Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The fast show

NEW CONCRETE ENGINEERING Prefabrication - This summer, contractor Cameron Building has mostly been constructing a 166 bedroom hotel - complete with bathrooms, lifts and stairwells - in just 12 weeks. NCE finds out how.

On the St Helier Marina in Jersey over the past few months, contractor Cameron Building has been erecting Bell & Webster's Fastbuild accommodation pods at a rate of nearly 14 bedrooms a week.

The units will form part of the capital's newest four star hotel, and will be the focus for the marina's regeneration. Client for the £21M six-storey building is Waterfront Hotel Development and Ironbridge Estates.

The Fastbuild technique is being used on 166 of the 198 bedrooms. This includes prefabricated bedrooms, bathrooms, stairwells and liftshafts that are craned into position on top of a first floor steel frame structure.

Contractors are currently installing the last of the roof panels for the pods.

'If we'd built the hotel using traditional construction techniques, it would have taken seven months, ' says Cameron Building commercial director Marc Burton.

The refabricated accommodation makes use of factory-engineered concrete for every vertical and horizontal element.

Panels are craned into position and connected up using hidden xings with small amounts of grout to hide the joints.

This provides good acoustic properties with a high quality internal surface ready to paint or carpet, and an external face that can be clad. Window openings were specied at design stage and will span the full floor-toceiling height.

The pods were installed with riser spaces already cut out, but filled with polystyrene and capped with a thin layer of concrete, ready to be broken out to accommodate mechanical and electrical services.

'This prevents the ingress of water into the structure, ' says Bell & Webster marketing manager Roy Spurgeon.

'Once the windows are installed, the structure itself will have a high degree of weather tightness and hence the other trades can be greatly accelerated compared to a traditional build programme.' The main challenge for the contractor was to ensure that the prefabricated elements arrived on site in good time and in the right order. The Fastbuild units were manufactured in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and took three days to reach Jersey by road and ferry.

The rest of the complex is still being built, ready for opening in 2007.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.