FP McCann - University College Birmingham

Project Details

Project - University College Birmingham

Sector - Education

Technology - Concrete

Company - FP McCann 

Project Overview

FP McCann’s structural precast concrete building and architectural facades division has supplied the complete package of architectural precast cladding components on a brand new teaching facility for University College Birmingham (UCB). The £29 million project is the latest phase of the University’s £100 million redevelopment of its campus based in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. 

Moss House, the new four-storey undergraduate and postgraduate building covers an area of 8,500sq m and comprises lecture theatres, learning areas and a 35m indoor running track as well as a 160 space multi-storey car park.  

Undertaking the building construction on behalf of client UCB, main contractor Kier has completed the project designed by Glenn Howells Architects in conjunction with design engineer Couch Consulting. The Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham is noted for its red brick architecture and the design and build project reflects the surrounding warehouse buildings. Working with an in-situ reinforced concrete frame installed by Thames Formwork, FP McCann was set the design brief for the architectural façade panels consisting of red brick and terracotta-faced cladding panels. 

In total 361 individual precast concrete architectural units were supplied from McCann’s Grantham factory and installed in 13 weeks, well within the 15 week programme as scheduled. Working on behalf of FP McCann, cladding panel installer RLH used a combination of a mobile and tower crane, eliminating the need for any scaffolding on the building. Some 130,000+ individual handmade ‘Burlington Orange’ bricks supplied by Taylor Maxwell were cast on at the factory and pointed with mortar coloured – Tarmac Yellow Buff – as specified by the architect. The architectural panels also include terracotta cills and lintels as supplied by specialist NBK in Germany and fixed at Grantham to the grey concrete walling panels.

Additionally, FP McCann supplied to the building the corner and ‘L’ shaped precast brick-faced concrete columns. To allow for fixing of the cladding panels which were secured floor-by-floor, FP McCann designed and supplied bespoke brackets.

The architectural facade team at FP McCann worked closely with the engineers and architects on the project to ensure all aspects of the build met the exacting client specification. Commenting on the completed project, John Leo, Senior Project Manager for Kier said: “This method of architectural precast concrete/brick-faced construction demonstrates a number of efficiencies compared with practices associated with a traditional build. The offsite manufacturing of the building components offers significant advantages in terms of product quality and integrity. On-site, speed of construction, minimising waste and the ability to work uninterrupted in all weather conditions are all major benefits. Additionally, the external facade system removes the need for scaffolding and wet trades thereby minimising the health and safety risk factors associated with people working at height.”

For more information visit: www.fpmccann.co.uk