Residential: Birmingham 1

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Residential Fast steel cores Work is underway on the tallest building in the UK to make use of Corefast – a new and faster method of constructing cores with steel. Victoria Gough reports. FACT FILE Developed by Corus, Corefast combines Bi-Steel Bi-steel was originally allows for very rapid Main client: sembled on site and when erected form a building’s designed for the Ocon Constructioncore construction.-panels to form lightweight modules which are as Birmingham 1 Opal Property Group Ltd core up to six times faster than concrete. defence industry, due estimates that us- Architect: LOC Associates to being ‘blast-proof’ ing this system will-This new and revolutionary method of core con Structural engineer: struction is currently being utilised on the Birming- save approximately Tier Consult Ltd ham 1 project, the tallest building, so far, to make five weeks on an 86 week construction programme. Main contractor: use of Corefast in the UK. Construction Director for Ocon Construction’s Mid- Ocon Construction Ltd The new development is being constructed by lands Division Steve Dando says: “Although we are Steelwork contractor: Ocon Construction and the focal point is an 18 sto- a fairly new company, we were not afraid to take on Henry Smith (Construc- rey glass and zinc clad tower. The entire project con- this innovative way of constructing building cores.” tional Engineers) Ltd sists of four blocks, including the tower and 1,320t Each Bi-Steel panel is made up of two steel plates Steel tonnage: 1,320t of steel will be used. It is the core of the main tower spaced 200mm apart, these are connected by a se- which is being constructed with Corefast. ries of welded steel bars spaced at 300mm centres. Located on a busy intersection of the A38 Bristol Interestingly, Bi-Steel was originally designed and Above: The last piece Road – the main route into Birmingham – the de- used for industries such as defence, due to being of the second layer of velopment will provide halls of residence for 604 ‘blast proof’. Corefast modules is put students, as well as a luxury leisure suite and an Corefast was developed using these panels to into place. internet cafe. provide an extremely strong and durable structural Above right: Birmingham Construction began on site in January and is core that is quick to erect and allows buildings to 1 – fronted by an 18 storey scheduled for completion in August 2007, just in be constructed as complete steel structures. In glass and zinc clad tower. time for the new university term. Using Corefast addition, the walls of the core can be reduced in to create the central core of the tower was recom- thickness to approximately 60 per cent of a concrete mended by Henry Smith, the steelwork contractor, core of equivalent strength. Each module is entirely as the steel system uses Corus’ Bi-Steel panels and pre-fabricated before being transported to site, 18 NSC May 2006


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