Imperial Tobacco, Bristol

Project: Imperial Tobacco, Bristol

Imperial Tobacco’s new global headquarters building in Bristol is being equipped with a state-of-the-art offsite prefabricated building services solution from Pipe Center’s Modular Engineering.

The modular system for the 83,000 sq ft flagship building is being installed by T Clarke for main contractor BAM Construction. It is anticipated that it will cut installation time onsite by up to 85 per cent, according to T Clarke.

The system consists of around 211 combined electrical-mechanical modules and both electrical and mechanical risers, containing pipe work for heating, chilled water, electrical containment, fully equipped distribution boards, rising busbar and cabling.

The building, located to the south of Bristol city centre, is designed to be highly sustainable and incorporates a wide range of natural materials and technologies to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent and an EPC Rating of 33.

The multi-million pound four-storey concrete framed building will bring together a number of Imperial Tobacco departments currently spread across different buildings in the city. It will have a zinc-clad façade, and extensive glazing and curtain walling.

The modular services are delivered to site fully pre-tested, and simply lifted into position in ceiling voids and connected up.

Ellis John, managing director at T Clarke, said: “We decided on a modular pre-fabricated approach for the risers due to the tight timescale on the project. It would not have been possible to deliver by conventional methods.

“Having taken a modular approach on the risers, we looked at what other parts of the system could be pre-fabricated offsite, and concluded the project lent itself to a modular approach.”

Keith Ashenhurst, mechanical project manager heading up the installation at T Clarke, added: “We worked closely with Pipe Center’s Modular Engineering team on the detailed planning and design work. It is critical to get this right in order to reap the benefits later on. It saved us significantly on installation time onsite and the project has gone very smoothly.”

In addition to saving installation time, it has resulted in significantly reduced materials wastage onsite and delivered improved health and safety.

Ross Cameron, project manager for BAM Construction, said: “I was extremely pleased with the minimisation of both programme time and wastage.  However, the biggest benefit from our perspective was the huge reduction in the time spent by operatives working at height compared with traditional installation methods.”

The building is scheduled for completion in February 2013.