The Challenge:

The Light Gauge Steel (LGS) frame was selected to reduce loads on to the foundations enabling the use of precast concrete piles.

The challenge was then to clad this structure with brickwork, carried out by Euro Building and Maintenance Contractors Ltd, without transferring the load through the LGS frame. This meant selecting a brick capable of standing five storeys with expansion tolerances accommodated through slip ties and expansion zones under windows.

The Solution:

The Metsec system was selected and due to the scale of the project two of the four approved installers, BR Hodgson Ltd and Mansell Finishes Ltd, were chosen to manage the risk and workload.

Opting for two approved installers also allowed the team to meet the tight construction programme. Self-erect pedestrian cranes were utilised for the construction of the five storey cluster flats with three in use at peak, while two mobile cranes were used for the town houses to erect the panelised system. These needed to be well coordinated to avoid the tower cranes on the Bowmer and Kirkland buildings.

The Impact:

One of the key benefits of using the LGS frame on this project was the ability to meet a tight construction programme: panels came to site in large wall sections and were erected quicker which allowed a storey of the building to be constructed in 7-10 days against 5-6 weeks for traditional brick and block construction.

Contributing to this, the LGS frame meant that the windows could be fitted ahead of brickwork thus getting the building water tight sooner. The Kier Construction Eastern BIM Team also worked closely with Metsec to utilise BIM for the design of the Metframe, assisting with 3D design coordination workflows and enabling fully co-ordinated service installations.

The use of the LGS frame had a multitude of benefits to both client and contractor, in addition to time saving there were also reductions in cost and this method of construction was ideal for the tight site as there was no need for large storage areas on site for bricks and blocks.

" Kier have delivered a great project and the LGS frame was quite a challenge and seemed impossible when first proposed. Turner and Townsend and Kier agreed the final account 4 weeks post PC which demonstrates a collaborative team effort on a project that had minimal change. "
Joe Coyne Associate Director Turner and Townsend

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