Overlooking Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Plot N06 in the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village, now East Village, will provide 524 new residential apartments across two high rise towers and two ten storey pavilions for client Get Living, the UK’s most experienced and progressive build-to-rent operator of large-scale residential neighbourhoods.
The structure and facades for the towers are being delivered in a partnership by PCE Ltd with Mace Tech and Oranmore Precast utilising a revolutionary, DfMA HRS (High Rise System) which delivers speed of construction, offsite-engineered quality and on-site safety. Mace Tech has been established by Mace Construction with support from the Australian Hickory Group to manage the deployment of patented Hickory Building Systems within the UK. The structural frames and facades for the two towers, at 26 and 31 storeys, are reaching the tenth floor and are now over 30% complete.
The ‘kit of parts’ approach for each level consists of 46 reinforced precast concrete units comprising columns, twin walls, solid walls, stairs, landings and bespoke reinforced concrete HRS floor units of which there are 24 per floor. 12 of these specialist flooring units arrive on site complete with an integrated unitised façade which is preinstalled on to the structural perimeter units at an offsite preassembly factory, they are restrained and then delivered to site as a floor and façade subassembly. Key to this system is the integration of not just the façade but also the M&E building systems. Each level constructed creates 710m² of residential floor plate, which also includes 15 premanufactured bathroom and service utility cupboard units, preassembled vertical riser modules and preassembled horizontal M&E distribution modules which are installed within the precast lobby units prior to on-site assembly. To complete the ‘hybrid’ construction process, 50m³ of insitu concrete, 13 tonnes of reinforcement, and 13 tonnes of high strength structural grout are also being used to tie the structure together at each storey, which in the temporary condition is supported by approximately 240 system designed props. The logistical management of the offsite and onsite processes are key to the success of this project. Each floor level is being constructed within a six-day construction cycle with a view to reduce this further by PCE’s multi skilled assembly operatives. On-site hours are dramatically reduced with only 24 operatives per tower, sharing 3 tower cranes to service this rapid progress.
The highest standards of Health and Safety are achieved through a combination of risk reduction and innovative, pre-engineered integrated safety systems developed by PCE across all projects and implemented by highly skilled onsite assembly teams. The HRS system also offers a much safer working environment for all operatives with the integrated façade system offering edge protection from the point at which the superstructure is constructed.
The advantages of HRS are obvious when compared to traditional construction methods with statistics such as 70% reduction in site hours, 25% reduction in site programme, 40% reduction in site deliveries, 75% reduction in waste and 15% less embodied carbon.
Coupled with this, quality and predictability are significantly greater resulting in much greater certainty that the project will be delivered on time to a consistent factory quality standard.