"Ideally we need to be involved at an early stage and for precast to be considered as the 'first principal' way to build," adds Daniel Westgate. "Our early involvement with the client and design team can maximise the benefits of offsite design and with the recent building regulation changes post-Grenfell, we can advise on non-combustible materials and insulation options to give clients confidence to specify taller structures."
Central to the success and popularity of FP McCann have been its architectural precast concrete insulated sandwich panels – seen across a range of award-winning projects including the Marriott Hotel Manchester. The insulated precast sandwich panels provide a ready-made external envelope with a variety of finishes. This eliminates many of the pitfalls associated with traditional building methods utilising 'traditional' techniques and employing siteintensive wet trades. The panels comprise an outer leaf of precast concrete, an insulating layer and a structural inner leaf of plain grey concrete that is 'power floated' to a smooth internal finish.
The thickness of the insulation can be modified in order to accommodate any required U-value. The shape, thickness and size of the concrete panels can also be made to meet the requirements of any project specifics and client requirements. These are clad either with a brickfacing or can be acid-etched to a huge array of bespoke design specification. The Byley works is currently producing approximately 12-14 wall panels a day plus 6-8 insulated sandwich panels. The panels are then cured for 28 days before final loading, transportation and installation.
A full palette of finishes can provide an external design and architectural edge. Also in production at the Byley site is the precast crosswall structural system. This comprises of a series of concrete panels that form the entire building envelope with internal, structural loadbearing and partition walls, external walls and floor slabs. The external walls can consist of just the inner leaf concrete finish or include the insulated precast sandwich panels. Precast in vertical battery moulds – panels of 4m x 10m – can be manufactured 'like toast' that drives costs down and improves speed onsite. They can have conduits and openings for a range of fittings pre-cut and 'cast in' inside the factory, such as openings for smoke detectors.
Underfloor heating can also be factoryinstalled, then pressure-tested in the factory to ensure a reliable defect-free system. Window and door openings are pre-formed in the panels and the window units can be installed at the factory by suppliers to further increase quality. As 2020 come into view, plans are at an advanced stage in developing a new part of the Byley site to cope with increased capacity for its precast products. Future plans also include the wider use of recycled material and as questions surrounding low carbon construction continues to raise questions, FP McCann are now investing in new steps in adopting cement replacements and have a vision to play a large part of the circular economy and reduce the levels of embodied carbon in it products and systems.
For more information visit: www.fpmccann.co.uk