Project focus: Institute of Physics development

Steve Williams, project manager for the large Institute of Physics (IOP) development in King's Cross, blogs on the progress made so far and upcoming work on the project.

We have now been on site for 14 months as we continue to construct the new state of the art home for the Institute of Physics (IOP) team in Kings Cross.

We have now demolished the existing buildings within the block while retaining two large sections of the original brickwork façade. One section is on Balfe Street, where the façade has been retained from the ground to second floor. Interestingly, the second section on Caledonian Road has been retained from the first to second floor which means, fairly uniquely, it is being kept in a suspended state using a temporary support system.


The suspended façade on Caledonian Road

The original basement slab was broken out in March 2017, with the new basement, which will descend a further three metres, now fully underpinned. ‘Vault’ areas have been exposed in this area which will eventually become storage areas for the IOP’s new basement theatre.


Basement vaults

A large Luffing tower crane has been installed in the middle of the site and neighbours should see it leaving site in February 2018.


Luffing tower crane

We have completed construction of the innovative ‘geothermal’ piles on site, driving ten piles down to a depth of approximately 80 metres. Geothermal piles are a fantastic source of renewable energy, cheap to run and good for reducing CO2 emissions. The piles will use the natural underground temperature of the earth to heat and cool the building as well as provide hot water. The piles have pipes within them that use water to transfer the heat from the earth to the building as required.

We are currently continuing to install the basement concrete slab in sectional pours. By using sectional pours it allows us to make progress on the walls that sit in front of the underpin walls around the perimeter of the building.

The walls will be a mixture of high quality finish with visual concrete face and standard concrete finish. The standard finish walls will be formed using a sprayed concrete, applied in layers and trowelled off for a finish. The visual concrete walls will be constructed using a double layer of high quality shuttering boards with minimal fixings to ensure the finish is smooth and blemish free

We have a very full programme for the coming weeks which will include removing the remaining spoil from the basement excavation and completing the new basement slab, completing the temporary support works to the Be@One bar next door and beginning to construct the new buildings perimeter wall.

After the walls are constructed we will begin to apply a waterproof render to them, as well as the basement to ground floor concrete columns and walls.

After that we will start to see the new building taking shape as we start the ground floor decking in preparation to concrete for the ground floor slab.

Click here to view the IOP case study and find out more about the project.


Posted Friday, June 23, 2017 by Steve Williams

Construction and development, Projects, People, Construction & property

About Steve Williams

Steve is an experienced project manager working for Murphy's construction, development and property services team.

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