PCE Ltd is pleased to have been appointed by Kier Construction to design, manufacture, and construct a HybriDfMA framed building, which will be known as The Fitzrovia W1.
The Fitzrovia is a Grade A mixed-use building in the prominent city centre location on Tottenham Court Road for property developer M&G Real Estate, working with Co-RE. The Architect is PDP London, with consulting engineers AKT II. The hybrid framed structure will provide 5,570 sqm of office space on the upper floors, mixed retail space on the ground and lower floors and eight premium residential units. By utilising PCE’s innovative HybriDfMA Frame System, this MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) will deliver a much faster programme compared with traditional construction methods, excelling in speed, quality, safety and value.
Manufacturing is a crucial aspect of DfMA that cannot be overlooked. High-level quality control and a well-defined manufacturing strategy are critical to ensure the success of assembly and construction delivery. Without these measures in place, the overall process could be compromised.
With nearly 50 years of MMC and offsite expertise, PCE has established and refined its own manufacturing specifications that compliment its system build approach. With strong collaborative relationships across its supply chain, these methodologies assist production factories with complying to PCE’s high standards. To strengthen its manufacturing offering, PCE position its in-house precast coordinators across its supply chain. These precast coordinators work closely with the supply chain to monitor and support quality control, ensuring the highest standards are met and surpassed, without exception.
The Fitzrovia project stands out due to its superior use of high-quality materials to create a hybrid structure where the individual components are exposed, without additional ornamentation or concealment. This means that the reinforced precast concrete and structural steel elements are visually integrated into the final product. The project consists of various building components, amounting to over 2,100 units in total. These include brick-faced sandwich panels, stairs, landings, upstands, twin and solid walls for the core, as well as recycled steel for the composite structural steel reinforced concrete beams. In addition, there are in excess of 1,000 hollowcore slabs and over 5,000m2 of concrete in-situ flooring. By implementing carbon reducing value engineering initiatives, the structural insitu concrete floor toppings will incorporate basalt fibre reinforcement, replacing steel mesh. Additionally, the walls will contain increased levels of GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag), resulting in further reduction of carbon embodiment.
To ensure deliverance of the highest quality standards, all parties must have a clear, comprehensive, and agreed understanding of the specifications. In the initial stages, rigorous sampling was conducted involving representatives from Co-Re, Kier, PCE and its supply chain. During this review, the aesthetic appearance, shape, and tolerances of the first cast units are agreed upon and signed off, setting a benchmark for all other units that will be manufactured. From there, constant communication is required between PCE and its supply chain.
In further support of ensuring the highest quality, control, and clarity is achieved throughout manufacturing, and the entire structural solution, PCE utilise state-of-the-art digital capabilities. Working closely with the innovative ConTech company, Ynomia, a comprehensive digital tracking solution has been developed. This solution provides real-time status tracking of all components, represented in a colour-coded, interactive 3D digital twin model. The intelligent and intuitive system not only provides constant status tracking across all phases of design and build, it also provides critical data insights that supports adherence to the Golden Thread, facilitating clear, concise, and assured decision making at the earliest opportunities.
The implementation of Ynomia on the Fitzrovia project has vastly improved the traceability of all components, increasing overall predictability, control and efficiency. This ensures absolute quality across all phases of design, manufacture, logistics, and construction.
PCE’s Production Director, Chris McReynolds, commented:
“I always revert back to what one famous Victorian writer John Ruskin once wrote ‘Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.’
“Paying sufficient attention to the manufacturing process is one of the critical aspects of DfMA. A well-defined strategy for manufacturing and ensuring quality control is imperative to achieving successful assembly and construction. Ynomia's methodology includes monitoring progress in real-time to provide timely insights into the project throughout its duration.”