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The Walls

Southampton

Conversion and vertical extension to existing office block to 79 student studios and associated common areas in the basement.

The existing three storey building and basement was completed in two phases, with phase 1 comprising the design and conversion of the existing office block over the basement to the second floor in order to create 45 studio apartments.

This also included works to the existing façade. Phase 2 comprised the design and vertical extension of a further two floors to provide an additional 34 studio apartments. Externally, the building benefitted from both soft and hard landscaping, with a reconfiguration of the car park together with main incoming services.

The basement of The Walls has been developed to form social areas of an exceptional quality; including a cinema room, lounge, games room, laundry, and state of the art gym.

 

Employer: Eastbury Developments (Southampton) Limited

Employers Agent: DBK

Quantity Surveyor: DBK

Structural Engineer: Smith Foster

Architect: Falconer Chester Hall

Value: £4.2m

Duration: 41 weeks

 

Construction Notes

The 2 new floors added to the top of the existing building were constructed using hot rolled steel flat framework (working in a similar way to foundations) with a Metsec structure on top. The Metsec was used for all of the new walls, floors and roof as one structure. The roof was flat with a single ply membrane finish on top of insulation cut to falls. External walls were heavily insulated and finished externally with brick slips (GeBrik).

The existing building was constructed of insitu concrete with clay pots within the floor slabs. This affected the internal layout design, especially with regards to locating the new service routes. Adding 79 new studios, including a kitchen and en-suite in each introduces a large amount of services into what was an office. This also meant a new sewer connection was needed in the road.

Internal walls were all lightweight metalwork frame with plasterboard. The specification differed in some areas to ensure acoustic and fire rating was consistent. The only exception was the addition of a cast insitu reinforced concrete shear wall through the centre, to ensure structural stability.

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