Halfen's Suk System Cladding for New Shopping System

The new Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich has an impressive stone clad entrance achieved using Halfen's SUK system, which provided the flexibility required to fix back to a variable primary structure consisting of Holorib decking, steel members and blockwork.

Design by BDP with Mouchel as structural engineers and Bovis Lend Lease as developers and main contractors, the project provides some 80 shops, 17 cafes and restaurants and a department store.

Simon Marr, project manager for Vetter UK, who installed the stonework, says the Halfen system contributes to reducing the risk of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome by minimising the amount of drilling into concrete. Marking out the position of and installing the channels of the SUK system involved detail work including welding channels onto the steel frame.

There was also a learning curve for site operatives with the system, 'which is just like a big Meccano set'. However, once this was achieved 'the stone simply flies up' he states.

Mr Marr was also impressed by the system's obvious stability. "It looks right," he says, "it looks very solid and safe."

Halfen also developed a frame system to suspend the soffit stones either side of the entrance and a special bracket to support the reveal stones to the window openings.

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