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We were invited by Kier to come up with a new way of doing things for the Service Riser flooring on Phase One of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme in Birmingham last year. When complete, the scheme will provide 1,400 much-needed new homes for Birmingham. Part of a much wider project, it will also act as a catalyst for circa. 5,000 new homes and wider regeneration in the north west of the city – including improved leisure and community facilities along with upgraded transport infrastructure. Phase one includes a mix of one and two-bed apartments and three and four-bed houses, an ‘extra care’-type facility providing housing, a variety of services for the older community and areas of public space, as well as private courtyards and amenity spaces.

For the apartment blocks, 120 GRP Riser Floors were required but, rather than us installing them after the floors were poured, they needed to be cast in by the contractors responsible for the concrete.

There are advantages to doing it this way
  • You avoid having riser voids in the floor that people or equipment can fall down and you don’t need the fencing on site to protect them - 25% of workplace fatalities are due to falls from height, 13% are caused by falling/moving objects
  • The risers are done by the flooring contractor at the pace they set (usually earlier in the process than a 'retro' fit), so no co-ordinating of teams from different organisations meaning fewer delays
  • Because the modular riser units were all constructed at our premises in Suffolk, there were no extra teams working around each other while cutting and building on the site

The steel industry has been providing the profiles for this for a while but, if you wanted to use a complete low-maintenance GRP solution, it hasn’t been possible. Our engineers came up with a solution that worked allowing a seamless integration into the schedule with minimal fuss.  The resulting riser duct floors met every requirement and holes for service pipes and cables can be quickly and easily cut in as required, with no hot works or sparking hazards.


The second phase of this development will take place on land adjacent to phase one. This site, to the east of Wellhead Lane, will be redeveloped for residential uses along with the provision of a new modern secondary school, which will be able to accommodate 1,260 pupils. The vision for this site includes up to 500 new homes, largely family houses, to complement the adjoining development. 

Whether we are part of Phase Two remains to be seen but, as far as we’re concerned, the project gave us the opportunity to develop a new way of working which has proven effective and efficient; we expect more risers to be installed this way going forward and are looking to develop a system to make it even easier.

To find out how casting in GRP Riser Floors can save you time and money call 01206 396 446 and speak to Amber or Steve.