The precast and masonry Expo 2023 welcomed hundreds of delegates to the Leicester Tigers stadium and was yet again a huge success. We would like to thank everyone who attended and made the event so special. Can we extend a special thank you to our exciting speaker line-up and to our exhibitors who really showcased the best of the precast concrete sector.
However, if you are unable to join us in Leicester you can still download this year’s Expo Magazine – casting the fabric of Britain.
The magazine contains four feature articles looking at fire performance in building safety, sustainability, the future of masonry homes and precast concrete’s role in some major UK infrastructure and building projects.
On the cover – V&A East
Inspired by the sleeves of a dress on a Vermeer painting in Dublin and also Spanish couturier, Balenciaga, Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey designed the facade to 'act as a 3-dimensional folding dress, lending the museum a distinctive form and striking identity.’
The unique nature of the V&A East for Techrete, as an architectural precast concrete specialist, was the complex geometry of the structure and façades. There were distinct challenges posed by the architectural intent, the obvious large, inclined faces of the façade and the more subtle patterned peaks and troughs which “wrap” around these faces.
The inclined nature of the façade with its many different angles, planes, and bespoke corners, presented a challenging task in terms of the coordination of the 3D design, the mould-making and site preparation. A 3D ‘digital twin’ was created by Techrete’s engineers to ensure clashes with other disciplines were minimized, and scheduling and sequencing was optimised. This model was later used on the shop floor to assist the factory in setting out the moulds and stage casts in the factory.
To achieve the complex shapes within the two metre height modules, a ‘kit of parts/stage casting’ approach in our panel production was implemented and individual panels were cast in stages, some of which were made up of three parts. This approach enabled Techrete to produce multi-faceted panels, since most sides are formed against the mould surface.