While the term 'value engineering' has become synonymous with reducing costs, CCL's approach to re-engineering key elements of the University of Sheffield’s £81M 'Diamond' building with post-tensioned
concrete solutions demonstrates the potential added value of re-examining the original specification.
Replacement of the specified voided concrete slabs with post-tensioned slabs for levels 1–4 and the roof level not only saved £0.75M in costs on the project, but also saved time within the programme, reduced the amount of materials required for the build and enabled a shallower slab depth. This increased the ceiling void depth below, thereby aiding co-ordination of the building services installation by allowing simplification of cable and pipework layouts.
Re-engineering of the proposed steel transfer structures beneath the level 1 slab, with a post-tensioned
concrete alternative, helped to overcome buildability, logistical and cost challenges, while creating a design
feature aligned to the architect's aesthetic and conceptual vision.
A building with ambitious design criteria and multiple technical challenges, the Diamond is a landmark
scheme, both for Sheffield and for the higher education sector, which demonstrates the benefits of post-tensioned concrete.