B31 Voices has been inundated with queries about what is popping up next to the A38 / Lickey Road island in Longbridge, with the appearance of a giant white crane and concrete construction quickly beginning to take shape.
Longbridge developer St Modwen is delivering a purpose built accommodation block for military medical staff working for the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at the city’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
A 40 metre tall white tower crane has been set up and will be on site for seven months to help with the construction of the 6 storey building. Work has started on the concrete central core – which will hold staircases, lifts and service shafts.
Moulded concrete construction
The process includes the use of slipform construction – a specialist technique that sees wet concrete pumped into the top of the core “mould” that continually moves around three metres upwards each day, enabling the core’s walls to harden before they slip free from below the “mould”.
Longbridge developer St. Modwen is delivering the building on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Galliford Try is the contractor.
The RCDM building will include 180 en-suite bedrooms and an all-ranks mess facility, bar area, gym, office and guards site. A pedestrian and cycle path will pass under the A38, linking the site to Austin Park, facilities in Longbridge town centre and transport links.
Mark Batchelor, construction manager at St. Modwen, said: “The arrival of the crane and the construction of the building’s core mean that members of the public will quickly see this significant building for RCDM staff take shape.
“To ensure that it is built to time and budget, we are using slipform construction for the core, meaning it should complete within just two weeks – far quicker than using traditional methods. It also frees up the tower crane to start erecting the main in situ concrete frame and walls as soon as possible.”
Sinead McGoldrick, DIO’s Project Manager, said: “We are delighted to see that construction work on the accommodation is continuing apace. The crane is a real symbol of work getting underway.
“This facility will provide the high-quality accommodation that our dedicated military medical staff deserve. They currently live in numerous houses across the city, so this will create a central base that promotes a sense of belonging and teamwork.”
The first occupants will move in to the building next summer.