Care homes: Shorey Bank, BlackburnLocation: Blackburn
Keepmoat Project Size:
The project: Keepmoat had been appointed by Together Housing to build a £12m 119 home extra care facility in Darwen, Blackburn. The development included 85 self contained apartments along with on-site facilities, specifically designed for the over 50s.
Our brief: Having recently completed works for Keepmoat on a £15million older people’s housing scheme in Northampton, the community regeneration specialist contracted us to design, engineer, manufacture and install the light gauge steel superstructure for the 85 apartments, across three phases of build.
- The building had a split level transfer structure. This required considerable accuracy and focus during site surveys – and then levelling of the Fusion structure to ensure any inconsistencies were overcome
- The building had also been designed with a wet screed floor finish and our engineers needed to ensure our superstructure would be capable of supporting the increased load
- Some of the apartments had been designed with cantilever balconies – a further element which needed to be considered in our design and engineering of the light gauge steel structure.
Then within our first month on site, we were awarded ‘Contractor of the Month’, in recognition of the quality of the product we supplied to site and our timely delivery – and our Site Team Supervisor was named ‘Employee of the Month’, in recognition of his positive and helpful outlook whilst working on site.
We completed our works on time and went on to secure a further contract with Keepmoat Engie, for new student accommodation at the University of Durham.
Care homes: Redfields Lane, Church CrookhamLocation: Church Crookham, Hampshire
Bouygues Project Size:
The project: Bouygues had been contracted by the Anchor Trust to build a new, luxury retirement complex at Church Crookham in Hampshire. The extra care facility was to be made up of 72 one and two bedroom apartments, alongside a host of residential facilities.
Our brief: This project would mark the delivery of our 1,000th care home bed. Working for our client Bouygues, we were asked to design, manufacture and install a pre-insulated, light gauge steel superstructure, two and three storeys high, incorporating curved sections of wall and cantilever balconies.
Challenges faced: There were many elements of the build which put our design and engineering teams through their paces:
- Curved sections of wall were overcome through the design and engineering of numerous faceted light gauge steel wall panels
- The complex shape of the wall and roof structure also required a considerable number of angled panels to be designed
- And, cantilevered balconies needed to be considered within the Fusion design and engineering process. They then had to be accommodated within the light gauge steel structure through the use of stub connections.
Our delivery: We worked as a team, coordinated with other supply chain partners, and delivered this project on time according to our client’s brief. From here we went on to complete a signficant town centre regeneration project for Bouygues – testament to the success of our offsite system.
“The Church Crookham care facility presented a challenging engineering design. For us though, it demonstrated the potential of offsite light gauge steel system, as well as Fusion’s capability as a delivery partner. We were pleased with their work on this project and continue to employ them as a supply chain specialist.”
Peter Doherty, Regional Director, Bouygues
Care homes: Winwood Heights, NottinghamLocation: Sherwood, Nottingham
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
The project: Willmott Dixon had been contracted to build a new retirement village in Sherwood, to the north of Nottingham city centre. The development would be made up of 44 homes within a four-storey building, positioned between two existing tower blocks.
Our brief: Working as an established supply chain partner for Willmott Dixon, we were asked to design, manufacture and install a pre-insulated, light gauge steel superstructure which could be erected over a transfer platform and incorporate some intricate architectural features.
Challenges faced: The limited space on site and and unique design details for this development were no issue for us. However, having started on site some challenges were faced early on in the build with the concrete transfer slab not curing fully in the cold weather – this meant we were unable to drill to secure our standard fixings. Also, this project took place shortly after the Grenfell tragedy – requiring us to review our plans with Willmott Dixon.
Our delivery: This was the first time we’d worked with Willmott Dixon Construction in the Midlands region so we were keen to prove why we were a regular supply chain partner for other parts of its business.
We overcame the issues with building on the transfer slab by trialing different resin anchors. We paid to have independent testing carried out and once a solution was approved, we were able to progress with the build as planned. And in response to Grenfell, we agreed on some adjustments to the design and fabric of the building, to ensure its overall fire performance.
We completed the development on time and to the complete satisfaction of our client.
Customer comment: “I’m pleased to see how well the Willmott Dixon and Fusion teams have integrated, delivering to the brief and on time while overcoming some challenges both in the design and early in the build. This project has been more effectively completed with the Fusion system than would have been possible using traditional building methods.”
Simon Leadbetter, Managing Director, Willmott Dixon Residential Construction
Brentford Care Home, UKClient: Housing 21 and Inspace Location: Brentford, West London
4600m² - 5-storey Build Time:
Fusion cassettes, with large ground floor transfer structure to open areas. A very tight site.
Meadowside Care Home, UKClient: Catalyst Location: London
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
4,000m² Build Time:
Completed in 14 weeks
This 4 storey Extra Care Home incorporates significant hot rolled steel transfer structures. Client has benefited from absence of post construction shrinkage.
Duval Care HomeClient: Circle Anglia and Inspace Location: Islington, London
3,250m² - 4-storey Build Time:
Fusion cassettes, with integrated hot rolled steel to large open areas of ground floor. Structural bathroom pods manufactured and installed by Fusion. Very tight site.
Brightwell Court Care Home, UKClient: Circle Anglia Location: London
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
3,500m² - 4 storey Build Time:
This Extra Care Home incorporates significant hot rolled steel transfer structures above ground floor.
The client has benefited from absence of post construction shrinkage.
The use of the Fusion system meant brickwork was started before tiling of the roof, as were some internal works, allowing Willmott Dixon to significantly reduce their overall construction period.
Chorley Street, BoltonLocation: Bolton
Watson Homes Project Size:
6,838m2 Build Time:
The project: Developer and contractor Watson Homes, in conjunction with Bolton at Home and Irwell Valley Housing Association, had been granted planning permission to build 118 affordable new homes on the edge of Bolton town centre. Located on Chorley Street, a total of 17 two, three and four bedroom homes, including four three-storey townhouses were to be constructed for shared ownership, affordable rent and over 50’s accommodation.
Our brief: Watson Homes had worked with light gauge steel before, but this would be our first contract with them. We were asked to design, manufacture and build three apartment blocks containing 25, 36 and 40 residential units respectively.
Challenges faced: This contract ran almost seamlessly thanks to Watson Homes’ understanding of offsite construction and light steel frame systems. Right from the procurement stage, all supply chain partners were coordinated. And, as a BIM Level 2 project, architects TADW worked with us on 3D modelling to enable clash detection, maximise the use of floor cassettes in the design and coordinate the roof trusses within our system.
The only additional consideration we had to bear in mind was the sequencing of the project. Sequences overlapped which meant more than one crew was scheduled to be on site at any one time – and as the site had limited access, logistics had to be carefully managed.
Our delivery: We delivered this project on time and on budget. Our Client’s understanding of offsite methods of construction meant the entire design and build process ran efficiently and seamlessly. Our integration with other supply chain partners and the project architects was also critical to its successful completion.
“Fusion were a pleasure to work with throughout. The on-site installation programme was challenging, with a logistically difficult site for deliveries and storage. Fusion managed the issues well however, delivering the project on time and to a high quality.”
Simon Harrison, Project Manager, Watson Homes
Junction House, Barry, South WalesLocation: Barry, South Wales
Jehu Group Project Size:
Four storeys over 2,714m2 Build Time:
The project: Junction House on Hood Road in Barry, is part of an urban regeneration project delivered by Newydd Housing Association in partnership with the private sector. The full programme was for a mixed-use development, called ‘Goodsheds’ which saw the refurbishment of historically significant buildings, together with new homes, using innovative methods of construction.
Our brief: This was our first project for Main Contractor Jehu Group, and one of three running with them simultaneously. We were asked to design, engineer, manufacture and build the light steel frame superstructure for a four-storey apartment building. The project used our patented Thermashield system, cassette floors, part over a transfer deck with integral hot rolled steel to house 24 social and 18 open market one and two bedroom apartments.
Challenges faced: System and working practices: As this was the first time we’d worked with Jehu, both companies experienced a steep learning curve – working with the challenges of using an unfamiliar product on a major scheme, coupled with the pressure of a tight delivery requirement for site
- Design: The building was made up of a combination of brickwork, brickslip system and cladding with recessed brickwork detail. The building also stepped back at the third and fourth floors so required further design and structural engineering detailing
- Covid-19 Lockdown: Continuing site works during the Covid Lockdown presented further challenges – ensuring new healthy and safety measures were in place and social distancing guidlines could be adhered to throughout.
Our delivery: The challenges of this project were overcome by excellent coordination and communication between all teams. Successful delivery also couldn’t have been achieved without the commitment of all parties to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines, but despite the challenges, we completed our works on time and to the complete satisfaction of our Client. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biV0SwMYx6s&feature=emb_logo
“I thank all team members for their support and service in completing this project…and hope we will set new standards with our upcoming projects in the future.”
Nyron Wood, Contract Manager, Jehu Group
Little Cross StreetClient: Northampton Partnership Homes Location: Northampton
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
18 residences over two and three storeys Build Time:
The project: In March 2018, we started on site at two locations in the Spring Boroughs area of Northampton. Contracted by developer Willmott Dixon on behalf of Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH), our brief was to design and install the superstructures for 18 units – apartments and maisonettes to be built on Little Cross Street.
Our brief: The completed accommodation was to be allocated to local families through Northampton Borough Council and the partnership which was in place to deliver this can only be considered as a best practice example for the offsite industry. NPH chief executive Mike Kay had previous knowledge of offsite methods of construction and was keen to engage a local supply chain. Willmott Dixon had worked with Fusion for many years, knew their system inside out and as a Northampton-based business, was keen for them to be the offsite provider.
Our delivery: All supply chain partners were engaged from the outset, MMC was designated as the procurement route and our 2D panelised system agreed as the best solution for the site. Applying best practice manufacturing principles, a standardised pattern book design was used for all units which delivered significant advantages in terms of both time and cost through design, engineering and production.
We started work on site on 26th March 2018 and the superstructure build time was complete within six weeks as planned. Our scope consisted of insulated external walls, internal load-bearing walls, cassette floors and flat roof cassettes, parapet panels – and to supply the crane.
Client comment: “Delivering new homes in Spring Boroughs is a significant project for NPH and for the community. Along with others on my team, I share a keen professional interest in offsite construction and the role it must play in helping to build communities of the future.
“Our delivery partnership working with Willmott Dixon and Fusion Building Systems embraced the advantages which modern methods of construction presents and I’m pleased at how well they worked with us to deliver what the community told us they needed.”
Mike Kay, CEO, Northampton Partnership Homes
Bath RiversideLocation: Bath
Crest Nicholson Regeneration Project Size:
46 residences over five floors with concrete floors and cantilever balconies. Build Time:
The project: Bath Riverside is the regeneration of a 44-acre former industrial site on the west bank of the River Avon, to a modern residential quarter with 2,000 new homes and apartments.
Our brief: As part of the regeneration plans, Crest Nicholson asked us to provide a light steel frame superstructure for a five-storey apartment building which would contain 46 studio, one and two-bedroom residences, with concrete floors, over a ground floor transfer structure. The building would be constructed using our patented Thermashield external walls, load-bearing internal, party and corridor walls, metal deck floors for concrete pour and roof joists. The building would also be clad on the street-facing side in traditional Oolitic Bath Limestone, rendered to the rear and with cantilever balconies to the front.
- The building stepped back in two areas on the upper floors which required our engineering team to design a 2,500kg single beam support structure to take the load
- The 24, 1.9m x 4m cantilever balconies each weighed around 850kg and had to be fixed to the Fusion frame along the front of the building
- Around 45tonnes of hot rolled steel was required to support the structural integrity of the building.
Our delivery: The project was successfully delivered and to programme, because we communicated well between our two businesses and with third party suppliers. We fully utilised 3D design and engineering software and held regular meetings to ensure the complexities of the build were defined and managed. We also worked closely with Crest’s construction team, particularly around the installation of the metal deck and concrete pour for each floor.
In all, we designed, engineered, manufactured and installed more than 1,000 light steel frame wall panels for this project – and more than 30,000m of stud and track was rolled at our offsite factory.
PRS: Tennant Street, BirminghamLocation: Tennant Street, Birmingham
J A Ball Ltd for Elevate Property Group Project Size:
The project: Our client J A Ball had been contracted to build a six- storey apartment building to provide 40 luxury two-bedroom properties for the private rental sector (PRS) market.
Our brief: We were briefed to design and manufacture a five-storey pre-insulated, light gauge steel superstructure which could be erected over a transfer platform, with undercroft ground floor parking.
The finished building was to be clad in brick slips, with cantilevered, ‘plant on’ oriel bay windows incorporated as architectural design features.
Challenges faced: The main challenges for this project were its location and the phasing of the build: We were faced with working on a tight, city centre site where access and lay down areas were heavily restricted. And, the building’s construction was split into two phases, which meant we needed to create a bespoke plan for the installation of our steel frame.
Working on sites with restricted access is something we regularly experience and the nature of our offsite system means we can deliver to site as needed, require little or no storage space and can be easily scheduled to fit in with other trades.
Then, to manage the split phasing of the build, we used a ‘leap frog’ system whereby half of one section would be built, then the panels for the next half, laid on top of it.
Our planning and approach to the project worked so well that we actually completed our build programme ahead of schedule – in just nine weeks instead of the proposed 14.
Customer comment: “We know how Fusion’s system works so knew it would be ideal for this particular site in Birmingham. We also needed to achieve a low U-value for our client and as Fusion’s system is pre-insulated, it provides guarantees which standard on-site insulation systems might struggle to compete with.
“Once again, the Fusion team worked efficiently, managed the challenges thrown at them and completed ahead of schedule.”
Adam Ball, Director, J A Ball Ltd
Addlestone One – town centre regenerationLocation: Addlestone, Surrey
Bouygues Project Size:
Six apartment buildings Build Time:
The project: Addlestone One is a £90m mixed-use town centre regeneration scheme led by Runnymede Borough Council. Bouygues was appointed in November 2012 to develop the Council’s aspiration for new shops, leisure facilities, homes and public spaces which would aim to create a vibrant environment for people to work, visit and live. The project is due for completion in October 2017.
The brief: The residential element of the scheme, six apartment buildings, had originally been designed as a timber frame structure. However due to budget constraints and concerns over fire safety, Bouygues needed to find another option.
The solution: Bouygues reviewed concrete and light gauge steel as alternative building materials before concluding that Fusion’s pre-insulated system would be the most suitable option
Our design team worked closely with Bouygues to adapt the original timber frame designs, taking care to retain the architectural integrity of the buildings. We used our patented frame insulation system to ensure the apartments were insulated to 0.2W/m2K without any further materials needing to be installed on site. All M&E positions were pre-cut into the insulated frames, making installation for other trades as easy as possible, and we were able to adapt our design to cater for masonry above a height of 12m, something which is not normally possible when working with a light gauge steel system.
Challenges faced: The Addlestone site was extremely busy with so many elements of the scheme coming together at the same time. Access was tight and with a school located opposite, there were further restrictions over vehicle movements. But, by integrating our team with Bouygues early in the supply chain, we were able to deliver exactly the right product to site, using five or six times fewer vehicle loads than traditional build methods, produce little or no wastage, and have no more than 10 personnel on site at any one time. We provided Bouygues with predictability and reliability throughout the build.
Customer comment: “Fusion was a reliable partner throughout the Addlestone One project. The whole team worked extremely well together and from experience, they knew the ideas they were proposing would work. We made the right decision switching from timber to light gauge steel and I’m excited to explore ways in which Fusion can be part of our plans in the future.”
Simon Phipps, Regional Production Director Bouygues Housing South East
Angmering, West SussexLocation: West Sussex
Barratt Developments Project Size:
Trial Build Time:
The project: Barratt Developments has set a strategic goal to produce at least 20% of its output using offsite methods by 2020. Over a two-year period the developer evaluated 150 different offsite businesses and as part of the process, wanted to run a trial project to see how this approach could potentially scale up for volume housebuilding.
The brief: In 2015, Barratt asked Fusion to design, manufacture and erect light gauge steel superstructures for domestic properties at its Swanbourne Park development in West Sussex.
The solution: The project required integration from the very start of the supply chain – personnel at all levels at both businesses needed to be fully engaged and appreciate what the trial could mean for the future of housebuilding in the UK.
Existing housing designs were adapted to incorporate the light gauge steel superstructure, and in addition to meetings held with senior management, Fusion
took the time to fully brief Barratt site teams on the Fusion system. In late 2015, the project was ready to start on site and with just five men, in nine days, nine properties had been erected.
“If you can get that amount of structure built in nine days in November, why on earth would you do anything else?” Carpenter at Angmering on the Fusion offsite trial project.
The trial was deemed a success. The experience gained from this has
secured an offsite order book with Barratt currently worth over £3million – this covers some 160 houses and six apartment blocks, located across three different sites.
Customer comment: Oliver Novakovic, Barratt Developments’ technical and innovations director, said: “Offsite construction is high on our agenda and if we’re to meet our 2020 target, we
need to find the right technologies and partners to help us deliver the quality homes our customers expect.
“Our trial working with Fusion was a success. We were impressed with each stage of the process from design through to delivery and assembly on site. And now, as we’re about to embark on live, large scale developments with Fusion, I’m confident they can deliver, offering the business a further alternative to both traditional brick and block construction, and timber frame.”
The Old Oak, Ealing, North LondonLocation: Old Oak, Ealing, North London
Mace Project Size:
12,000m2 Build Time:
The project:The Old Oak in Ealing, North London is a new building complex offering a different kind of accommodation aimed at ‘millennials’, mixing small private spaces with quirky shared spaces. Called ‘The Collective’ it has 550 bedrooms and communal areas that include a spa, restaurant, games room, library and roof-top with plastic igloos – with most bills included in the rental price.
The brief: The project was briefed and designed as two buildings adjacent to each other – one seven storey structure and one nine storey, positioned on top of a transfer platform.
The solution: It was only fitting that a modern way of living should be built using modern methods of construction and Fusion was appointed to design and manufacture light gauge steel frames for an apartment block totaling 11 storeys within the development.
The Fusion team maximised the speed of build by applying weather proofing to specific floors of the structure, enabling other trades to maintain a good pace on site. The building was complete within 21 weeks. It is also first light gauge steel building to exceed the 30m two-hour fire mark and is believed to be the single largest steel structure of its kind in the UK.
Challenges: Part way through the project, the main contractor went into administration leaving Fusion in a position where it needed transition to new contractor Mace, whilst still working to complete the project on time.
Customer comment: Stephen Pycroft, Mace executive chairman, said: “Mace stepped into the breach on The Collective, Old Oak, when the original main contractor went into administration. We had to pick the job up at a late stage when the building was already in full flow, so the inherent risks were large and we needed a team around us we could rely on.
“Fusion was already on site when we started and the transition to working with the Mace team was seamless. During the course of the project they continued to excel, maintaining the programme and completing their works to an excellent standard.
“Though a tough start, the project wouldn’t have been the success it was without the support of the Fusion team.”
Ascalon StreetClient: A2 Dominion Location: Battersea, South London
Kingsbury Construction Project Size:
A 4 storey block of apartments (2,100m2) on a very tight site in Battersea, South London. The scheme had to overcome the acoustic challenges of being built within 5m of a main commuter railway line. Fusion’s works were completed in 9 weeks.
Riverside Apartments, Cambridge, UKLocation: Cambridge
77 apartments, on concrete transfer slab.
Significant quantities of hot rolled steel incorporated into the design. Extensive use of lightweight external cladding system – terracotta tiles and render.
Stockwell Court Luxury Homes, UKClient: Mace Living Location: South London
Mace Living Project Size:
11 no. large units Build Time:
Units include a basement
Scott House Apartments, UKClient: Willmott Dixon Location: Islington, North London
2,500m² Build Time:
Included infill panels to ground floor.
Kingston Heights Phase 1Client: Affinity Sutton Location: Kingston-Upon-Thames
United House Project Size:
3,500m² Build Time:
Fusion’s structure commences at 4th floor level and partly lies above a large electricity sub-station. Fusion’s works have involved forming a sub-floor on stub walls above the sub-station to create acoustic/vibration isolation with a further 3 storeys of Fusion structure (3,500m²). Fusion’s works were completed in 10 weeks.
Bagley’s Lane, UKLocation: Chelsea, London
6000m² Build Time:
£1.15m scheme, private flats, 90 odd flats @ approx £400,000 each
Allwoodley Apartments, UKClient: Persimmon Location: Leeds
2,200m² Build Time:
Incorporated complex timber roofs
Queen Victoria HospitalLocation: East Grinstead, West Sussex
882m² Build Time:
Fusion’s pre-insulated external wall system to ground floor, un-insulated walls to roof plant enclosure, internal load-bearing walls and hot rolled steel
Nerrols Primary School, SomersetLocation: Taunton, Somerset
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
The project: Nerrols Primary School and Nursery was to be built to support a new residential development being constructed on former farmland in Taunton, Somerset. The £7.3m school would provide 420 childrens’ places and meet a growing need for primary education in the local area.
Our brief: This was our 13th school to be built using Willmott Dixon’s Sunesis Dewey model. Designed specifically for sites with restricted access and where certainty of build time is needed, we were contracted to deliver the superstructure for 14 classrooms, main hall, kitchen, science and technology room, cookery room and a sports hall. A 10-week build programme was agreed, to enable completion in time for start of the forthcoming academic year.
The sports hall was designed to a two-storey height, requiring us to engineer a hot rolled steel solution within our light steel frame structure.
Previous school designs in the Dewey model had used concrete floors throughout, however for the first time we designed this project with floor cassettes. This was necessary given the timescales of the build, but provided effective acoustic performance for the school and delivered time-saving benefits for the supply chain too.
Our delivery: We successfully delivered the project three weeks ahead of programme significantly faster than traditional build methods would have been. Success was also achieved through having close communication with Willmott Dixon’s team throughout, understanding our system and its integration with follow-on trades.
St Matthew’s CofE Primary AcademyLocation: Plymouth
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
The project: Plymouth City Council needed a new primary and nursery academy in the Derriford area of North Plymouth. To achieve value for money, quality of build and a shorter construction timeline compared to traditional build methods, they chose a standard model concept from the innovative Sunesis range of schools. Sunesis is a JV between Scape Group and Willmott Dixon.
The brief: St Matthew’s was scheduled to open in September 2015 and provide facilities for 630 local students. Located within the city boundaries, site access would be restricted and absolute certainty of build was needed so, Plymouth chose the Sunesis Dewey school model – designed specifically for sites of this nature.
The solution: Recognising the significant benefits that offsite manufacturing has over traditional forms of construction, Sunesis uses a range of enhanced offsite construction technologies. And, having worked with Fusion for well over a decade, Willmott Dixon knew its light gauge steel solution and manufacturing process would be ideal to deliver the Dewey school design.
The delivery: Working as part of an integrated supply chain, Fusion contributed to St Matthew’s being built in just 39 weeks, against a base programme of 44 weeks. This was the fastest time the Dewey model had ever been delivered and significantly faster than traditional build methods would have been.
Fusion’s panelised system allowed for flexibility during onsite erection which made it highly compatible with follow-on trades. And the overall success of the project was achieved in part through collaborative workshops with the supply chain at key stages to develop the delivery programme.
Customer comment: “Cost, programme and performance certainty are the cornerstones of the Sunesis guarantee. With construction programmes from as little as 26 weeks this demanding timeframe can only be achieved through offsite manufacturing techniques. We’ve worked with Fusion since 2001 and St Michael’s is one of many Dewey model schools we’ve built with them as an offsite partner.
“Manufacturing in a factory environment, with quality control processes, enhances build quality and delivers significant time savings. – up to 50% compared to traditional build methods. This is part of our overall aim for Sunesis, driving an evolutionary change in school procurement.”
Tim Carey, National Product Director, Willmott Dixon
Bannister Primary SchoolLocation: Southampton
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
2,783m² Build Time:
Hybrid Fusion and hot rolled steel structures with composite metal deck/concrete floors and roofs
Wordsworth Primary SchoolLocation: Southampton
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
1,870m² Build Time:
Hybrid Fusion and hot rolled steel structures with composite metal deck/concrete floors and roofs
Angel School Townhouses & AptsClient: Places for People Location: London
Wates Project Size:
3,600m² – Ten 3 storey townhouses and 25 apartments
Designed to match surrounding properties. Tight inner city site.
Irish World Heritage Centre Hotel, ManchesterClient: Truman Design & Build Location: Manchester
Part of a £6.t5m contrac Build Time:
The project: A 40,000sqft, four-storey hotel was proposed for a 1.8 acre plot next to the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester. It was to provide accommodation for visitors attending business conferences, weddings, festivals and other events. The 135-bed, £6.5m contract was being delivered by Truman Design & Build, with a light steel frame superstructure to be provided by us.
Our brief: Truman asked us to provide the structural steel frame for the ground floor communal and operational areas. Sitting on top of this, we would provide a prefabricated frame for all accommodation areas, finished with a flat roof system using a single ply membrane. A UPVC window system would also be incorporated with aluminium spandrel infills and the finished building would be wrapped with a render and cladding facade.
Challenges faced: Truman had never worked with us before. They had considerable experience with timber frame and had planned to use this method until they learned more about our light steel frame system.
Given this project would be a learning experience for both parties, we took on board each other’s requirements at pre-contract stage and maintained a high level of integration throughout the project.
Our delivery: Originally programmed as a 10 – 12 week installation, the roof was on Phase A in five weeks, within six weeks we’d completed a show room on the ground floor and by the end of week nine, we’d completed our entire installation.
This speed of build meant follow-on trades could start ahead of programme and by using our system, Truman also benefitted from:
- Reduced costs due to no requirement for on-site fire protection measures
- Reduced works on site because of our factory-fitted insulation and wall battens to external cassettes
- Elimination of site surveys for windows and doors thanks to the millimetre accuracy of our frames.
“This was our first introduction to using light steel frame and I can’t commend the system or Fusion enough. They gave us the benefit of their experience, we worked together on supply chain integration and their structure was complete two weeks ahead of scheule. I hope to work with them again soon.”
Chris Meads, Project Manager, Truman Design & Build
Sheraton Fota Island Hotel & SpaClient: John Fleming Construction Location: Fota Island Resort, Cobh, Co. Cork
6,500m² Build Time:
Located on the scenic Fota Island Resort in Cork Harbour the faceted structure of the Five Star Sheraton Hotel and Spa is comprised of Fusion steel frame.
Merton Lodge Hotel, LondonLocation: London
A 4-storey hotel on 3 storey concrete structure by Wates for Premier Lodge.
Lightweight rain-screen cladding system
University of Sussex, East Slopes’ ResidencesLocation: Sussex
Balfour Beatty Project Size:
The project: With more than 2,000 student beds and a total project value for Balfour Beatty of around £150million, the University of Sussex East Slopes’ Residences project is one of the single largest, successful offsite construction projects of its kind ever built in the UK.
Our brief: Our steel frame was to be used as the superstructure for 29 blocks housing 2,100 bedrooms across three, four and five storey units. Comprising apartments and terraced townhouses, our delivery required flexibility in terms of design, programme, storage and logistics, with up to five cranes operating at any one time.
- Working on a slope which at its steepest had a gradient of 1:6, we faced significant design, engineering and logistcal challenges
- Immense supply chain integration, communication, education and understanding was needed and we pioneered working methods with Balfour Beatty
- With thousands of personnel in the site vicinity every day, Sussex also demanded the utmost respect for site restrictions and health and safety requirements.
Our delivery: We started talks in 2014, were awarded ‘Preferred Bidder’ in 2015, then spent two years on design and planning approval, before starting on site in January 2017. Sequenced over five phases to deliver 29 blocks in 86 weeks and on a steeply sloping site, we worked to optimise build speed and reduce site-based risks. We also invested in additional storage facilities and worked with Balfour on their onsite prototype unit. Our design team held bi-weekly meetings with architects and Balfour’s design team to ensure every last detail was discussed. And finally, with up to five blocks running concurrently, our fast rate of build, immense preconstruction planning and supply chain integration, meant we delivered on time and on budget.
Client comment: “Fusion’s system was the right choice for Sussex and their team had the right personnel for its delivery. I’m extraordinarily proud of what we’ve achieved and as Balfour Beatty continues to place investment in offsite methods of construction, I’m confident Fusion will be one our partners for many years to come.”
Geoff Grant, Project Director, Balfour Beatty UK Construction Services
Student: Globe WorksLocation: Birmingham
D W Hicks Project Size:
Part of a £45m regeneration project Build Time:
The project: Part of a £45m regeneration project for Birmingham’s historic Gun Quarter, Globe Works was planned as a new 520-bed student accommodation project on Cliveden Street. Its construction would provide accommodation for Birmingham’s growing student population, together with amenities such as a gym, study centre, convenience store and coffee shop.
Our brief: Working as an established supply chain partner for D W Hicks, we were asked to design, manufacture and erect the superstructure, including all load-bearing light gauge steel walls, floor cassettes and incorporated hot rolled steel for the two block, five and 10-storey development. The total project build time was two years and our part of the works was scheduled for completion in just under nine months.
Our delivery: Having worked with Leicestershire contractor D W Hicks before, we had already developed a consolidated supply chain structure. This meant we could ensure the continual development of design and construction principles, to maximise the use of the Fusion system.
With all design work complete and walls and floors manufactured at our facility in Northampton, we started on site in November 2017. Thanks to careful construction planning and the benefit of an integrated supply chain, we were able to enjoy a streamlined build programme, installed on site by just eight of our experienced personnel.
We completed our works on time, by August 2018. And, we left site knowing the remaining building works would benefit from our design and engineering – having a pre-insulated structure, M&E positionings pre-cut and accurately located openings for doors and windows.
Customer comment: “Globe Works is the second student accommodation contract we’ve awarded to Fusion and once again they worked well with us, delivering their works on time and to our complete satisfaction. Student accommodation projects typically run to tight timescales so Fusion’s offsite system is an ideal solution. I look forward to delivering more projects with Fusion in the future, as our two companies continue to work in collaboration.”
Martyn Hicks, D W Hicks
Bromsgrove StreetLocation: Birmingham
Shaylor Group Project Size:
£8m development Build Time:
The project: High end, 140-bed luxury student accommodation was planned for 88 Bromsgrove Street, in the heart of Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter. Part of a major redevelopment of the city’s central area, the brownfield site was to provide quality ensuite rooms for students attending any one of the city’s universities.
The brief: Seven storeys of accommodation and communal space needed to be built over a transfer deck platform, with allowances to be made to wrap the exterior of the building in brick slip cladding, to enhance its overall aesthetic appearance and thermal performance. With a tight build programme and restricted site access, main contractor Shaylor Group selected Fusion as a reliable offsite manufacturer, to ensure works would be completed on time.
Challenges faced: In addition to operating at a busy city centre location with limited access and no on-site storage, Fusion was faced with last minute design changes, such as the inclusion of an air handling unit (AHU).
The solution: Thanks to the establishment of a fully integrated supply chain right from the start of the project, Fusion’s works were completed on time and without hitch. Pre-contract meeting with Shaylor Group and all others involved were critical to achieving this, and the principles of ‘just in time’ deliveries were employed and coordinated with follow-on trades.
Customer comment: “It’s always enjoyable working with like-minded teams in an environment of positive engagement. Shaylor Group and Fusion share a collaborative approach which has ensured seamless delivery of a truly outstanding project for Prestige Student Living. It’s also been a great experience working in the centre of our home city and playing a part in the regeneration of Birmingham.”
Paul Fairholm, Shaylor Group Operations Manager
Lillie HouseLocation: Leicester
J A Ball Ltd Project Size:
£700K Build Time:
The project: New student accommodation was planned for the landmark Lillie House site on London Road. Leicestershire-based contractor J A Ball had been awarded the work and from starting on site in February 2017, was tasked with completion ready for student intake within just seven months.
The brief: To design, manufacture, deliver and install a Fusion insulated light gauge steel superstructure for a seven-storey student accommodation block. Retail space would occupy the ground floor (constructed by others from reinforced concrete slab) and 138 units needed to be arranged over the six floors above, comprising a mix of bedrooms, apartments and studio accommodation.
Challenges faced: Build time and site access were significant challenges for this project. The Client wanted our works complete within 10 weeks, but our initial proposal was 16. Access to the site was also an issue being via a tight inner city network of one way streets – and a further challenge was faced when an area planned for Fusion trailers to be off-loaded became unavailable at the last minute.
The solution: We overcame the speed of build issue for our Client by developing a robust design which ensured we used product which was available, could be delivered on time and could be swiftly erected by our most experienced installers. We also used a ‘per level’ sign-off procedure. This meant each floor was completed in its entirety before being certified, negating the need for return visits and reducing timescales further.
The challenges faced with logistics were managed and resolved by effective communication and planning both internally and with our Client.
Customer comment: “We’ve worked with Fusion before so knew their system and capabilities. The reason we contracted them for Lillie House was down to the design of the building – uniform and stacked, and because we needed a fast build. If we were to meet the University’s deadline, our priority was to get into the building as quickly as possible. But thanks to Fusion working out a more time-efficient delivery programme, we were inside within 10 weeks – less than half way through the total build.”
Adam Ball, Director, J A Ball Ltd
Cathedral Road, DerbyClient: JV between Prosperity Capital Partners and London & UK Property - Prosperity Student Living Derby Ltd Location: Derby
D W Hicks (Contractor) Project Size:
£14m Build Time:
The project: New accommodation had been approved for the University of Derby at a prestigious location in the city’s Cathedral Quarter. Contractor D W Hicks had been awarded the work – a £14m 350-bed scheme to be ready for the start of the 2016 autumn term.
The brief: A seven-storey accommodation block, serviced by lifts and with 350 rooms arranged in a six-bed cluster layout comprising ensuite rooms, communal lounge and kitchen.
It was a fast-track project which wouldn’t allow for the build times associated with traditional methods, so Hicks had to turn to offsite options.
The solution: After researching the market, following up referral leads and a factory visit, Fusion’s light gauge steel system was chosen for the project. Within just 20 weeks, Fusion’s entire process was complete – from order to erection on site. This neat, predictable timeline slotted easily into the overall build programme for the project, and resulted in the development being completed two months ahead of schedule. Handover to the University was in August 2016.
Customer comment: “We were originally planning Cathedral Road with traditional methods in mind, but time and cost constraints simply didn’t allow for it. So, this was the first time we’d worked with Fusion and based on many factors which contributed to the success of this project, we now have two further student accommodation projects underway with them, worth £48million.
“A great deal of our work is in the student market and in my opinion, offsite is the only way forward.”
Martyn Hicks – Director, D W Hicks
Aberystwyth UniversityLocation: Aberystwyth
Cowlin (Balfour Beatty) Project Size:
29,000m² Build Time:
The Penglais Farm Project at Aberystwyth involves the construction of 50 number linked blocks of 3 storey accommodation providing a total of 1000 bedrooms (29,000m2). Fusion’s scope of supply includes the supply and fitting of truss roofs and fitting of HRS stairs.
Oxford UniversityLocation: Oxford
Longcross Project Size:
13,281m² Build Time:
312 high-quality apartments for post-graduate students, with 8 blocks on an extremely challenging site. Restricted access to the site, which is narrow and bound on one side by the main railway line, necessitated the need for stringent sound performance ideally suited to Fusion’s flexible solutions.
Shane Kelly, Research and Development Manager, Longcross said “Longcross utilised the Fusion system on a large student accommodation development in Oxford for Oxford University Estates Division. We first came across the Fusion team and the system in early 2012 when sourcing an alternative build system.
There were a number of reasons why we had to research the market for an alternative build system but it was mainly the severe budgetary constraints and the high performance requirements of our client. Fusion proved to be the ideal partner for both these reasons.
From day one, the team at Fusion were extremely proactive and were able to commence design, manufacture and delivery within our original programme, despite a number of weeks being lost whilst researching an alternative system and more importantly Fusion were able to alleviate any concerns the design team and client had on utilising a new innovative system.
Fusion provided an alternative lightweight superstructure solution that was within budget for the scheme. In addition, the add-on benefits of the system meant that we were able to significantly reduce the foundations to the scheme and also absorb programme delays due to late design (from our consultants) without compromising our agreed PC date with the client. Fusion adopted structural design responsibility for the above ground structure and were able to deliver this without delay working in conjunction with a consultant team who had no experience of the system and delivered the first panels to site in just 11 weeks. This challenge in particular was no mean feat, and Fusion’s ability to adopt, inform and deliver is commended.
Additionally, the off-site nature of the Fusion system meant that we were also able to improve on site quality, significantly reduce transportation to site and also achieve waste targets way in excess of our original expectations.
Mitigating the risk was extremely important to both us and our client and Fusion were able to provide us with an off-site testing facility. This allowed us to prove the design and buildability of interfaces as well as acoustically test details prior to their construction on site. This mitigated a lot of risk for us and again showed the willingness of Fusion to go the extra mile in order to ensure that their system achieved the strict Building Regulation and BREEAM standards that the scheme required. One of the concerns of the client in changing from concrete to LGS was the noise from external sources as well as adjacent rooms. Fusion was able to alleviate these concerns through their rigorous testing regime which not only worked on paper but allowed the client to see the robustness of the detailing. Tests undertaken on the unit include party wall acoustic testing, floor acoustic testing, socket penetration acoustic testing, external wall (including several cladding systems) acoustic testing and window/glazing acoustic testing.
Despite the initial delay in design on the concrete frame, adopting the Fusion system ensured we maintained the original programme and we were able to erect eight 4/5 storey blocks in a little under 14 weeks including the roofs (to ply finish) which Fusion willingly took on for the final seven blocks again improving on site productivity.
The proactive culture of the Fusion team as well as their ability to deliver both on site and a product that meets stringent performance requirements has meant that Longcross are continuing to develop this excellent working relationship and hope to continue working with Fusion on numerous projects in the future.”
Horton HallsClient: Willmott Dixon Location: Tooting
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
10,000m², 350 bedrooms Build Time:
4 storey block, with cassette floors including flat roof with parapets.
Mark Peasey, Operations Director, Willmott Dixon said ‘The working relationship between Fusion and Willmott Dixon was positive throughout the build and meant the superstructure was completed ahead of programme despite poor weather conditions. The Fusion team were exceptional and their proactive attitude to the build programme and assistance to other trades was refreshing and bodes well for future projects between our companies. ’
Mike Fairey, Director, Fusion said ‘The success of this project reinforces Fusion’s belief that working hand in hand with our clients’ design team delivers projects on time and on budget. Fusion has a fantastic reputation in the student accommodation environment and the completion of this project continues to strengthen our position as a leading supplier of quality building solutions.’
Reading UniversityLocation: Reading
Brookfield Multiplex Project Size:
2,240m² Build Time:
3no. 192 beds, blocks of 4 storey townhouses, including concrete stairs
Stephen Browne, Brookefield Multiplex, Project Director: “Fusion completed their works at Reading on time and on budget. This has enabled Brookfield to install windows and make the building weather-tight much earlier in the programme than would normally be the case, allowing following trades to start work early. On Reading this will help provide greater certainty in meeting handover dates. But on future projects it opens up the possibility of reducing programme time overall, saving on prelims, reducing weather risk and improving the attractiveness of Brookfield’s overall offer to Clients.”
Mike Fairey, Director Fusion added; “This was our first project with the Brookfield team and I am pleased to see that all went according to programme which bodes well for the future. It was also great to hear that UPP were also impressed with our performance both on site and during design”
Hawthorn Student VillageClient: Cordil Construction Location: Saleen, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
7,683m² Build Time:
22 weeks approx.
This accommodation was developed for students attending the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). The apartments, housing almost 300 students, are within their own campus at Saleen and encompass a central courtyard and landscaped private gardens.
Thomond Student VillageClient: John Fleming Construction Location: Limerick, Ireland
9,000m² Build Time:
Fusion has constructed the purpose-built Thomond Student Village for Limerick Institute of Technology. Thomond comprises 115 three bedroom apartments and is recognised for its exceptional design and facilities throughout Ireland.
St. GeorgesClient: Willmott Dixon Location: South London
Willmott Dixon Project Size:
10,000m², 350 bedrooms Build Time:
Fusion have been involved in several phases of work at St. Georges in Tooting, South London. The first phase involved a 5 storey student accommodation block with 300 bedrooms and a total floor area of 10,000m². Subsequent phases involved the building of the UK’s largest key worker accommodation (600 beds). The final phase of works was the Horton Hall Student Blocks, which comprised of 150 bedrooms in 2 number 4-5 storey blocks (3,300m²)