3rd February 2022 | voestalpine Metsec’s SFS steel framing system has been used extensively in the construction of two major landmark residential tower blocks in the heart of Birmingham.
The Bank development features two striking high-rise structures of 22 and 31 storeys, named Left Bank 1 and Left Bank 2, situated within easy reach of the Second City’s major commercial, business and leisure districts.
Designed by local architects, Glancy Nicholls for client, the Regal Property Group, the two buildings provide a mixture of luxury apartments, hotel and retail facilities. Extending to more than 100 metres, the taller of the two is Birmingham’s tallest residential building.
Wates Construction were appointed to build both tower blocks. The main structures were constructed from in-situ reinforced concrete columns, beams and floors, with voestalpine Metsec SFS being specified by the architects to provide infill to support the external cladding and glazing systems.
Performance, speed and economy were all instrumental factors in the decision to opt for voestalpine Metsec SFS:
From a performance perspective, the external walls of both buildings needed to be constructed from non-combustible materials. voestalpine Metsec’s ability to offer through-the-wall guarantees of SFS’s fire performance in use with a wide variety of insulation and cladding materials provided the assurance needed for this high-profile project.
Critical to the specification of SFS for this project was its ability to withstand the high wind loadings stipulated by the structural engineer’s calculations. Scale models of the buildings and their environment were used to undertake the fluid analysis which would determine potential wind loading on the structures’ façades.
As a result, 150mm SFS was specified, providing the additional strength required by the structural engineer’s calculations and greater flexibility during construction of the multi-storey buildings.
Speed and, hence, economy were achieved throughout the SFS and cladding installation process, which was undertaken by voestalpine Metsec-approved installers Isec Interior Systems.
SFS components were delivered to site on a just-in-time schedule from voestalpine Metsec’s production facilities at Oldbury, just a few miles from the site. These were then combined with insulation, cladding and glazing elements to fabricate complete panels and lifted into position using mast climbers. This allowed all four sides of each storey to be completed simultaneously, enabling follow-on trades to move in quickly and construction to progress smoothly.
Safety was assured throughout the installation process thanks to the fact that the majority of operations could be completed from the inside of the building.
voestalpine Metsec and SFS proved to be the ideal solution for both Bank 1 and Bank 2. We provided invaluable support at the design stage and the system installation was quick and trouble-free, allowing the project to be completed on schedule and the client to start realising returns on their investment.
In addition to giving Birmingham two stunning pieces of iconic modern architecture, The Bank provides almost 400 individual apartments, many with spectacular views across the city and all perfectly situated for local bars, restaurants and workplaces.
Imagery credit: Glancy Nicholls Architects