The ‘kit of parts’: over 1,750 off-site manufactured structural components

Sir William Henry Bragg Building completed

The Sir William Henry Bragg Building, constructed to create an Integrated Campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences (ICEPS) at the University of Leeds for Leeds University Campus Developments has now achieved completion.

Located on the North East quarter of campus, the new 15,700m² building will enable the integration of the University disciplines of Engineering, Physics, Astronomy and Computing along with the provision of critical central teaching and social interaction spaces. ADP Architecture and Curtins Engineering were commissioned to carry out the design up to RIBA Stage 2 with BAM Design and Arup taking the design development through to completion in their respective disciplines from RIBA Stage 3. PCE Ltd were engaged by Main Contractor BAM Construction Ltd to deliver the detailed design from RIBA Stage 3 through their internal design function, manufacture and assembly of the five-storey superstructure and basement utilising their HybriDfMA Frame System approach.

The ‘kit of parts’ design solution consisting of over 1,750 off-site manufactured structural components was assembled in 32 weeks by a team of just 22 of PCE’s highly trained, multi-skilled operatives. Through the utilisation of the latest digital engineering tools, PCE’s systemised engineering approach, and catalogue of standard structural components and connections, the highest levels of quality, structural performance, predictability and value were achieved along with significant programme and site logistics benefits compared with the initial insitu concrete frame design.


PreFastCore®  lift core boxes

The components, comprising structural precast concrete columns, beams, solid walls, twinwall, PreFastCore®  lift core boxes, stairs, landings, normally reinforced and pre-stressed concrete floor units along with structural steel beams and Deltabeams were sourced from multiple manufacturing facilities across the UK and Europe. The placement of a further 2,400m³ of insitu reinforced structural concrete in the basement liner wall, precast twinwall cores and reinforced structural topping completed the hybrid structure. ICEP’s was the second research development structure by PCE following the successful completion of Project Capella, renamed Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, for the University of Cambridge. Both projects were subject to exceptionally high levels of vibration resistance within the suspended floors and following on-site dynamic testing of the as-built structure, ICEPS exceeded the target VC-A performance specified requirement.


Jonathan Conway, Project Manager for BAM Construction said:

“Now that works are completed on ICEPS I just wanted to say a big thank you from me and all the BAM team to everyone at PCE for your hard work throughout the ICEPS project.  Your commitment to health and safety, quality, and willingness to work with the BAM team has been excellent on what has been a large and complicated project with many different interfaces. PCE have been very professional throughout, always looking to add value through innovative design solutions and achieve the optimum programme for the works. Our experience of working with PCE from early engagement, through design and into delivery has been second to none. The client is delighted with the end product on what is their flagship project, and this is a credit to all involved. We look forward to working with you all again on future projects.”


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