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The Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst has got off to a flying start with the aid of Hy-Ten’s innovative Bamtec concrete reinforcement system. Floor plates on the 9000 square metre campus were constructed more quickly and with less reinforcement material than by conventional methods. Moreover, the new building has lower embedded energy and CO2, less labour was required and rebar fixers were able to complete the task with less strain and fatigue than with individual rebar placement.

A new research and development centre for bioscience, the Catalyst caters for start-ups and small businesses. It provides new businesses with the resources of larger companies and an environment that will stimulate research and facilitate commercialisation of new discoveries. The combined laboratory, office and meeting spaces are housed in The Incubator and Accelerator. There are also meeting and conference facilities.

In seeking to offer a competitive proposal Duffy Construction approached Hy-Ten, about the application of finite element (FE) analysis and Bamtec reinforcement to the floor plates. Hy-Ten refereed them to Qube Design an independent structural design consultancy that is familiar with the application of FE analysis and Bamtec reinforcement. Qube's calculations were subsequently verified by project structural engineers Walsh Associates.

Application of Hy-Ten’s Bamtec system starts with the use of FE analysis to precisely define the zones of stress within the floor plate and around the vertical columns. Hy-Ten have a greater range of re-bar sizes available, allowing more precise specification of structural steel requirements. Reduction in the quantity of steel needed reduces proportionately the embedded energy in the structure, calculated to be equal to a 42 carbon tonne saving.

The FE analysis data was ported to robotised welding machines in the Hy-Ten factory where reinforcement carpets were produced by precision spot welding each re-bar to flexible steel tapes in the precise position required. Tagged and colour coded to indicate both the position and depth in the floor slab, in accordance with the engineer’s floor plan, the reinforcement carpets were shipped to site in sequence to meet Duffy’s stringent fixing and casting programme.

On site, the reinforcement carpets were positioned and simply rolled out in a simple two-man operation. The need for back-breaking labour to manually position and wire-in each bar is eliminated by Bamtec steel reinforcement. Continual referral back to the engineer’s drawings is not needed as once the carpet is correctly placed all the re-bars on the roll are automatically positioned accurately. Once the carpets are in place supplementary steel bars may be located manually according to the engineer’s instructions.

Bamtec enabled Duffy to save 30 percent on labour and still complete each floor plate in less time than with conventional methods. The Bamtec system is greatly appreciated by re-bar fixers who are less prone to back strain and injury.

More Information

Richard Webster, Director, Tel. +44 (0)151 525 1745 Fax. +44 (0)151 523 2252
E-mail: Web:
Hy-Ten Ltd, Bridle Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L30 4UG, UK

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