29 August, 2019

Masonry support and restraint products from the Vista Engineering Group have been used in a landmark new student accommodation block for St Edmunds College, Cambridge.

Mount Pleasant Halls, which replaces a 1970’s ‘eyesore’ office block, stands in what is now the West Cambridge Conservation Area and provides beds for 275 students and staff, including several self-contained apartments.

The area’s conservation status dictated a number of planning points in order to make sure the new building respected its setting and context. These included the design and colour of its brick facades, which were overseen by local specialist contractor, Anglian Brickwork Limited.

Anglian Brickwork Limited worked closely with engineers at GA Fixings, part of the Vista Engineering group, to develop the bespoke Masonry Support systems required. Orders were fulfilled through builders’ merchant Strukta.

GA Fixings’ Director Richard Baker explains the process:

‘Anglian Brickwork Limited provided us with Architectural plans highlighting where support was required and section details to aid us in determining the height and loads to be supported, in this case 9kN/m. Our brief was to design the masonry support, and to produce layouts and detailed drawings for the design team’s approval.

‘On approval by the design team, we manufactured each product to the required specification. Our layout drawings were then used on site to set out the support angles in their correct location.’

Anglian Brickwork Limited are BDA Brick Development Association award winners, renowned for their highly detailed approach to each project, often taking on bespoke tasks that other contractors might turn down because of the level of specialist brickwork knowledge and experience needed.

In the Vista Engineering Group, the company recognised it had found a partner that shared those same exacting standards of accuracy and product quality.

Having never worked with the Vista Group before, Anglian Brickwork Contracts Manager Jono Bourne was highly impressed:

‘Strukta came to us with prices from several providers, the most competitive of which was Vista’s. After that, it was a matter of dealing direct with Richard and his engineers. We were impressed with the standard of the design drawings and their grasp of our project needs. Deadlines were always met and what few problems there were, Vista sorted out quickly and completely.’

With Mount Pleasant Halls on course for the next intake of students in the Autumn, Anglian Brickwork are now planning to work with Vista on further projects, starting with the nearby Northstowe Education Centre, where they will be using Vista’s most recent new product, a suspended brick soffit system.

For further information on the support we’re able to give you contact us on 01663 736700

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