In pictures | Five innovative uses of structural steel

1 April 2019

Photo: New Steel Construction

CM looks at some inventive applications for constructional steel, from a listed church spire to marine foundations on a Docklands development.

Weathering steel supports Canary Wharf scheme

The Heron Quays Pavilion in London’s Docklands (pictured above) has a highly unusual structure, designed specifically for its marine environment, with a weathering steel grillage supporting the building.

The five-storey leisure club is being constructed on existing marine piles, constructed in the 1980s to support a since-demolished office, which are encased in steel and still usable.

Above the piles, fabricator Elland Structures installed 400 tonnes of weathering steel, chosen for its corrosion protection properties, to form the deck of the building, and another 1,200 tonnes for the main structure. Main contractor Canary Wharf expects to complete the project in June.

Inspired engineering in Aberdeen

Photo: New Steel Construction

An Aberdeen student accommodation development is being carefully constructed around a Grade A-listed church spire, using a steel frame. Named the Triple Kirks, after the 1840s era church, the project comprises three interlinked blocks up to 13 storeys high, with 337 en-suite units.

The structural design uses a concrete core in each of the blocks, with composite floors using metal decking and a concrete topping, supported on steel beams. Working for developer-constructor Dandara, steel fabricator EvadX has installed 600 tonnes of structural steel on the three blocks, which surround the spire forming an open courtyard.

Redeveloping legendary Leeds sporting venue

Photo: New Steel Construction

Headingley has the unusual distinction of a stand with back-to-back seating facing on to two different sporting venues: the homes of Yorkshire cricket and, immediately to the south, the Leeds rugby league team.

As part of the wider redevelopment of Headingley, this stand is currently being rebuilt – around sporting fixtures – with a 29m-long cantilevered steel roof over the new seating on the rugby side, and a barrel-vaulted steel roof extending 26m over the cricket side.

Working for main contractor Caddick, Hambleton Steel has used 1,800 tonnes of steel on the stand, which is due to open next month.

Manchester’s latest Landmark

Photo: New Steel Construction

One of Manchester’s largest new commercial developments is the Landmark in St Peter’s Square, where the use of a steel frame has allowed spacious and flexible floorplates throughout the 180,000 sq ft office.

Secondary beams span approximately 17.6m from the single central core to the perimeter columns. Steelwork contractor Billington Structures has installed 1,800 tonnes of structural steel on the 14-storey building, working for main contractor B+K. The new office opens this summer.

Education campus in the Scottish Borders

Image: Grimshaw Architects

The £32m Jedburgh Intergenerational Community Campus in the south of Scotland is using a steel frame to deliver an architecturally impressive design.

Situated above the town, the scheme is two storeys high at the front and three storeys at the rear to accommodate the sloping site.

It includes a cantilevered roof canopy which extends to 7.5m deep at the front and 4.5m on other elevations. Hescott Engineering erected the 800 tonnes of steelwork, during a 12-week programme, for main contractor BAM. The campus opens in spring 2020.


Anyone know any good examples of where reclaimed steel has ben used for building structures in the UK?

Clive Bowman, 16 April 2019

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