Halo Apartments, Manchester City Centre

How we got involved

We provided specialist services for a development of new apartments in Manchester city centre, where deep excavations, overall height and restricted site access were major considerations.

Working with Forshaw Land & Property Group, DLA Design and AA Projects, based in Bolton, Manchester and Sale, we played a key role in the Halo apartments block built on Simpson Street, located in the fast-changing Angel Meadow area near Ancoats, the Co-operative’s One Angel Square HQ and Manchester Victoria railway station.

The Halo apartments are constructed on a hemmed-in site surrounded by existing buildings with constricted access along narrow, right-angled streets.

What we did

The development features a robust, reinforced concrete two-storey basement with 41 car parking spaces and rainwater storage tanks to reduce flooding. Above the basement are six storeys containing 66-apartments.

One challenge was the location of an existing two-storey building, a former pub, at one corner of the plot. We worked closely with AA Projects to fulfil party wall and building over agreements, and gain consent for the crane jib passing over the corner building, ensuring work was done safely and in the best interests of both parties.

The development’s two-storey basement required massive excavation work, seven metres deep, and the removal of 500 lorry-loads of earth. Significant contig piling was needed to retain the highways on all sides of the site and the crane required several tons of concrete supports. For the two-storey basement we used reinforced concrete to form split-level car parking areas and ramps.

Above ground, we used a light-weight structural frame solution to keep the overall height down. We had considered a full, reinforced concrete frame or a steel frame. However, we chose the cold rolled structural steel frame to keep height down and also make for easier steel deliveries to the site.

Why we're proud of it

This was a fascinating and challenging project in the fast-changing city of Manchester, where we are involved in a variety of civil and structural engineering projects for a mix of residential, retail and office developments.

We successfully completed this project to budget and on-schedule, providing excellent engineering solutions to the particularly demanding criteria and features of this site. The Halo apartments fit in well with neighbouring buildings, old and new, and we were delighted to be involved with this development.