Thames Tower Redevelopment, Reading
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Located in the heart of Reading town centre, the existing ‘Thames Tower’ concrete office block, constructed back in the 1970’s, has been given a new lease of life by Shipley Structures with an enlarged footprint at each floor level, in conjunction with a five-storey steel frame extension above level 11.
Through an innovative design proposal, the core of the existing structure was maintained and developed using a series of steel strengthening works throughout the height of the concrete frame, along with the provision of five additional steel-framed office floors to increase the nett usable internal areas.
The steel frame inclusions on the project fell into three categories:
1. Strengthening works to the existing concrete frame
The supply and installation of 15mm thick resin-bonded stiffening plates to the full width of the existing concrete columns
Fabricated ‘cruciform’ stiffening brackets at the column heads, in order to disperse the upper load transfer from the new five-storey roof structure and ‘temporary’ roof-mounted tower crane.
2. Steel frame extensions to enhance the usable internal floor areas of the existing building structure
This included the introduction of additional externally mounted perimeter support beams, with metal deck flooring and associated concrete topping infills.
The re-structuring of the 4no. existing 45˚ corners to create a perfectly square building structure. This was achieved by installing a new external steel column to each of the building’s corners with secondary infill framing, which were again metal decked / concrete topped throughout the full height of the building ie. approximately 60 metres.
This work has increased the tower’s floor space from 13,600m2 to approximately 17,000m2 of offices and 740m2 of restaurant/café space.
3. The provision of a five-storey steel frame extension above level 11, using ‘westok’ Cellform steel sections
The new upper five-story steelwork extension is connected to the new / existing framework at ‘level 11’.
Each floor is formed with a series ‘Westok’ cellular beams that accommodate services and support a metal deck flooring system.
The supply, delivery and site installation of all steel frame elements and all subsequent metal decking / ‘lightweight’ concrete topping operations on the project were undertaken by Shipley Structures Ltd.
The cost of the scheme was reduced dramatically from the original ‘new build’ concept by the re-use of the existing concrete core, with the aforementioned steel adaptions.
- Steel weight – 660 tonnes
This project was recently featured in the March 2016 edition of the 'New Steel Construction' magazine, a copy of which you can find below.