A 17 storey block of apartments was to be constructed in the St Peters Square area of Manchester. The site, located close to the city centre and University area, had very limited access due to a large retail park on one side and a canal on the other. This meant that standard construction methods such as pouring a concrete frame would be impossible, so other methods needed to be looked at. A fast, reliable method of construction was required.
The main contractor employed RLH Construction to use Architectural Precast Sandwich Panels. This method of construction involved the precast panels being cast offsite then brought to site on lorries and craned into place. The external panels were already cast architecturally to the required external design. The internal floors were then placed and grouted, and finally the internal walls were erected. Once this process had been completed, the next floor was placed following the same sequence. As each floor was constructed, pre-fitted bathroom pods were lowered into the rooms before the next floor was placed, removing the need for bathroom fit out. The floors were grouted using Fosroc Conbextra GP, and the precast external and internal walls were placed onto Fosroc Conbextra BM (Bedding Mortar). Once in place, the vertical joints in the walls were grouted using Fosroc Conbextra PM, a thixotropic grout that can be pumped directly into a vertical joint without it falling out, ready for it to be trowelled flush with the walls.
RLH Construction were able to achieve a rapid turnaround on each floor, progressing onto the next floor much more quickly than with conventional construction. This was due in part to RLH being highly skilled in placing Fosroc grouting products and to the fact that Conbextra grouts will achieve strengths in excess of 60N much faster than normal concrete. With the precast units arriving to site already formed, there was far less remediation to contend with and it was just a case of fixing and grouting them in place, with the Fosroc grouts providing a very strong, solid bond.