the lime mortar, and other components at Tree House to create the overall feeling of an intimate yet generous home that’s filled with light and rich in materials.”Antro is created from a combination of different clay forms which yield a grey base colour, then coated with specific sand types to bring a grained, creased texture to the brick. The clay structure evokes darker and lighter tones out of the base grey along with shades of white in the overall final appearance.For more information on Fletcher Crane Architects go to https://www.fletchercranearchitects.com/. To find out more about the bricks used in this project or to see the wide range of high-quality bricks available from Vandersanden, click on the 'View more' linkCredit: Photography by Lorenzo Zandri © 2021
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The Rowe, London

The Rowe, London

Keim Mineral Paints Ltd

The Rowe is a new architecturally designed office space in Whitechapel London, where tradition meets innovation. With outside space on every level, the building sets a sustainable benchmark for new office space in central London. The new elements mimics the horizontal banding of the 1960s concrete building as well as contrasting with a steel structure and dark metal palette.The architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, had used KEIM previously. They contacted KEIM as they wanted a sustainable product in keeping with their core values. Samples were carried out, as shown in the photo below, to determine the most suitable colour.First off, KEIM Concrete Repair Mortar (KEIM Concretal-MR 2.0) was used for large repairs within the concrete. KEIM Fine Finishing Mortar (KEIM Concretal-FSP 0.2) was then used for levelling repairs as it is a much finer aggregate mix.KEIM Soldalit CL018, a light grey colour, was chosen to compliment the steel structure and due to its characteristics, was applied onto the previously painted surface without the need for a primer. It is fire resistant – A2-s1, d0 classified and Cradle to Cradle certified.The Rowe has been shortlisted for an AJ Retrofit Award 2023 in the Workspace (£10m and over) category. It was also awarded BREEAM ‘Excellent’, WELL ‘Platinum’ and received SmartScore certification.
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Combilift, Co. Monaghan

Combilift, Co. Monaghan

AG

AG was appointed by Meegan Builders for the provision of hard landscaping products in the construction of a brand-new office and manufacturing building for Combilift, Co. Monaghan.AG supplied its premium Plaza paving in Salt and Pepper for the front of the building structure; a popular 600x200x50 granite water-etched paving, which offers long life with minimal maintenance. AG’s Plaza paving offered the correct power and durability to be fit for purpose, without sacrificing on aesthetics. Plaza is manufactured using extremely high-quality aggregates, giving it uncommon durability and excellent slip resistance that truly lasts under areas of high traffic and pressure.A colour mix of Salt and Pepper was selected to contrast with the lighter building structure and to offer a hard-wearing alternative to traditional granite composites. AG’s Plaza paving is produced in the UK using locally sourced aggregates, with a high percentage of recycled materials in the base mix. 100% renewable energy is used during the production process, something AG has been committed to introducing throughout its product ranges.AG also supplied Steintec products to complement its Plaza paving; in this instance, Tufftop, a high-performance jointing mortar designed for modular paving was selected. This free-flowing grout makes paving surface cleaning very straightforward and when used in conjunction with AG’s Plaza block, ensures longevity and minimal maintenance for Combilift’s new manufacturing base.
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Historic Restoration - 230 Park Avenue (The Helmsley Building)

Historic Restoration - 230 Park Avenue (The Helmsley Building)

C-Probe Systems

Challenge: Many elements of the iconic skyscraper were facing embedded steel corrosion, including the structural steel lattice columns within the colossal terracotta enclosures. The expansion of the steel caused by the corrosion was severely damaging the masonry cladding and cracking the six-foot-tall terracotta bison heads.Strategy: Installation of an impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) system at the steel sections with the colonnades on 29th to 32nd floors. The system consisted of LoCem® +point® anode mortar was applied within the bed joints and drilled in to provide 360° protection of the steel surfaces. The bison heads were deconstructed, steel cleaned-up and masonry reconstructed. LoCem® is a low carbon cement alternative (AACM), which can also act as a cathodic protection anode for controlling steel frame corrosion.Outcome: The ICCP system resulted in long-term performance and control for the whole life preservation of our clients’ assets. Using AchillesICP for control over corrosion rate, and AiMS to collect the data, the client had full transparency over structural health and the power to make predictive maintenance decisions.
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10 Brindley Place, Birmingham

10 Brindley Place, Birmingham

Ash & Lacy

This £40 million retrofit transformation of Brindley Place, a well-known site in the Westside of Birmingham city centre, raises the bar for sustainability and wellness in an urban regeneration and commercial refurbishment project. The ‘back to frame’ concept combines 10 Brindley Place with the adjoining 8 Brindley Place to create over 200,000 square feet of offices with serviced apartments and one of the largest floorplates in the city. Amenities include an on-site café, fitness facilities, a fitness studio and bouldering wall, storage for 100 cycles, electric vehicle charging points, and two communal roof terraces with impressive views. Associated Architects have created a bold new identity for the site. The façade was completely redesigned using 245,000 locally sourced bricks from a sustainable quarry. Each one was installed by hand to cover an area of 40,000 square feet. The system was constructed off an exterior steel frame consisting of a breather membrane, thermal insulation, fire cavity barriers, and helping hand brackets and rails. Grooves were cut into the bricks before they were slotted into these rails and mortar was then applied to all brick joints.The Leicester Grey Stock, Atlas Dark Grey, and Blue Glazed bricks selected complement each other and create a modern and distinctive aesthetic that responds positively to the renovated building’s Broad Street context. Floor to ceiling windows on the large floorplates complete the design, which blends impeccably with the nearby Metro line and adjacent development. The identity is also carried through to the interior styling. This interior, that boasts a striking double-height reception area, was developed in partnership with Willmott Dixon.In addition to its impressive appearance, the renovated Brindley Place also utilises smart building technologies to provide real-time energy monitoring. The building also has excellent thermal performance, achieved a high WiredScore and an excellent BREEAM rating. Occupier wellness is also at the heart of the new design. Indeed, Brindley Place was the first building in Birmingham to receive a Fitwel accreditation. In summary, this highly acclaimed urban redevelopment has both shifted perceptions of Broad Street as an address and set new standards for the reinvention of office space in the city. It has transformed the site and provides one of the most attractive and well-equipped office buildings in the country. 

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