The challenge for Collective Architecture was to maintain the simplicity of the structure by continuing the brick facing of the façades to more than two hundred window head and colonnade soffits, without adding unnecessarily to the loading on the main steelwork frame or over-complicating the build.
Working closely with the architects we were able to develop a complete solution utilising Nexus lightweight brick faced soffit systems and lintels. Colonnade soffits to the two lower levels were constructed using the twopart Nexus brick faced support system. 70% lighter than traditional precast concrete alternatives, the Nexus units provided the lightweight modular solution needed for the high profile soffit areas. Nexus lintels, comprising Ancon SC20H channel lintels lined to the lower edge with Ibstock brick slips, were used at all window heads.
Installed during construction of the structural steel frame, Nexus brick faced soffit units were bolted directly to Ancon MDC brickwork support systems, which were pre-fixed to the steel beams.
Simple vertical and horizontal adjustment, inherent in the Nexus design, allowed the units to be adjusted to achieve perfect alignment with the main brickwork when completed.
Being lightweight, the Nexus soffit and lintel units could be lifted into position and fixed by hand, without the need for specialist lifting equipment, minimising both cost and disruption to the other trades on site. With brick slips manufactured by Ibstock from the same batch as the main brickwork and mortar added on site, the system provided a perfect colour and texture match, ensuring a flawless transition with the rest of the façade.
A total of 235 Nexus units were custom designed and prefabricated to meet requirements at all window and colonnade heads throughout the project.