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Student Accommodation
Architectural Concrete

Residential Accommodation

Modular Build System

Apartment construction has become increasingly popular as a modular build alternative to traditional steel and insitu concrete frame methods. The system adopted uses cross-wall construction in a similar method to the hotel construction system, but differs in that the variability of room layouts and external elevations require differing techniques and innovative thinking to produce fast-build economical solutions.

The options for apartments are both extensive and flexible providing key criteria in design are met. Precast Structures Ltd has broad experience in developing solutions for alternative construction, particularly suited to the Design & Build market.

Benefits include:

  • Direct decorative finish to walls with only minor pre-decoration treatment, negating the requirements for wet plaster.
  • Optional methods of floor construction, allowing flexibility for individual client requirements, including:
    • Traditional hollow-core.
    • Wide slab composite flooring.
    • Pre-finished solid slabs.
  • Direct soffit finishing in replacement of suspended ceilings, significantly reducing construction build costs
  • Reduced structural zone without downstands.
  • Construction of common stairs and lift cores as the erection progresses, permitting early access for subsequent trades.
  • Pre-fitted windows.
  • External pre-finished cladding panels, grey concrete inner leaf only, or curtain-walling / metal stud permitting total flexibility in elevational treatment.

Apartment construction is usually designed with traditional building solutions which are subsequently modified during the design process to obtain a competitive edge in Design & Build solutions. The benefits of early consultation with Precast Structures will result in significant savings in both cost and time, resulting from economical manufacture solutions and reduced erection periods.


PCS continues with another successful year having recently secured an order from Willmott Dixon Housing (Shefford), in association with Glen Howells Architects (Birmingham) for their new site at Parkside Place, Cambridge. The development comprises of four new apartment buildings, varying from three to eight storeys in height, PCS have designed a precast concrete frame solution utilising a combination of twin wall, load bearing internal precast walls, hollowcore flooring and precast staircases. The structural package also includes an architectural precast facade of composite panels comprising of an inner skin of precast, insulation layer and an outer skin of Portland Buff colour acid etched concrete.

The project is a re development of the old fire station site, the new build includes a new replacement facility, and continues the local area redevelopment plan. This £4m order for PCS will be complete in a programme over 25 weeks and continues our recent success in social housing and education markets, expanding our success in the core areas of hotels and student accommodation for which we are renowned.


Block Q, Portishead

PCS have recently received the order for the, design, manufacture and erection of the precast frame of Block Q Portishead, from Vinci Construction acting on behalf of Crest Nicholson. This is the second significant project that PCS have worked in conjunction with Stride Treglowan Architects.

As designed the project has an insitu transfer slab at level one, over a ground floor car park. Above this PCS have designed a six storey block with a total of 94 apartments. These apartments are a mix of Private open market and Housing Association. The project combines the benefits of precast hollowcore floors, solid Crosswalls and precast staircases. This combination of; prefabricated units allow lateral restraint, diaphragm action, and progressive collapse design, to be fully integrated in a simple, yet effective design solution. Vinci Contractors begin on site in January 2011, with PCs starting in April with a planned 13 week programme. As can be seen from the architects visualisation drawings, the completed structure will provide a stunning backdrop to the harbour.

This design of a truly magnificent site at Port Marine has been delicately handled to respect the urban grain and diversity of Portishead alongside the urban design and commercial strategy of a high quality, high profile modern development culminating in a master plan of great depth and sustainability.


Please take a look at our Case Study: The Hub