Europe’s first strongfloor completed

20 February 2018 | By James Kenny

The first strongfloor in Europe has been built by Galliford Try as a key part of the new £40m Airbus Wing Integration Centre at Flitton, Bristol.

The state-of-the-art 10,000 sq m centre will become the worldwide hub for researching, designing, analysing and testing aircraft wings, to develop the wings of tomorrow. This giant station will test aeroplane wings for a cycle of around two years, replicating a shelf life of around 25 years.

The strongfloor is a 2m deep heavily reinforced concrete slab, supported on 55 open bore piles of 1,050mm diameter at depths up to 16 m. Built with more than 3,500 cu m of concrete supplied by CEMEX, the strongfloor also incorporates an increased percentage of ground-granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS).

Richard Kershaw, national technical manager at CEMEX, said: “The main challenge for CEMEX was the design of concrete and potential heat generated by such a large mass, which is influenced by the amount of cement per cu m.

“The addition of the GGBS and reduction in the percentage of CEM I reduced the problem and resulted in the specified strength required being achieved in 56 days rather than the original 28 days.

“In addition, the complex design of steel reinforcement meant that compaction was an issue so an S4 concrete with more liquidity and therefore able to flow through the mesh of steel rods was supplied,” said Richard Kershaw, national technical manager.

As well as being the first strongfloor in Europe, the laying of the floor slab involved continuous pour of 1,450 cu m over 24 hours. Concrete was supplied by three local CEMEX plants in Bristol, Henbury and Wickwar.

The floor involved 13 weeks of work to construct the complex steel and rebars, which were installed by local contractor Tercon prior to the pour.

The project is jointly funded by Airbus and the UK government and the Airbus Wing Integration Centre is planned to be operational at the end of 2018.


Great to see in Construction Manager. This scheme is not only being delivered by a great company with great collaborative people and supply chain, but also Members and Fellows of the Institute.

Mark Wusthoff FCIOB, 20 February 2018

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