The new Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) housing both the medicine and life sciences departments, at the University of Warwick with Hawkins\Brown as Architects has been featured in the Spring edition of the worldwide acclaimed Mineral Products Association, Concrete Centre’s, Concrete Quarterly magazine.
Working in conjunction with main Contractor Willmott Dixon, specialist design and build structural frame contractor PCE Ltd used their Frames System Offsite HybriDfMA ‘kit of parts’ approach to ensure that the resulting structural concrete and steelwork portion of the finished structure was delivered, even during the pandemic, ahead of initial programme and to the very high visual architectural quality required. It also met the University’s key considerations of minimising environmental impacts during construction and embodied Carbon footprint. Included within a total of over 1,400 precast concrete components were individual 250mm thick architecturally finished storey-height wall panels up to 6m in height, 3.6m wide and weighing 20 tonnes.
With the precast frame components using Ground Granulated Blastfurnace Slag to reduce cement contents by 35%, with up to 50% supplementary cementitious materials used in the onsite structural toppings, a large saving in embodied carbon content of the concrete was obtained.
Efficiencies in the design process and final assembled solution obtained by use of PCE’s HybriDfMA approach also reduced the initial expected total concrete usage for the project by over 850 tonnes with a significant reduction of over 100 delivery vehicle movements to site during the structure’s assembly phase. This is the third University project where PCE has been responsible for the design and build of the structure using their HybriDfMA approach that has featured in Concrete Quarterly in the past two years, the other two being the International award winning Kingston University Town House (CQ – Summer 2020), and Leeds University Sir William Henry Bragg Building (CQ – Winter 2021).