Pushing the limits of modular design.
Built as an apartment complex for students at the University of Wolverhampton, Victoria Hall consists of four buildings, and is a substantial architectural solution to urban housing and tight building sites in this historic English town, about 110 miles northwest of London. The tallest building of the group is of particular note because, at 25 stories, it now holds the record for overall height and number of stories in a building constructed principally off-site. The ground floor is site-built, but the other 24 stories are assembled from 383 individual modules built several hundred miles away across land and sea in Cork, Ireland.
Challenged with the multiple pressures of speed, quality, and scale, the project team investigated alternative methods of project delivery. Vision Modular Structures, a division of The Fleming Group, entered the picture. The Fleming Group is a general contractor, Vision is their modular building division. Fleming/Vision, which has completed several other modular projects in their native Ireland, was contracted to build both the modules and the site-built components. Fleming also provided general construction management.
Considering that the demands of this project in general were substantial and that this project is the first time many on the project team had worked with modular methods, it is interesting to know that when asked if they would do it again, the common response is “absolutely.”
“In spite of this being a new method for most team members, the project went smoothly, quickly, stayed on budget, maintained our quality objectives and architectural integrity, and will actually be done ahead of our originally aggressive schedule, ” says Jenny Hayes, RIBA, O’Connell East’s project architect on Victoria Hall.
It is hard to argue with that.
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© Miletus Group, Inc. 2011