The Brindley Building is due to be demolished to make way for re-development of the site in the form of the new University Building. The proposed building will be a four-storey rectangular building. The new building will be of mixed occupation with both event spaces and food halls at the ground floor level, and office spaces and study areas at higher levels. A large feature staircase dominates one part of the central core, with services and a general access staircase, also supplied within the building’s cores.

Robert Bird Group carried out a peer review of the structural and geotechnical design for the Catalyst Building development in Staffordshire University’s Leek Road campus.

The proposed structural solution for the project included the use of reinforced concrete waffle slabs on concrete columns. This was primarily due to the large spans, required of the event space and study areas. Precambers were also proposed to reduce the deflection occurring in the 11m span floors. This type of floor construction, as well as the inclusion of precambers, would have a significant impact on the construction programme, as well as costs.

Due to the length of the building (115m), it was split into three, with the inclusion of two movement joints. This required the three cores to provide lateral stability to each section of the building.

RBG Value Add

  • Reduced the 550mm structural floor zones to 275mm thick PT slabs, saving on material, increasing floor heights and providing a much simpler construction.
  • PT slab removed the need for precambers
  • Reduced all core walls from 300mm to 250mm thickness.
  • Rationalised the piles to a single diameter, removing the need for different piling rigs
  • Reduced pile numbers and pile length through an in-depth review of geotechnical parameters
  • Refinement and reduction in reinforcement rates for foundations, slabs, columns, walls and beams.

Project Metrics

Project Value:
£40,000,000 GBP
Year Completed:
Building Metrics:
115m long by 30m wide
8,800m2 GIA
Education, Research & Student Accommodation

Project Metrics

University of Staffordshire
Primary Contractor:
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural Engineering & Geotechnical Engineering Peer Review

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