Corefast - fast route to market!
20 Sep 2008
Speed of construction is a vital element in the creation of a new £25 million phase of shops, bars, restaurants and clubs at Stables Market, in the highly popular Camden Town street market area in North London.
The project consists of two phases, one of which has already been completed. The second phase comprises a five-storey structure with two basement levels, and three levels above ground scheduled to be occupied by market traders. The site has restricted access being bordered by other markets and an elevated section of railway line which has attractive brick arches that are being retained in the scheme.
Main contractor McGee Group, faced with client pressure to complete the scheme as quickly as possible, carried out an extensive review of different fast track construction options. The company decided on a top-down approach to progress both above and below the ground floor slab. McGee also selected a rapid erect system, Corefast, to construct the building’s three structural cores which house the lifts and stairs.
Corefast is a modular off-site system that enables building cores to be constructed up to six times faster than traditional concrete cores. It is made from Bi-Steel panels, which are erected on site then filled with ready mixed concrete to provide a strong, rigid core that is highly accurate and quick to erect. In the case of the Stables Market scheme the original contract envisaged the entire project being handed over at the end of the 87-week construction programme – this was mainly due to the fact that traditional cores need to be fully erected before construction of the steel frame can be progressed. However due to Corefast’s inherent flexibility it might be possible to achieve a phased handover meaning that some market units could be let in advance of others.
Another important benefit of Corefast is that it significantly lowered the number of truck journeys involved in the construction of the three cores, removing vehicles from this congested part of London and reducing carbon emissions. Six to eight trucks were required to deliver the panels for each Corefast core, whereas an equivalent concrete core would have involved about 18 trucks to deliver the required amount of materials.