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One of PCE Ltd most prestigious HybriDfMA projects, which has been shortlisted for the Concrete Society Awards and the Explore Offsite Awards, is the Kingston University Townhouse. A project that had a vision to create a building with little or no boundaries in internal and external space. Producing a high quality, robust and sustainable building was key. The collaborative goal alongside, Grafton Architects was to create ‘the heart for the University of Kingston’.
Described as the front door of the university this six storey building, in adopting the HybriDfMA innovative process, is sustainable yet modern and contemporary. Specialist offsite design and build contractor PCE Ltd developed the Kingston University townhouse project, with combination of precast and insitu concrete together with structural steelwork.
“The Architectural importance of the frame led to PCE challenging their in-house design process to achieve the required tolerance for off-site manufacture and on-site assembly whilst maintaining the vision of the final detail. Not utilising the norm, but bringing together steel, concrete and proprietary connection systems to achieve the requirements.”
One of the main requirements for the university was to integrate heating and cooling systems. The stage three concept was used as a basis for the design. Its exposed concrete look and frame design uses a ribbed slab arrangement different from a traditional slab and frame construction. This assists the heating and cooling requirement specified by the estates team.
The logistically complicated site proved a challenge for the PCE Ltd multi skilled operatives who worked through all weathers and completed the project in 50,000 man hours. Whilst maintaining excellent safety and quality throughout every task through to completion.
The Kingston Townhouse has increased durability and high-quality finish. The traditional RC concrete and structural frameworks battle many issues which PCE Ltd have worked hard to overcome. The HybriDfMA has been proven to be more efficient by offsite engineered concrete and structural steelwork.
It has also shown to be more environmentally friendly, sustainable cleaner and quicker, which aids the push for more construction projects in the UK to be built this way. Sustainability calculations following project completion of the Kingston university Town House show that for offsite manufactured precast concrete units, which accounted for over 85% of structural components delivered, were less than 180kg/m2 for the total building floor area.
“The hybriDfMA approach allowed PCE access to a number of supply chain partners and therefore to utilize the skills and qualities of the market – putting square pegs in square holes. Allowing the market to bring their experience in their own areas of expertise, whilst all being led in a joined up approach to the quality and safety that PCE demand.
Roger Forsdyke, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon in London & South
Town House was a hugely ambitious project – one we fully embrace. Although it was complex and highly challenging at times, it’s a testament to the team’s dedication that the original design has been realised to such exacting standards.”
The project offers a vibrant new face to the University and proves that the PCE HybriDfMA system gives project certainty and quality regardless of the complexity.
In our next piece we discuss the sustainability factor of PCE’s HybriDfMA build and delve into the how the construction industry might be in a better position to hit targets that have been set.