The use of concrete bricks, supplied by Marshalls Bricks & Masonry, contributed to both cost and schedule control during the construction of a premium waterside apartment development in Birmingham as well as providing sustainability benefits too.
Located on a former boat yard site adjacent to the famous Old Birmingham Canal, Ultima at Sherborne Wharf is a premium collection of 87 one and two-bedroom apartments in Birmingham city centre.
Developed and built by Crest Nicholson, the 10-storey new build was originally specified and approved at the planning stage as clay brick but looking to meet budgetary and availability requirements, the design team approached Marshalls Bricks & Masonry to seek an alternative solution.
With stringent planning guidelines to work to, Marshalls recommended a list of cost-effective options closest to those already approved, together with physical sample boards for visual review.
The design team selected two facing brick options from the Marshalls Sandstock range. This particular range has the appearance of a waterstruck stock brick but with the benefit of dimensional accuracy to ease construction.
The preferred options were the Hampton Stock and Waddon Stock, which were submitted to planning and approved.
Requiring a quick turnaround, from initial contact to delivery, a total of 341,000 concrete bricks were delivered within just two months by Marshalls.
Most of the apartment block features Hampton Stock, an almost buff red brick, created from using more muted tones of red and orange. This particular brick also features the occasional subtle black brick running sporadically throughout, which helps the brickwork tie-in to the building’s powder-coated balconies, windows and doors.
Intermittently, between the storeys, the bricks are stacked vertically, adding subtle design detailing to the building.
The scheme also benefits from a sustainability perspective. According to available Environmental Product Declarations, concrete bricks have a lower embodied carbon than clay bricks and are 100% recyclable. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions arising from the extraction, manufacturing and transportation, installation, maintenance and ultimate disposal of materials. Reducing these emissions will be crucial to mitigate the industry’s impact on climate change.
Commenting on Marshalls involvement, Julian Lee, Technical Director at Crest Nicholson, said: “We initially decided to go with facing bricks from the Marshalls Bricks & Masonry range as they enabled us to come within budget while still allowing us to get the colour we wanted for the site.
“After working with the concrete bricks, we found they worked really well with the added benefit of the sustainability access that comes with them.
“The Marshalls Bricks & Masonry team came to site and worked with ourselves and the site bricklayers to overcome any questions or concerns. All in all, the building appearance with these bricks finishes well.”
Part of Marshalls PLC, Marshalls Bricks & Masonry is a leading UK supplier of sustainable concrete products for the construction industry. For more information, visit https://www.marshalls.co.uk/
To read about Marshalls Bricks & Masonry delivering a sustainable alternative for the Merlin Rise Development in Wiltshire, click here.
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