Project Description

FP McCann’s Precast Concrete Modular Building System Installed on 18 Block Student Accommodation at University of York

Project: University of York. New Student Accommodation – Heslington East Campus

Client: University of York/Equitix

Architect: Sheppard Robson

Main Contractor: Graham

FP McCann Installation Contractor: McVey Stone

Products Supplied: Precast Concrete Crosswall/Insulated Sandwich Panels (Architectural Finish) Modular Building System; Precast Stairs and Landings; Precast Structural Columns;Architectural Cladding Panels

FP McCann’s structural precast concrete building and architectural façades division has worked in close partnership with national construction group Graham on the construction of a 1480 bed student accommodation project, part of York University’s “Campus for the Future” masterplan. The £130 million flagship scheme which will help transform the Heslington East Campus commenced in 2019 and is due for completion ahead of the 2022 academic year.

Architect on the project Sheppard Robson designed the residential development in a natural waterside setting which has been broken down into 18 blocks that step down from four to three storeys in height as they get closer to the waterfront. The strong, simple forms of the precast concrete modular blocks, characterised by striking architectural finishes, have been designed to be a modern interpretation of the character of the university’s original 1960s campus.

Working closely alongside Sheppard Robson and main contractor Graham, FP McCann were able to satisfy the requirement for the design and build project to fully embrace Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). The key elements of MMC include prefabricated insulated sandwich panels with integrated external brick faced, acid-etched and stencilled finishes, factory fitted windows, first fix services and factory finished internal walls and ceilings.

Sub-contractor to FP McCann, Ulster based precast concrete installation specialist McVey Stone, has constructed the 18 block precast modular buildings in just 58 weeks. The off-site manufactured precast concrete crosswall/insulated sandwich panel system was specified on the build to enhance quality, safety and sustainability. Construction times were reduced by up to 60% and significant other benefits associated with MMC such as reduced wastage and all weather working were achieved.

FP McCann has manufactured and delivered a total of 7177 individual precast concrete units for the internal structural frames and the cladding envelopes, including walls, floor slabs and external architectural sandwich panels. Additionally and included in the supply contract, are precast stairs and landings, precast concrete columns and architectural cladding to support steels on all overhang areas.

The internal crosswall sections are 160mm, 180mm & 200mm thick and the external sandwich facade panels are 465mm thick. The inner leaf of the sandwich panel is typically a 150mm thick structural concrete skin designed to carry its own dead loading and that of the external skin. Insulation between the concrete faces is 200mm thick and the outer concrete/brick façade 115mm. The facade skin of the sandwich panels is a combination of half brick and projecting full solid bricks, acid-etched smooth concrete finish and an acid-etched architectural stencilled design, created using the Reckli rubber formliner system. The precast units were manufactured at FP McCann’s Byley, Littleport and Grantham manufacturing facilities and delivered on a just-in-time basis.

Commenting on the build Special Projects Director for Graham, Neil McFarlane says, “We adopted the FP McCann off-site modular precast concrete building system for our construction programme, as we recognise it is a well tried and tested methodology that brings enhanced quality and delivery confidence to such ambitious residential development schemes. The consortium of companies has delivered innovative, energy efficient and sustainable living to support student and University growth at York.”

For further information on FP McCann’s architectural and structural solutions, contact the team at
BYLEY 01606 843500 | GRANTHAM 01476 562277 | LITTLEPORT 01353 861416