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City living: intelligent screed solutions

Galliard Homes’ Baltimore Tower is an exclusive 45-storey residential development in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf. With its striking design offering coveted high-rise homes in one of the city’s most fast-paced districts, it has helped to redefine the financial district – having made use of Tarmac’s intelligent screed solutions during its construction.

Reaching a height of 150 metres, the tower – designed by architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill – is a fluid shape with staggered floors within a visually impressive structure, which appears to twist as the sun moves around it. In addition to helping reshape the city’s ever-changing skyline, the unique design means each apartment will come with its own curved balcony offering panoramic views of London.

Tarmac was brought on board to the project by specialist screeding contractor, TCS, to help deliver the building’s floor plan for the main contractor, O’Shea.

Working collaboratively with the project team from early on to understand the client’s requirements, Tarmac was able to design a customised, self-compacting blend of its Topflow XTR screed to help deliver this complex and high profile project.

Baltimore Tower

The innovative screed solution had to be specially formulated to suit the project’s demanding technical requirements – a depth of just 30mm being less than half the depth and weight of a cement solution. The screed was laid on top of a 5mm rubber acoustic layer, bringing the total depth to 35mm – still far off the average for similar builds.

Kevin Burr, special products coordinator at Tarmac, explains the company’s role in more detail:

“The reduction in depth meant that we cut the weight and volume of the screed in the tower by more than 2,000T, equating to approximately 45T per floor.  This met the engineering requirements and reduced the number of truck movements needed to deliver the material by 25 percent. Compared to a standard 40mm floating screed installation, the 30mm screed allowed the client to maximise headroom in the apartments.

“We also found that Topflow was much quicker to lay compared with more traditional alternatives. The team was managing to get through around a floor a day – covering an area of about 700m2. Because Topflow screed A is designed to be self-compacting, installation requires fewer people to smooth the floor.

“In addition to the quick and easy pour, the additional strength of Tarmac’s unique screed blend also proved to be important. When we tested our blend of Topflow we found that it surpassed specifications, which we were really pleased with. Regular testing has proved that the screed provided comfortably exceeds these requirements.

 “As you’d imagine for a build of this scale, we not only needed to produce a highly specialised, high-quality solution, but do so in large quantities. Continuity of supply was critical, so with our dedicated screed plant in Silvertown just three miles from Baltimore Tower it ensured that we were able to dispatch this blend of screed as and when we needed it.

“It meant that we were able to offer a flexible and fast solution, even in London’s busy Stratford Isle of Dogs, and avoid any delays in getting the material to site to ensure we supported our client in delivering this project to deadline.

 “It’s been exciting to be a part of another major build within the capital that will redefine the city skyline for generations to come.”

City living: intelligent screed solutions

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