Intelligent Steel - Vita Student Accommodation
Project - Vita Student Accommodation, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1TT
Technology - Steel
Sector - Commercial/Residential
Contractor - Carillion
Supplier - Intelligent Steel
Working with Carillion, Intelligent Steel designed, manufactured and installed a fully load-bearing light steel frame solution to create the 280 unit Vita Student building in Newcastle. As a large city centre scheme, the development faced numerous site constraints, prohibiting the use of traditional construction methods. Furthermore, the time-criticality of student accommodation developments meant that a fast-paced method of construction was required.
Our ability to create fully load-bearing LSF structures meant that we were well positioned to meet Carillion's needs. The nature of the project, however, meant that Icarus had to push the boundaries on what was possible in the developing LSF industry.
Using 3D modelling and BIM, a design was created that enabled 95% of the structure to be built from cold-rolled steel components that could be pre-assembled away from the development site. All walls and floors were designed such that they could be pre-panellised and simply craned into position on site. Cement particle board was factory-fitted to all wall panels as part of the assembly process and OSB decking was pre-fitted to all floor cassettes.
All edge cassettes were designed such that they could accommodate an innovative hand-rail system, specifically developed by Icarus to remove the need for scaffolding. The system was installed prior to components being lifted into position so that edge protection was in place prior to gaining access to the next level of the build. Each component was designed such that on-site fixing could be done from underneath, further reducing site risks.
Because of the pre-assembly and pre-boarding of components, each floor was rapidly watertight meaning follow-on trades could immediately make progress in parallel to the LSF installation.
With quality control in mind, any hot-rolled steel components installed as part of the LSF structure were coloured Icarus Blue enabling fast on-site identification of key structural components.
Delivered to-programme and significantly faster than traditional methods, the project has been a resounding success. Situated in a prominent city centre location, having a significant visual impact whilst being constructed was important, as was minimising any disruption within the City. Key stakeholders have commented that the development has re-defined the standards of modern construction in the City, where an enclosed and congested environment has previously limited the delivery of cutting edge architectural briefs. Further to this, the speed and effectiveness of the method of construction led to significant cost savings for both our client and the ultimate beneficiary.