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46 STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS


© Alex Upton Photography


© Jack Hobhouse


Modern methods of construction have further opened up design possibilities, enabling complicated textured brickwork patterns with a complexity of detail which would have been impossible with traditional construction


At present, the onus is on individual manufacturers to have their own products freeze-thaw tested to a higher level, and their results published. The onus is also on architects to check with the manufacturer that their specification is suitable for detailing that deviates from a standard flat panel.


There now a strong case for projecting header bricks to be tested to 100 freeze-thaw cycles (with no cracks), on all five exposed faces at projections of a minimum of 30 cm and preferably 50 cm, in order to give architects and specifiers complete reassurance that they are fit for purpose.


Victoria Gate Victoria Gate in Leeds, part of Hammerson’s Victoria Leeds Estate in Leeds city centre, was developed and inspired by its local historic and architectural context. Designed by architects ACME, the creative and innovative use of projecting brickwork produced what is considered to be one of the most intricate and distinctive brick and concrete facades in the country, with an elaborate pleated pattern on three external elevations of the new arcades building. The challenging scale and complexity of the 6,000 m2


geometric brickwork facade was delivered through a combination of WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


© Jack Hobhouse


high specification materials, the latest advances in digital technology, and last but not least, innovative use of off-site constructed pre-cast panels. Approximately 360,000 ‘Class A’ Staffordshire Red ‘snap headers’, bespoke specials and brick slips, were supplied by Ketley Brick. Purpose-designed to include perforations or ‘snaps,’ two headers were generated from each engineering brick without cutting, whilst providing a positive ‘key’ for casting onto a reinforced concrete backing.


BIM processes and 3D mould technology enabled Thorp Precast to plot and place every individual header onto the 550 pre-cast panels, seven, nine, 11 or 13 bricks wide, and repeated in differing lengths. The tops of the panels were dressed with corbelling made from full bricks with a dedicated cut out to secure them to the concrete backing panel.


Considerable time was spent researching


bricks, which not only had a precise form and sharp-edged aesthetic to suit the geometrical design, but also the physical characteristics to withstand freeze-thaw conditions at exposed projections of 25 cm on all three facades.


Alex Patrick-Smith is managing director of Ketley Brick


ADF MAY 2019


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