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Willmott Dixon Construction Tour for Civil Engineering Design II Students

8 February 2017

Civil Engineering Design II students were able to take part in an on-site construction tour, hosted by Willmott Dixon for a practical insight in to the year 2 Design II Class.

An Undergraduate student who took part in the tour gives an insight in to the day -
'We went onto the site and looked around the new lab space and offices above.  Dr James Norman (Civil Engineering UG Programme Director) and Paul Marlow from Willmott Dixon led the tour.  Paul told us about the more practical aspects of construction and why certain building methods were used in certain areas.  The upper floors used a steel-concrete composite deck, which was suitable for loading from offices, whereas the laboratory floors required a reinforced pre-cast panel floor.  Paul also highlighted the design changes that had to be made following the delivery of beams of incorrect length, balancing the impacts between producing an updated design or waiting for new materials to arrive.  Paul explained the cladding system for the building and how the brick and stone did not act structurally, but would be tied into the steel frame, to ensure that the style of the extension is in keeping with the rest of Queen's Building.
Dr James Norman informed us about the design of the steel frame itself, and the different types of connection used within the building.  James highlighted why, due to the orientation of the extension and its close proximity to the current building, certain joints and connections were made perpendicular to how they would usually be oriented in a building such as this.
The tour, and insights from Paul and James, were very useful to us as they gave us an insight into different means and methods of construction, with the design of steel beams and connections being particularly relevant in the second year Design II class.  The appreciation of the small and logistically challenging nature of the site was also useful and this will help when studying this during the fourth year Design Project.'
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