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Mabey Hire enables complex new development in Glasgow’s financial district


Mabey Hire has today announced the use of its unique propping system and BIM (Building Information Modelling) services to facilitate a complex new build development which incorporates the existing façade of a historic Grade I listed building in the heart of Glasgow’s financial district.

As part of the £500k+ contract, Mabey Hire is working in collaboration with BAM Construct UK for its clients BAM Properties and TCP Developments Limited to provide a temporary propping system, which will hold up the building’s original and listed façade, while the construction of a new development takes place. This will result in a combined building area of 284,000 square feet of Grade A office space, ready for use in 2020.

The façade was supported by an existing façade retention system on its inside face, which was replaced by Mabey Hire’s Mass 50 solution. This façade-retention system provides transitional building support on the building’s outside face as construction is finalised and the permanent supports are put in place over the next year.

Alongside retaining the historic façade, BAM Properties and TCP Developments Limited and Glasgow Council required a solution which would avoid full road closures in a busy city centre location. Mabey Hire implemented a unique technique based on extensive previous façade propping experience, which reduced the width of the propping system, using the weight of the façade to create a seesaw arrangement and therefore avoiding the need for excessive kentledge. This means one of Glasgow’s main city centre one-way road networks has remained open and running throughout the project.

To aid this bespoke and technical project, Mabey Hire is using its BIM solution, which includes the creation of a highly accurate 3D model to produce a digital representation of the 175-tonne façade retention system. Through this modelling software, Mabey Hire could test in advance how its Mass 50 solution would work, monitoring for any potential clashes with the façade in advance, so measurements could be tweaked accordingly. Through this, Mabey Hire’s engineers and construction team in Garswood have made virtual ‘site visits’ through Virtual Reality (VR) systems, using the information to keep the customer updated on a day-to-day basis and showing them via digital images how the propping system works.

The more traditional and established approach would have used 2D drawings to assess how the retention system performs and holds under different propping arrangements. Mabey Hire has demonstrated the benefits of this VR system to BAM Construction in person, saving several weeks that would have been spent travelling to and from Glasgow to see the site in person.

Malcom Boyd, Construction Manager, BAM Construct UK, comments: “One of the key challenges of this development is the replacement of the existing façade support to release the development site area, and for this to be done without damaging the existing façade, which forms part of Glasgow’s unique history. Due to their experience in this area, Mabey Hire was able to provide a unique and quick solution which is enabling the development to progress without significant disruption to one of the city’s main road networks. As one of the leading temporary works providers of BIM, Mabey Hire has worked with us collaboratively to develop and provide a solution which allows the main works to progress as planned. We are looking forward to expanding this partnership during the construction phases.”

Dave Holland, Engineering Director, Mabey Hire comments: “Digital engineering is transforming the speed, safety and efficiency of delivering construction projects such as this. BIM played a key role in ensuring that all the parties involved in this project had a clear understanding of how our propping solution would work, whilst enabling us to make faster and more accurate calculations.”

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Mass 50

Our Mass range is one of the most versatile modular shoring and propping systems available on the UK market. Our Mass 50 propping system has been designed with maximum flexibility in mind, and using a large range of off-the-shelf components, can be used to create individual shoring, brace towers, trusses and large, complex façade retention structures.

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