University of Leeds uses Kingspan Steel for student digs
The new student accommodation development utilises Kingspan Steel solution ready for September 2018 intake
Posted by Charley Rogers | April 15, 2018 | Supplier News
university-of-leeds, student-accommodation, kingspan-steel, gmi-construction, s-harrison-developments

Kingspan Steel has offered a structural solution for student accommodation. 

Once completed, Blenheim Point will offer 180 students a high standard of student living, addressing the need for purpose-built accommodation close to both Leeds city centre and the University of Leeds. To ensure the build programme is on-track for the 2018 intake, Kingspan Steel Building Solutions’ KingBuild System (KBS) has been used to provide a complete building structure and shell solution, resulting in the project being shortlisted for the Best Use of Steel Award at the 2018 OFFSITE Awards

Spanning 58,000ft2, the contemporary seven-storey building has been developed by S Harrison Developments and designed by architects Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher to promote a sense of community both aesthetically and functionally, helping occupying students to settle into their life away from home and integrate with the city around them. The unique stepped-back design contains 29 cluster flats with large shared kitchen and living spaces, in addition to a range of communal facilities including a reception area, study rooms, games area and a common room. To realise this adventurous scheme on the restricted, main road site within a tight timeframe, Kingspan Steel Building Solutions was selected by GMI Construction to design, engineer, manufacture, supply and finally install their KingBuild System (KBS), enabling the external structure to go up in just 18 weeks.

Contracts Manager at GMI Construction, Bob Priestley, explained: “We chose to work with Kingspan on this project due to their excellent reputation, the suitability of their products for this project, and their in-house design and installation abilities. They provided us with volumes of technical and practical support throughout the project, including being willing to attend quite a few coordination and planning meetings during the tender process, and were completely flexible towards the programme and sequencing. Onsite, they were able to cooperate and be accommodating on an extremely confined site.”

We chose to work with Kingspan on this project due to their excellent reputation, the suitability of their products for this project, and their in-house design and installation abilities. – Bob Priestly, GMI Construction

The proposed structure was first 3D modelled in-house by Kingspan’s design team, using bespoke macros in the Tekla modelling software and the data was sent to the production facility to ensure the panels were manufactured to the exact project requirements, minimising onsite waste on the restricted site. Built from a ground-to-first-floor podium provided by GMI Construction, both loadbearing and non-loadbearing factory-assembled KBS wall panels were craned into place from the first floor, up to and including the sixth-floor roof, and fixed together with KBS’s patented KingPin connections. A full engineering scheme was undertaken in-house by Kingspan’s team of engineers, providing a complete set of Line & Point loads to the main contractor to facilitate the podium structure specification.  

The panelised system allowed a rapid, predictable assembly of the seven storeys, providing a weathertight envelope that could be worked on internally even as the external finishes were being applied. As well as being efficient to install, the dry construction method achieves near-zero shrinkage and provides almost zero settlement in the frame. Pre-punched holes for services into joists and studs also helped reduce subsequent fit-out time. The predictability of this approach reduced costs by saving on labour time.

The Kingspan team also designed, supplied and installed the Multideck galvanised steel floor decking system, with a 60mm profile, wand a concrete pour to each intermediate floor. The pre-cast concrete stair flights to the main core and lift shaft walls were also supplied and installed by Kingspan.

The use of steel also reduced the environmental impact of the project: the light gauge steel offers a high strength-to-weight ratio and therefore reduces material usage over traditional materials, minimising the carbon footprint and providing structural efficiency. Light steel joists and walls offer A and A+ ratings respectively in these areas in the BRE Green Guide (2007). The steel sections are made from high recycled content and are 100% recyclable, reducing waste produced by the overall project. Furthermore, the high-performance insulation used on the external walls is Zero Ozone Depletion Potential, has a low Global Warming Potential of 3 and is certified as ‘Excellent’ under BES 6001.