IG Masonry Support Helps Create Sophisticated Bespoke Brick Details For London Housing Development

Comprising a total of 404 new homes, commercial space and public realm spaces, Southmere Village Phase 1B will bring to life an area of former economic deprivation.

Project: Southmere, Phase 1B

Project Address: Harrow Manor Way, Thamesmead, London, SE2 9UJ

Products: Welded Masonry Support, Masonry Support Corners, Windposts, Brick Cutting, Cast-in Channel, Specials, Fixings, Brick Slip Lintels, B.O.S.S. +, Brick Slip Arch Lintels, Welded Shims, Cavity Tray Lintels

Architect: Four Point Architects

Main contractor: Durkan

Brickwork contractor: Landmark Brickwork

Developer: Peabody

Four Point Architects designed the new build homes with creative brick detailing to elevate the building’s aesthetic. IG Masonry Support provided many of its products to brickwork contractor Landmark Brickwork and main contractor Durkan, to help achieve the architect’s vision.

The Southmere housing development is being built as part of a regeneration project, designed to revitalise the Harrow Manor Way area of South East London. New residences will be mixed tenure units, including both shared ownership and affordable rent units, within a range of attractive tower block and town houses.

IG Masonry Support supplied products for builds C1, C4 and C5, totalling nine blocks. The entire development is valued at £126m and IG Masonry Support’s product package for this development is the largest the company has supplied to a project since its inception. The introduction of new building regulations set out by Approved Document B meant the brickwork contractor needed to find products which met the conditions. IG Masonry Support’s B.O.S.S.+ (Brick on Soffit System) met these standards, making them the ideal choice of supplier.

In addition to the B.O.S.S.+, the developer required almost every product offered by IG Masonry Support for the nine blocks across Southmere Phase 1B. Landmark Brickwork and Durkan required bespoke products, due to the intricate design of the buildings and their unique shapes. The contractor engaged with IG Masonry Support and requested that its teams develop a range of products, including bespoke items, in order to comply with the uniquely designed buildings with complex shapes and intricate exterior details. Achieving the desired aesthetic finish with tailor-made products would be a challenge, but the manufacturer was confident in its ability to deliver.

The Challenge

The most obvious challenge for IG Masonry Support was the sheer scale of the project, as products were required for all nine blocks across Phase 1B. As a result, the timescale from order to delivery was tight. IG Masonry Support assembled a dedicated team of technical detailers and engineers for the duration of the build programme to provide full customer service and in-depth technical support.

An inherent challenge of the project was the unique building design and intricate brickwork programme, which would be too irregular to use off-the-shelf products. The client would instead require bespoke products and innovative solutions to meet their specifications. For example, the recessed column feature meant that the columns were only half supported by the slab; therefore requiring a top bracket which was fixed to the slab to provide full support to the brick columns.

IG Masonry Support has demonstrated its innovation through its use of the new Cavity Tray Brick Slip Lintel. This was designed specifically for the Southmere project and is now being specified and utilised on many other schemes to meet the new Part L Building Regulations. It also offers a quick and practical solution for brick soffit detail. The manufacturer designed a custom waterproof gasket fixing to prevent moisture travelling through gaps in the lintel and tray, while ensuring the aesthetic finish at the face. IGMS also created a bespoke Windpost design with special kinked plates to comply with the surrounding build work. Its B.O.S.S. units and arches were identified of a size and weight which could make installation difficult so IGMS adjusted the design accordingly to fix back the products.

Providing technical drawings also presented a further challenge, as it was difficult to co-ordinate the brick bonds to ensure the brick soffits would perfectly tie in with the adjacent brickwork. Any brick bonds that didn’t perfectly blend were reported to IG Masonry Support and were quickly rectified and redelivered to site, to ensure the build programme remained on schedule.

Additionally, the build programme was constantly changing due to being carried out during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Therefore, IGMS had to adapt to the evolving requirements. IGMS’ priority became producing products more quickly than anticipated at times in order to meet tight deadlines.

The Solution

On the Southmere development, IG Masonry Support was able to provide bespoke designs with a quick turnaround. The client initially enquired about products in December 2019 and following a consultation and approval period for design, received its first order just six months later, which was remarkably fast considering the bespoke nature of the products. Considering the large quantities of product, IGMS prefabricated them to ensure a faster installation speed for the client.

IG Masonry Support worked closely with customer Landmark Brickwork, main contractor Durkan and Four Point Architects throughout the build programme and all were highly impressed with the level of detail in the technical details provided by IG Masonry Support. They were also very pleased with the level of detail in quoting and the dedication of the team in collaborating, and delivering requirements.

Martin Cockram, Managing Director of Landmark Brickwork, said: “Southmere was a particularly complex build programme. Products were designed, manufactured and delivered by IG Masonry Support to the highest of standards and we were delighted at the dedication shown by their team to ensure all products met our client’s expectations.”

Paul Turney, Technical Manager of client Durkan, said: “I would like to thank the whole team for their hard work over the past 14 months. This was a very complicated design package which has been made even harder through a pandemic and meetings being carried out entirely on video calls, well done all.”

The Phase 1B brickwork programme specified a variety of brick types, which changed regularly throughout the numerous blocks. IG Masonry Support’s team were in constant communication with the relevant parties to ensure that the products blended correctly. Block C4, in particular, had an unusual bond pattern, so coordinating the brickwork required planning and engagement from the IGMS team.

On the Southmere project, the client was highly impressed that IG Masonry Support was able to provide the desirable aesthetic finish, without comprising on the bespoke elements while working to tight, frequently changing timescales. The client was also pleased with IG Masonry Support’s commitment to the build programme and its dedicated technical team of detailers and engineers who attended design meetings every week.

Russell Murphy, Construction Director at Durkan, followed up by saying: “It’s great to see the hard work round the design team table being delivered to such a high standard on site, providing our client an exceptional building.

“I echo Paul’s comments and wish to thank him, the Durkan team, Fourpoint, OCSC, Landmark and IG for their hard work and dedication to this project.”

IG Masonry Support’s prefabricated products resulted in an overall reduction of labour on the project. The final invoice value to Landmark Brickwork was also within 1% of the initial quotation, allowing them to remain within the build programme budget. The provision of IG’s quality brickwork support solutions has led to an efficiently constructed modern housing development that will breathe new life into Thamesmead.

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