Manchester Arndale Centre

Case Study: A world first project requiring Waterproofing Design Specialists

Job type: Waterproofing buildings
Location: Arndale Centre, Manchester

What our Waterproofing Specialists did

  • Removing the glazed facade of a building to fit a curved digital media screen (for advertising) above the busiest shopping street in Manchester.
  • Removing the glass to attach the screen = rainwater ingress.
  • Trace designed and re-constructed the waterproof line of the building behind the screen, including insulation and vapour barrier to comply with building regulations.
  • Working with Eckersley O’Callaghan – Structural Engineers specialising in glass structures (see their amazing work for Apple here).

Innovators at a company called MediaCo, looked for a way to install a digital screen, to the Arndale Centre where this spans over Market Street in Manchester.

They rejected proposals to bolt the screen to a steel frame on the outside of the building, on account of aesthetics.  They wanted the screen to become part of the building.

Eckersley O’Callaghan said, if the digital screen weighs less than the glass, remove the glass and attach the screen to the glazing frame, and so it progressed on that basis.

We had a number of challenges:

  • Majority of site works undertaken at night to minimise impact on shopping centre.
  • Working to strict security procedures in place at the shopping centre.
  • Finding waterproofing materials tested and certified for fire to meet building regs.
  • Designing to insulate while preventing interstitial condensation.

Many waterproofing installers work using waterproofing material supplier ‘typical details’.  These are common designs for common structures.  They’re fine, and we ourselves have our own library of 100+ details, but sometimes typical details won’t cut it, and you have to design for yourself.

Never was this more true than on this project but we analysed, researched, designed, revised and eventually produced a design which we then were able to implement on site and the results speak for themselves.

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