Clarence Dock

Clarence Dock, The Boulevard, Leeds LS10 1PZ

Clarence Dock Headline Facts:

442 reconstructed stone panels, covering 5,850 square meters.

Contractor : Shepherd

Architect : Carey Jones Architects

Calthorpe House

Calthorpe House, Birmingham

Calthorpe House Headline Facts:

400 reconstructed stone panels, covering 5,300 square meters.

Contractor : BAM

Architect : Webb Gray

Ashington Leisure Centre

Ashington Leisure Centre, Lintonville Terrace, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9JY

Ashington Leisure Centre Headline Facts:

158 reconstructed stone panels, covering 4,737 square meters.

Contractor : Carillion

Architect : Ryder Architecture

5 Pancras Square (B3)

5 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG

5 Pancras Square Headline Facts:

146 reconstructed stone panels, covering 1,350 square meters.

Contractor : Kier Construction

Architect : Weedon Partnership

The Finer Details:

This unique building has won many accolades for its design including the RIBA London Regional Award 2015, The RIBA London Sustainability Award 2015, and most recently, the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award. Furthermore it has achieved the BREEAM level of ‘Outstanding’.

It was built as the new headquarters for Camden Council and is clad at the lower levels with Techrete precast concrete panels. There were a lot of constraints encountered on site and the ground to 3rd floor cladding had to be installed in advance of the super structure. Due to the site logistics and proposed crane sizes and positons, normal installation hours could not be accommodated on site as these would have blocked deliveries and affected progress on site. There was also site off -loading restrictions.

To avoid these issues, Techrete panels were installed between 7pm and 7am using the site tower cranes. The line and level works were carried out during the day. Another challenge faced was the installation of the circular columns. This proved interesting as they were underslung units and there was reduced headroom available.

As with other projects in the Kings Cross area, there were network rail restrictions which required the downgrading of all craneage by 25%. This problem was alleviated by using mobile cranes where appropriate, although there was some back propping required to the slab during this operation.

A reconstituted stone mix was chosen in an acid etched finish which gives the building a regal finish, allowing it to blend effortlessly with the prestige of the neighbouring buildings and surroundings.

Dublin Landings

Dublin Landings, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1

Dublin Landings Headline Facts:

470 brick faced panels, covering 5,805 square meters.

Contractor : Walls Construction

Architect : ARROW Architects & RKD Architects

The Finer Details:

Dublin Landings is one of two landmark riverfront buildings developed in the historical, heart of Dublin City. Given the historical tone in the docklands it was important that these two buildings aligned with the nature of the area, this meant that RKD Architects and ARROW Architects would have to coordinate their designs. The elevational design was developed to provide a calm foil next to the lively Central Bank of Ireland facades immediately adjacent. Brick cladding was among choices made to refer to and reflect the palette of historical Docklands materials of the area, and also to present an understated elegance in the finished elevations

Walls Construction enlisted both ARROW Architects and RKD Architects to design a building that would be part of Project Wave. A commercial office and residential redevelopment located in the dock lands of Dublin city. Project wave as a whole will deliver up to 65,000 sq. m of commercial offices and residential opportunity. This phase of Project wave is situated on the forefront of North Wall Quay, alongside some of the most prominent office headquarters in Ireland such as the Central Bank of Ireland.

At an early stage in the project it was decided that the facades would be formed in precast elements, partly for programme and cost reasons but mainly to achieve the highest levels of quality and precision in the expression of the brickwork, through meticulous fabrication of the brick façade on the building to the exacting quality demanded for this prime development. Techrete was chosen by RKD due to their proven ability in the industry and the high quality of product which would suit this prime development area. Techrete designed, manufactured, erected and sealed the architectural precast concrete cladding of the façade on the building. The initial task was to find a façade design that would marry the existing tone of the area which already is filled with high rise buildings some with unique façades. It was decided that brick face façade units would be used to both align with the manner of the area and allow the façade to be prominent. The façade covered 5,805 m² made up of 470 nr. of units. These units consisted of brick faced wall panels, mullions and spandrels. The mullion panels were two storey high and although they were difficult to erect the team were able to use less fixtures.

When deciding to use brick on the façade two European bricks were ordered, this caused complications during moulding because of brick tolerances. The installation of the façade was undertaken with tower cranes and was a relatively smooth operation with the exception of the ESB substation where panels had to be installed with a mobile crane. This elevation was restricted access use due to the close proximity of the central bank. Separately installation was in an adhoc sequence due to the tight programme, EPDM and installation needed to be applied in advance of the panel installation and cranage needed to be sequenced on relevant days with two separate crews.

Visual Control Tower

Visual Control Tower, Dublin Airport

Visual Control Tower Headline Facts:

115 reconstructed stone panels, covering 2,375 square meters.

Contractor: BAM

Architect: Scott Tallon Walker

The Finer Details :

The Visual Control Tower at Dublin Airport is one of the tallest structures in Ireland and it is Ireland’s tallest occupied building. Contracted by BAM and standing at 87.7 metres high, the tower provides clear views for current and future runways at Dublin Airport. Designed by Scott Tallon Walker Architects, the building comprises a 17-storey shaft with a 4 storey control room sitting on top and to help achieve the design brief of an elegant, modern structure, it was essential that the tower shaft displayed no cold joints and that the surface was of an excellent finish.

Techrete were involved on the project with Scott Tallon Walker from the initial concept and design stage of the tower to ensure that their design intent of this unusual project could be achieved. Techrete were engaged to provide and install the curved precast panels for the shaft with feature knuckles arranged in a triangular shape.

Future maintenance was a key consideration for the project and as such, the shaft facade was designed as a rain screen with open drained joggle joints, allowing rain water to funnel behind the panels and drain out at the bottom of the structure, fulfilling the ‘self-cleaning’ intent of the design.

The unusual shape of the shaft and panels required Techrete to design bespoke structural hanging brackets to support the heavy loads of the panels. Multiple curved timber moulds of varying shapes and radii were designed and manufactured to produce the unusual and varying shapes of the panels. The mix chosen for the panels was our popular C190, white mix and panels were given an acid etched finish. A key challenge for Techrete on this project was the limited time to install the panels before the Control Room steel frame was due to arrive on site and be installed.

The Visual Control Tower won ‘Engineering Project of the Year’ at the Irish Building and Design Awards 2019.

Molesworth St

10 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2

10 Molesworth Street Headline Facts:

262 brick facing, natural stone facing and reconstructed stone panels, covering 3,515 square meters.

Contractor: PJ Hegarty & Son

Architect: Henry J Lyons

The Finer Details:

Techrete were engaged to design, manufacture and erect over 3,500 m² of architectural brick faced precast concrete cladding panels, as part of the façade of number 10 Molesworth Street. Chosen for our speed of erection and Techrete’s ability to provide for quality control of the brickwork and jointing, the architectural precast element consists of mullions, spandrels, parapets and stone-faced wall panels. The carefully chosen mix was Techrete’s timelessly elegant light, warm, off-white mix with an etched finish. To complement the mix, a natural stone-faced wall panel was chosen.

The brick wall panels offered a striking yet complementary contrast to the reconstructed stone mix. The chosen brick is a blended red colour range with off-white mortar joints. To keep with the Georgian tradition, the bricks were laid in a Flemish bond. The building combines both traditional and contemporary design and with careful selection of materials and modern construction methods, the symmetry and overall appearance of the building has managed to adopt the genre of prestige that is synonymous with this area of Dublin.

5 Hanover Quay

5 Hanover Quay, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2

5 Hanover Quay Headline Facts:

484 reconstructed stone panels, covering 5,574 square meters.

Contractor : Bennett Construction

Architect : RKD Architects

The Finer Details :

5 Hanover Quay stands in an enviable position in the heart of the prestigious South Dublin Docklands, in an area dubbed “silicon docks”.  Situated at the impressive waterfront of the Grand Canal Basin and on its northern boundary, it boasts high-tech neighbours such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.  The aim of this building is to be an instrumental component of Dublin’s Dockland Regeneration.

RKD architects were appointed by APTIV Global Operations Ltd. to design this 161,300 sq ft, impressively, unique building.  One of the main elements of the design brief of this seven storey building, was a strong emphasis on quality.   One of the design elements decided on was to feature, high quality, reconstructed stone outer frame.  With concrete being such an integral part of the design, the façade had to demonstrate an iconic design element.  RKD worked closely with Techrete as they deemed Techrete to possess the specialist skill and experience of working with concrete to the highest quality.

With such a strong design element placed on the use of concrete, the mix chosen had to be mindful of the projects location, to ensure it was placed appropriately within the surrounding architecture of this dense urban docklands area.  The mix chosen was Techrete’s C190.  This light, timelessly sophisticated mix, when lightly acid etched post production, resembles natural limestone. Due to the nature of the columns a steel column mould was used to guarantee a blemish free finish to the three exposed faces. The architectural precast element consisted of reconstructed stone columns, beams, wall panels and mullions .

The installation of the façade was undertaken with two tower cranes was a typical installation operation one would expect from such a project.  Due to the nature of the columns which spanned across two floors the mullions were engineered so that they could be rotated on site without the use of any mechanical tilting equipment. The eastern elevation, which is opposite an adjacent site and over an underground car park raised significant challenges including the application of mastic. Techrete’s site team overcame these challenges using a spider MEWP, which allowed the application of mastic to areas that otherwise may have proven inaccessible.

Five Lamps

Five Lamps, Amien Street, North Strand, Dublin 1

Five Lamps Headline Facts:

120 natural stone faced and brick faced panels, covering 1,200 square meters.

Contractor: Townlink Construction

Architect : CMP Architects

Two St. Peter’s Square

Two St. Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 3NQ

Two St. Peter’s Square Headline Facts:

546 reconstructed stone panels, covering 7,210 square meters.

Contractor : Laing O’Rourke

Architect : Simpson Haugh

Award : ‘Highly Commended’ – Concrete Society Awards 2018.

Judges comments :

“Visual appearance was a key driver in a very sensitive historic area of the city. The building does not look out of place at all, despite the time differences in construction. The decorative façades are very special and could only be done in precast concrete or an army of stone masons. Materials are standard but the complexity and quality of the finish is exceptional. The difficulty in forming these complex and varied units should not be underestimated. They are true three-dimensional concrete sculptures used as office window façades.

External column cladding was complex, multiply curved and feels appropriate for the location. The complexity, level of overall detail and quality is excellent. The joints of the units were lined up to show geometrical symmetry from vertical face to horizontal soffit. The judges were very impressed by this project. The decorative façades are superb and it would not be surprising if this level of decorative façade became more popular.

The Finer Details:

2 St. Peters Square, is a truly distinguished building with its 12 floors rising majestically over the surrounding streetscape. The gable end faces onto Princess St and the building is adorned with delicate filigree tracery panels. Drawing inspiration from the Lancaster Rose which adorns the county flag and from the Cotton Bud fountain, the tracery panels were designed to incorporate these elements whilst drawing on further inspiration from the Town Hall extension stair turrets. The tracery panels are both decorative and functional and offer natural shading from the full height glazing which is situated behind them.

This choice of mix with a polished finish gives the building a timeless elegance appropriate to its prime location amongst such buildings of historical importance. The panels on the main façades embraced the ethos of off-site construction. The windows were installed at Techrete production facility and were delivered and installed as one complete unit . This resulted in a reduction in programme time and in the amount of trades required on site. This project won ‘Highly Commended’ at the Concrete Society Awards 2018.

One St. Peter’s Square

One St. peter’s Square, Manchester M2 3AE

One St. Peter’s Square Headline Facts :

584 reconstructed stone panels, covering 6,800 square meters

Contractor : Carillion PLC

Architect : Glenn Howells Architects

Regent’s Place

Regent’s Place, 338 Euston Rd, London NW1 3BT

Regent’s Place Headline Facts :

580 stone faced and reconstructed stone panels covering 6,100 square meters.

Contractor : Lendlease

Architect : Terry Farrell Architects

Plough Place

Plough PLace, Holborn, London

Plough Place Headline Facts :

150 brick faced panels covering 1,500 square meters.

Contractor : Mowlem

Architect : Hamilton Associates

Paternoster Square

Paternoster Square, London

Paternoster Square Headline Facts:

630 natural stone faced and reconstructed stone panels, covering 6,100 square meters.

Contractor : Bovis Lendlease

Architect : McCormack Jamieson Prichard

Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch, 2 King Edward St, Farringdon, London EC1A 1HQ

Merrill Lynch Headline Facts:

1,050 natural stone facing, brick facing and terracotta facing panels, covering 8,650 square meters.

Contractor : Mace

Architect : Swanke Hayden Connell

Ludgate West

Ludgate West, London

Ludgate West Headline Facts:

250 natural stone faced panels covering 2,700 square meters.

Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine

Architect : Skidmore Owings and Merrill

2 Pancras Square (B4)

2 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG

2 Pancras Square Headline Facts:

427 reconstructed stone panels, covering 5,907 units.

Contractor : BAM

Architect : Allies & Morrison

The Finer Details :

This 11 storey, 130,000 sq ft office building was designed by Allies & Morrison. The design of the architectural precast cladding gives it an interesting rhythm. As the building rises, the precast mullion sections reduce in width but deepen in depth. This was achieved by specially designed adaptable moulds. The curtain walling / glazing was prefixed to the frame, above level 2, in advance of the cladding. A delicate installation operation ensued and the fixing system had to be adjusted to the depth of the reveals. In order to increase the speed of erection, reduce cost and improve general efficiency, some of the panels were 2 storey high “F” panels. This allowed for a rapid rate of enclosure to be achieved.

The immediate impression of this building is of mullions and spandrels but a keen eye can see upon closer inspection that the mullions actually decrease in width towards the top of the building and the windows at these levels are set back further to create deeper reveals and create greater solar shading. The key to the manufacture of this was mould adaptability. To ensure minimal staining from rainwater on the face of the building, the spandrels were designed to guide the water towards a vertical drainage system in the mullions, which keeps the water off the face of the building.

The concrete mix contains some Spanish Dolomite aggregate which adds a sparkle to the façade. The uppermost level has an unusual feature of a winter garden. This comprises of 3 storey high colonnades with free standing cantilever structures. This is a very uncommon feature and structural modelling was utilised in the design process. Due to the size of the panels, some challenges were encountered during the installation process. Prior to installation these panels (10m in length) had to be rotated with the use of the tower crane and then hoisted into position.

1 Pancras Square (B2)

1 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG

1 Pancras Square, Kings Cross Headline Facts:

1,065 reconstructed stone and cast iron column panels covering 3,586 square meters.

Contractor : BAM

Architect : David Chipperfield

The Finer Details :

Techrete were engaged in 2012 to supply and erect the external façade of this 55,000 sq m office building. In addition to supplying the precast cladding panels, balconies and GRC soffits, Techrete were also engaged to design, coordinate and erect the cast iron columns, due to the proximity and interface with the cladding. These were manufactured by Hargreaves at their facility in Halifax, West Yorkshire and were then transported on specially adapted trailer frames and were subsequently painted and erected by Techrete.

The precast cladding and other features were to be erected outboard of the completed curtain wall cladding and this presented handling challenges and also required a bespoke fixing system. Due to its proximity to the rail lines, Techrete had to contend with a downgrading of all craneage by 25%. The windows were pre-installed and external access for this installation was via MEWPs. Above level 6 mast climbers were used.

The GRC soffits were up to 2.8m wide and specially adapted trailers, frames and lifting equipment were used to assist site handling of the panels in under-slung areas which were not accessible by the tower crane. Trial lifts were carried out at the factory, prior to delivery to site. A tower crane was used for the majority of the installation with the exception of the balconies which, due to their weight, were hoisted by a mobile crane. To ensure the uniformity of finish Techrete undertook to construct the paving and steps beneath the colonnade.

The reconstituted stone mix chosen was to complement the adjacent building B4 (Two Pancras Square) and a warm acid etched finish was used to achieve this intent.

Juxon House

Juxon House, 100 St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8BU

Juxon House Headline facts:

900 natural stone faced panels, covering 6,000 square meters.

Contractor : Lend Lease

Architect : Siddell Gibson Partner

Bow Bells House

1 Bread Street, London, EC4M 9BE

Bow Bells House Headline Facts:

120 natural stone faced panels, covering 1,280 square meters.

Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease

Architect : David Walker & Associates and HOK International