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Metsec’s light gauge structural steel framing system helped speed up construction of a six storey mixed-use apartment block in Birmingham.

Its Metframe panelised wall system forms the superstructure of a new 4,830m² development of 77 apartments in Dean Street, Birmingham.

Metframe makes use of storey-height wall panels, which are factory-assembled from steel sections cold rolled at the company’s base in the West Midlands. The panels include rigid foam external insulation board, diagonal bracing straps and restraint channels for brick-ties. They are loaded onto lorries in erection sequence and delivered to site where they are bolted together.

Erected by Gyplok, one of Metframe’s approved installers, the structural frame was completed in 16 weeks. This created an early dry envelope and allowed main contractor Miller Construction to run the internal fit out alongside construction of the external masonry finishes.

The Dean Street structure included five levels of pre-assembled Metframe wall panels, built off a first floor podium transfer slab which spans commercial units.

And with achievable clear spans of 5.5m, the system is well suited to apartment blocks of up to eight stories, says Metsec Technical Director Erle Andrews. Metframe wall panels also form the lift and stair walls and Metsec-supplied cold rolled pre-panelised roof joists.

Designed in-house by Metsec’s structural engineering team, the structure satisfies Building Regulations requirements for resistance to progressive collapse, confirms Andrews

“The system combines offsite production with fast track erection” adds Andrews, “and the all-dry construction method, off-site panel fabrication and the accuracy of the precision engineered steel components ensured an accurate structure, helping the build prog-ramme meet its tight schedule.”

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