The association for the manufacturers of architectural cladding and structural precast concrete

As part of the First Street North Development in Manchester’s city centre, contractor Carillion awarded the superstructure package for a ten-storey hotel to specialist design-and-build contractor SCC Limited. The original scheme, by Ian Simpson Architects and structurally developed by Capita Simonds, was an in-situ concrete design but this was changed on the appointment of SCC.


With trends moving more and more towards off-site procurement, SCC teamed up with Tier Consult and Interspan to work on a precast concrete solution, with the introduction of post-tensioning strand to tie elements together floor by floor. The main supporting columns and walls are of precast concrete using traditional methods connections. However, wherever possible, for walls within stair cores and those forming lift shafts, a volumetric solution was adopted to allow 20-tonne modules to be craned in.


One of the issues facing the design team was at level five, where one elevation of the building projects out by 6700mm along with all the remaining floors, all six being carried by three huge post-tensioned beams at roof level. To achieve this, a large heavy-duty support scaffold was erected to carry the combined load of all the remaining floors until all the post-tensioning works had been completed and the concrete had achieved its ultimate design strength.


Since completing the Melia Hotel structure, the company has secured a further hotel with the GB Group, this time between Millennium Square, Leeds Metropolitan University and the new Rosebowl development. To be known as Hilton Leeds Arena, it will be the city’s principal business and leisure hotel. At 14 storeys, it will also be Leed's tallest hotel, with 206 bedrooms, a restaurant and conference facilities. A glass lift will connect to a rooftop bar, allowing guests to ascend up through the hotel while affording prime views across the city.


The precast concrete superstructure will be manufactured at SCC’s Reddish factory employing the same precast post-tensioning system as that used on the Melia Hotel. Flooring slabs are being manufactured to room sizes with partition locations hiding most ceiling joints, thus achieving a high standard of finish for direct decoration. In addition, slabs will be delivered to site complete with wall panels, which form the inner leaf of the external wall. Before delivery, these walls will be fitted with their fully glazed windows, which will give immediate protection from the elements as building progresses.


The finished structure is to be tastefully clad in Portland Stone, in keeping with its historic context.





British Precast Architectural and Structural, part of British Precast.                                                                                                                                                              

British Precast is the trade association for the precast concrete industry                                                                                 E-mail:

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