Concrete Valley is working on Battersea’s skyline, London.
In 2017, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) announced its plans for the new head office. Only one and a half kilometres (one mile) from the current location. Concrete Valley companies, Waco and mbX, produce the various prefabricated façade elements and GRC ceiling elements for this new head office.
THE NEW WHEEL HEADQUARTERS
Increasingly high demands are being made on high-quality dance education. To meet these demands, the new building will be equipped with ultramodern facilities. In this way, the organisation wants to further strengthen ties with the local community and expand its involvement in international dance teacher training. The new home of RAD, as conceived by T-SA Architects, is a continuation of the city. Rooms and spaces are connected by a network of inner streets and urban squares. Dance is about connecting with music, with a partner, with yourself or with an audience. This is reflected in the interior to encourage dancers, students, teachers, staff and visitors to connect in the space.
CUSTOM-MADE CEILING AND FACADE ELEMENTS
For this building project in the centre of London, Concrete Valley produces various precast concrete elements such as beams, lintels, columns and facade elements. The challenge was the weight reduction and perfect surface finish on all sides. The large-volume elements have a core of EPS. As a result, a weight saving of 60% has been achieved and the elements still meet the structural requirements. A production line has been set up for the production of the elements to produce all the elements in one go in an effective manner. During production, the moulds for the columns, beams and lintels are provided with formwork foil. This ensures fewer air bubbles on the surface of the concrete and an even better finish. Various wall panels are provided with a special pattern. For example, wall elements with a star pattern and a butterfly pattern have been produced. These elements adorn the ground floor of Royal Academy of Dance.
SLIM-LINE CEILING ELEMENTS OF GRC
The thin-walled and ‘hollow’ ceiling elements are produced with glass fibre-reinforced concrete GRC. By applying the spraying technique, the elements could be made ultra-thin, which also resulted in a significant weight saving. One of the advantages of spraying concrete is that the elements can be made much thinner, namely 3 cm.
COOPERATION BETWEEN CONCRETE VALLEY COMPANIES
For the realisation of this project, Waco, mbX and Timber Structures joined forces. Each from his discipline and specialism contributed to the project. Timber Structures is a specialist in woodworking and made the moulds for concrete production. Among other things, the star and butterfly pattern moulds come from Timber Structures’ modelling workshop. Waco is a specialist in precast concrete and has been active in the concrete industry since 1888. Waco produced various structural elements, including the facade elements with custom-made patterns, columns, beams and lintels. mbX specialises in glass fibre-reinforced concrete and high-strength concrete, makers of geometric complex shapes. GRCA member mbX produced the thin-scaled and lightweight GRC ceiling elements.