St. Andrews University

Providing the solution for new student accommodation

Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. Teaching began in the community of St Andrews in 1410, and the University was formally constituted by the issue of a papal bull in 1413.

This prestigious establishment chose Creagh for the first stage of their £70 million investment in student accommodation plans for the university. The first stage of the investment called for two new accommodation buildings for the campus. The new buildings called Powell Hall and Whitehorn Hall respectively created 389 new bedrooms for the university.

Creagh provided architectural concrete cladding for the buildings including feature walls with etched lettering. 695 GFRC concrete pieces were installed across the buildings. Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete or GFRC (also known as GRC) is a type of fibre-reinforced concrete. GRC consists of high-strength glass fibres embedded in a concrete matrix. Both fibres and matrix offer a synergistic combination of properties that cannot be achieved with either of the components acting alone. The fibres provide reinforcement for the matrix, increasing its tensile strength, limiting the shrinkage and creep processes as well as eliminating curing cracking appearance.

We developed a project-specific GRC mix to match both the structural performance and aesthetics requirements. This allowed the installation of floor to floor panels with 25mm concrete skin and no steel rebar. We rose to the challenge of precise filigree moulding and different casting techniques that were required for the architectural concrete cladding panels. Among the benefits of GRC: it’s reduction in thickness provides an increased cavity and/or insulation allowance and a smaller loading to the façade. All of which significatively reduce the buildings carbon footprint whilst providing the same durability and resilience as traditional concrete.

From a political point of view, this project couldn’t have come at a better time, with Scotland facing a “clear problem” with providing accommodation for university students on campus.

In a recent article in the Scotsman, Green MSP Mark Ruskell called on the Scottish Government to hold a summit of university accommodation providers and student representatives to tackle the issue. Speaking at Holyrood, he said “It think it is clear that we have got a problem across Scotland.

“At Stirling University 180 first year students didn’t have accommodation last year. Under-18s cannot rent in the private sector, care leavers and international students struggle to find guarantors for private contracts. Disabled students very rarely find the appropriate private accommodation to meet their needs and we see increasing rents on campus as well.”

Architectural cladding by Creagh Concrete can be manufactured in a range of finishes and colours to suit any application.

Project Details

Client

Sir Robert McAlpine


fga
Location

Fife, Scotland


Products Used

Cladding Panels, Bespoke Concrete Solutions

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