University of Salford: Residences in steel Share this article

Dan Bradley, Principal Structural Engineer at Cundall, and his structural engineering team in Manchester have been busy working on nine new steel-framed student accommodation blocks at the University of Salford.

The £84m project for the University of Salford will see an additional 1,367 en-suite bedrooms which will substantially boost the Universities numbers.

The work is taking place on two adjacent plots next to the Universities existing premises. They will contain five and four residential blocks respectively, varying in size from nine-storeys to five-storeys and all linked by first floor podium decks.

The accommodation blocks are designed to provide sustainable student living with a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, and include community living with large reception and social spaces including: TV and games room, gym and study lounges, kitchen, laundrette and a cinema room.

Dan decided steel framed structures for all of the blocks were best suited opposed to concrete due to them being quicker to erect and more efficient for the design of the buildings that have lots of structural repetition.

All of the accommodation blocks have been designed the same with each one getting its structural stability from bracing, either located in partition walls or in lift and stair cores.

The steel work is based around common grid patterns of both 8mx7.8m and 8mx5.2m throughout the buildings.

By repeating these grids all the way up each building it allowed Dan and his team to accommodate car parking in the below ground levels and then all of the accommodation units above. This meant that no transfer structures were required at ground level where ordinarily the grid may have been expected to change.

Not having to erect transfer structures not only kept the overall tonnage down and consequently helped saved the client money, it also had an important bearing on the project’s design.

In order to maximise the number of floors in each block the floor beams have been designed compositely with metal decking and a slim concrete topping.

Dan comments “It has been great to be part of such a prestigious project. The team has worked hard to give innovative design solutions whilst adding value for the client. It is an excellent example of what our structural team in Manchester is capable of, not only in terms of design, but our capability in using Revit. We have also made lasting relationships with the project team and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

The accommodation blocks are expected to be completed in time for the 2015 autumn term.

18 Dec 2014

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