Summary

Client: Galliford Try
Location: Birmingham City University Conservatoire
Value: £57m

Project Description

The new £57 million state-of-the-art Conservatoire is part of Birmingham City University and is the first building of its type to be built in the UK for 30 years. The 7-storey structure, a reinforced concrete frame founded on CFA piles, includes five new public performance spaces, including a 500-seat concert hall, a 150-seat recital hall and a 100-seat organ studio.

Galliford Try approached Rubix Consulting to undertake independent Category 3 checks of all formwork and falsework designs, which were to be used for casting new slabs, shear walls, lift cores and columns. As well as checking the proprietary components that were specified by the equipment supplier, Rubix Consulting also carried out structural checks of the permanent works to ensure that the supporting slabs could safely withstand the falsework loads.

The soffit formwork designs that were used on the BCUC project were top restraint systems, that is, they were reliant upon the surrounding part-complete reinforced concrete frame structure for lateral stability. It is usual for the formwork designer/equipment supplier to not check the structural adequacy of the permanent works in the temporary condition as was the case on the BCUC project; Rubix Consulting assessed the permanent structure for its ability to withstand the relevant lateral temporary loads. In addition, calculations were performed to determine minimum concrete strengths which the structure needed to reach before the soffit and side forms could be struck.