Metaltreat Ltd has been involved a major construction project which has seen a student hub receive a huge revamp.
The Bradford plant was called upon to galvanize 162 steel nodes and a number of flitch plates used by engineering firm SH Structures to create an innovative curved steel and timber grid shell roof on the new University of Exeter Forum, which was officially opened earlier this year by HM The Queen.
The new Forum, which has been designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, formed part of a £48 million renovation of the university’s Streatham campus, which linked together essential facilities such as the Great Hall, lecture theatres, and the Student Guild, as well as providing a new entrance and additional teaching accommodation.
The various buildings are joined together by a soaring timber-framed copper grid shell roof, which encloses 3,500 m2 of airy, column-free floor arena, making it one of the largest timber roofs of its kind. The free-form structure is made up of a number of triangular bays formed by using the steel nodes to connect a series of glulam timber members. Metaltreat Limited was approached by Sherburn-In-Elmet-based SH Structures, who supplied and installed the roof structure, to provide its specialist hot-dip galvanizing expertise on this high-profile project. The galvanizing process will prevent the structural steel components from rusting and provide an attractive, aesthetic finish to the exposed elements of the roof.
Iain McBeath, Commercial Manager of Metaltreat Limited, said: “Because of the structure of the roof, the nodes and flitch plates have numerous holes to fit wooden pegs into. Our services were called upon with this particular project because of our expertise in galvanizing mesh and perforated plates. Because of this, we were able to ensure the holes in the components were kept completely free of superfluous zinc after galvanizing, enabling the pegs to be easily slotted in.
“We were thrilled to have been involved in such a rewarding project and are very pleased with the results. The roof and canopy entrance for the Streatham campus showcase the dramatic impact of a contemporary timber grid shell roof. Wilkinson Eyre Architects have come up with a fantastic concept, one that has already received the Royal seal of approval after being opened by HM The Queen.”
Tim Burton, Sales and Marketing Manager of SH Structures, commented: “The nature and complexity of the roof meant that it had to be brought to site as a kit of parts, which was then later assembled using a full-fixed scaffold platform. Overall the project took 12 months to complete, while the galvanizing of the nodes and other components will provide a robust, protective treatment that will ensure the structure looks fantastic for many years to come.”