Need a tall structure? – We will build it!

‘We will Build it’ is the driving philosophy behind the application of PCE Ltd.’s approach to ensure the final construction phase success and delivery of a tall multistorey structure using their HybriDfMA Frames system approach.

One such example is the Assembly Building C which forms part of the exciting Bristol City Centre development being carried out by property developer Bell Hammer with Galliford Try as Main Contractor. The Bristol centre development offers spectacular new public space and office buildings adjacent to the world-famous Bristol Floating Harbour which opened over 200 years ago in 1809.

The highly detailed planning for the construction phase began months before the first offsite manufactured component arrived on site, running alongside the Design and Manufacturing phases to ensure a speedy, safe and efficient build.

All city centre developments have their unique challenges with logistics – and the Assembly Building C site is no exception, with an extremely tight overall footprint and access only available off the cobbled street of Cheese Lane with zero space for storage of delivered components. PCE’s project construction team needed to work closely with Galliford Try to ensure that all of the structural components could be unloaded straight from the lorry trailer and lifted directly into their final place in the structure. Developing and controlling a highly detailed pre-planned ‘just in time’ delivery process, to the heart of one of the largest urban regeneration areas in the UK is second nature to the PCE construction team.

PCE’s ‘Kit of parts’ approach

The first units to arrive on site were impressive 17 tonne architectural panels that adorn the front of the 14-storey building. These units are just part of the whole HybriDfMA structural ‘kit of parts’ approach, marrying up with precast concrete panel elements forming the cores and stairwells, as well as structural steel columns, Deltabeam composite structural beams with prestressed hollowcore floor units and insitu structural topping.

Where traditionally different specialist contractors may work on separate elements of a building, PCE’s multi-skilled workforce are able to provide a complete turnkey mixed structural material frame project, giving their clients added value.

The Assembly Building C project in particular requires specific attention to detail in delivering and installing the structural elements with an exceptionally high-quality requirement, from precast twin and solid wall components to steel columns, as approximately seventy five percent of the structure is visible with no cosmetic finishes.  Soffits are exposed and the symmetry of the precast concrete hollowcore floor units reveal a herringbone effect with joints lining up through the core and walls.

Each floor level is structurally completed in less than 13 working days and consists of 84 precast concrete hollowcore floor units, 18 steel columns, 18 composite construction Deltabeams, 35 twin and solid walls, two sets of stairs and landings, 3 façade architectural wall units and 140 m³ of insitu concrete.

Darren Waller, PCE’s Senior Project Manager has commented

“PCE is working hard to accomplish AHMM’s vison of a first class exposed finishes building, offering panoramic views to each side and balconies at every floor, thus attention to detail is paramount. The culmination of months of design, manufacturing and logistical planning is now coming to fruition, and it is time to really say, the proof is in the pudding so to speak!  It’s an extremely proud and exciting time for the project team as a whole to see the structure rise from the ground and take shape on the banks of Bristol’s Floating Harbour.”


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