• Location


  • Contractor/Developer

    J A Ball Ltd

  • Project Size


  • Build Time
    9.5 weeks

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.


“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 BallDirector, J A Ball Ltd