Derelict Bicycle Factory’s State-of-the-art Transformation
CPI EuroMix supplied the dry, coloured mortar to ensure the safe, characterful transformation of a derelict Victorian bicycle factory into STEAMhouse, a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide wide-ranging support for new businesses.
The restoration of the former Belmont Works factory, located in the Eastside region of Birmingham city centre, is an exemplar of how dilapidated, landmark buildings can be revived for modern purpose. The Grade A-listed building, which is owned by Birmingham City University, had been long-derelict since being gutted by fire in 2007. Its £72 million redevelopment, due for full completion in 2022, will see STEAMhouse honour the 121-year-old building’s original intent by addressing the needs of the local economy.
The STEAMhouse project is so-called because it is based on the concept of STEAM, which positions the arts at the centre of traditional scientific subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – to enhance innovation. The refurbished building’s design – the work of architect, Aukett Swanke – has created space for a range of high-tech production equipment, masterclasses and workshops. It means the STEAMhouse is fully-equipped for business, academic, creative and digital communities to further their commercial ambition in a collaborative environment.
As per the requirements of main contractor, Bowmer and Kirkland, and brickwork contractor, Phoenix Brickwork, CPI EuroMix supplied 350 tonnes of dry mortar for the STEAMhouse redevelopment. In order to realise the architect’s aesthetic vision for the five-storey building’s façade, the dry mortar was delivered in two colours: an M4 Col E180 (Light Buff) and an M4 Colour E120 (Light Lilac).
As well as benefitting the STEAMhouse project with its mortars’ high-bond, compressive strength, durability and colour, CPI Euromix enhanced the programme’s sustainability. Material delivery mileage was significantly reduced due to the mortars’ manufacture at CPI’s Bilston plant, which is just nine miles from Birmingham. In terms of manufacture, CPI’s silo mixing stations hold up to 35 tonnes of dry mortar. This enables the production of a mortar solution at the flick of a switch, a process that also minimises waste without compromising material mix or colour. It means siloes containing mortar that complies with BS EN ISO 9001:2000, the industry standard for quality control, arrives at site fully mixed and ready to install. This capability helps increase installation efficiency and speed, which in turn reduces a construction project’s overall environmental impact.
Currently rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the STEAMhouse development has been shortlisted for the 2022 RICS Awards for the West Midlands region. CPI EuroMix is proud of the part its high-quality mortars have played successfully rebirthing this historic site as a resplendent centre of business excellence for Birmingham’s budding innovators.
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