Meeting complex design requirements for rejuvenating town centre housing scheme
When the architects of a huge riverside residential development in Reading required a range of mortars to suit their complex aesthetic requirements, CPI EuroMix was selected to supply the precise solution.
The 765-home Kenavon Drive project, located on the site of the old Huntley & Palmers Biscuit factory beside the River Kennet, will bring much-needed, high-quality accommodation to an area close to the town centre. Delivered by developers Berkeley Homes, working alongside architects PRP, the new residential quarter features a variety of studio flats, and one-to-three-bedroom units, a number of which will be houses. Its design pays homage to the site’s Victorian heritage and includes a range of traditional brick techniques to create a distinctive aesthetic.
The properties will be situated within buildings ranging from two-to-11 storeys in height. In order to achieve the architect’s aim of giving the facades a look that was both prestigious and historical, the mortar’s specification was absolutely crucial to enhancing the appearance of the brickwork. Having been selected for the task, CPI EuroMix provided a large variety of samples from its high-performance coloured mortar range to ensure the client was able to select precisely the right tone and texture for the buildings. They settled on natural, charcoal, buff and white mortars, which were supplied by CPI EuroMix’s Beaconsfield manufacturing plant.
In total, six silos containing an estimated 2,000 tonnes of mortar have been delivered to the Kenavon Drive site during the past 16 months. With this element of the project starting in February 2020, CPI EuroMix’s supply of such a huge volume of material was an incredible achievement, as its manufacturing facility was severely hampered by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. The locality of CPI EuroMix’s production plants also proved particularly beneficial in eliminating potential supply issues due to the pandemic, with its natural mortars being able to be fed from three different production facilities, if required. The company’s ability to offer retarder dry silo mixes for the development was also noteworthy, as it allowed on-site teams to load-out scaffolding prior to the material’s delivery. This ensured, that on a high-level build fed by tower cranes, contractors were not delayed at the start of each day.
Nick Page-Smith at Berkeley Homes said: “We’ve had a trading relationship with CPI for over 10 years, so the interaction with them on sample panels of mortar and facing bricks at Kenavon Drive was a natural one. The range of colours sat well with our brick choices and allowed an easy planning choice for the development.
With recent supply chain issues, especially cement allocations and plant maintenance, CPI have always been proactive in ensuring we are kept up to date with issues, allowing us to work with them pre-emptively to avoid, or minimise risks to our supply and continue to build the scheme at the pace that is required to envelope concrete frame structures to programme.”
Once completed, the Kenavon Drive development will begin to fulfil its potential as an attractive, rejuvenating housing scheme that delivers huge benefits to the community. CPI EuroMix is proud to have been selected to supply the specialist mortars which enabled the developer and architect to realise their ambitious aesthetic for their superbly-appointed properties.
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