New University Hub gets full support from JP Concrete
4 December 2018
Pre-cast panels from JP Concrete have created an important new retaining wall that forms part of Keele University’s multi-million-pound investment in a new Management School and Smart Innovation Hub.
Working closely alongside leading construction company Bouygues UK, JP Concrete supplied x24 6m high concrete panels for the Hub, which together with the new school is designed to provide accommodation to support the creation and growth of innovation-led businesses. Alongside major new facilities, the building of these two new spaces will enable the Staffordshire-based University to grow its established programme of collaborative research, development and innovation support to local firms.
“Working on a split-level site is always awkward”, said Mike McCormick, Operations Director for Bouygues UK, “and the installation presented many challenges because the wings of the retaining wall went right up to a footpath that had to be held up during temporary works. We needed to work quickly, but late design changes meant lots of foundations were required, which wasn’t originally anticipated. This was a test for us to keep everything on track for the University at a crucial stage - and meant that JP Concrete had to be very flexible indeed”.
In fact, the first retaining wall design for the Smart Innovation Hub was for it to be cast in-situ, but after consultation with its client, Bouygues’ proposal for a quicker, value engineering solution was chosen.
Mike McCormick added: “This installation has been demanding at times, but overall, we’ve been very impressed with the team at JP Concrete, who were determined to deliver a quality job, no matter what”.
By 2021 - and as a result of the new Smart Innovation Hub facility, Keele University plans to grow its established programme of business support accessed via its dedicated Business Gateway, by an additional 300 business collaborations, leading to the creation of at least 80 new high-value jobs. An independent appraisal signals that by 2033, investment in facilities and programme of business-collaboration will contribute an additional £50M to the local economy.
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