We’ve now been on site for 14 months as we continue to construct the new state-of-the-art home for the Institute of Physics in King’s Cross.
We’ve now demolished the existing buildings within the block while retaining two large sections of the original brickwork façade. One section is on Balfe Street, where the façade has been retained from the ground to second floor. Interestingly, the second section on Caledonian Road has been retained from the first to second floor which means, fairly uniquely, it is being kept in a suspended state using a temporary support system.
The original basement slab was broken out in March, with the new basement, which will descend a further three metres, now fully underpinned. Vault areas have been exposed in this area which will eventually become storage areas for the IOP’s new basement theatre.
A large Luffing tower crane has been installed in the middle of the site, and neighbours should see it leaving in February 2018.
We’ve completed construction of the innovative geothermal piles, driving 10 of them down to a depth of around 80 metres. These are a fantastic source of renewable energy, cheap to run and good for reducing CO2 emissions. The piles will use the natural underground temperature of the earth to heat and cool the building as well as provide hot water. The piles have pipes within them that use water to transfer the heat from the earth to the building as required.
We are currently continuing to install the basement concrete slab in sectional pours. By using sectional pours it allows us to make progress on the walls that sit in front of the underpin walls around the perimeter of the building.
The walls will be a mixture of high quality finish with visual concrete face and standard concrete finish. The standard finish walls will be formed using a sprayed concrete, applied in layers and trowelled off for a finish. The visual concrete walls will be constructed using a double layer of high-quality shuttering boards with minimal fixings to ensure the finish is smooth and blemish free.
We have a very full programme for the coming weeks which will include removing the remaining spoil from the basement excavation and completing the new basement slab, completing the temporary support works to the premises next door, and beginning to construct the new building’s perimeter walls.
After the walls are constructed we’ll start to apply a waterproof render to them, as well as the basement-to-ground-floor concrete columns and walls.
After that we’ll start to see the new building taking shape as we start the ground floor decking in preparation to concrete for the ground floor slab.
And, at the end of it all, a new home for the IOP and a space for physics in King’s Cross.