A Lesson in the Fast Construction of Student Accommodation

H+H’s innovative Thin-Joint System, using Celfix mortar and Multi Plate aircrete blocks, has been used to speed-up the construction of a student accommodation block at the University of Reading. 

Developed by Fawleybridge Investments, the privately operated student accommodation block, located in Regis Park Road, Reading, contains 101 bedrooms arranged in shared flats, complete with a common room and kitchen. Each bedroom includes an en-suite bathroom, which was supplied as a prefabricated pod to enhance the speed of the fit-out of the building.

Speed was most certainly of the essence in the construction of the building’s façade. The block is supported by a four-storey concrete frame of columns set at 6m centres and topped by a lightweight steel-framed mansard roof which houses the fifth level of accommodation. 

The façade is formed from a masonry cavity wall set between the frame’s concrete columns. H+H’s 610mm wide, 375mm high, 100mm wide Multi Plate aircrete blocks were used to bring speed to the construction of the cavity wall’s inner leaf. This ensured the building was weather-tight early in the construction process, enabling work to start on the interior at the earliest opportunity, while the ability to attach cavity ties after the wall was built enabled the brick outer wall to be taken off critical path planning.

The student accommodation block is one of several recent Mansell projects using H+H’s Thin-Joint System. H+H carried out the material take-off and supplied the blockwork as a packaged solution for a lump sum price, which included the supply of Celfix mortar and cavity wall ties.