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Polydeck – Large Commercial Project of the Year – over 500 m2

This award is for a joint submission by a Manufacturer and Contractor member.

Eligible projects should have been started or completed during the period October 2015 – September 2016

There are two Commercial Project Awards, use this form for a LARGE COMMERCIAL PROJECT – Over 500m2
(You may enter projects in all the categories but use a separate form for each and only one application for each combination of manufacturer / contractor partnership in any category.)

CHECKLIST OF ITEMS TO INCLUDE (please tick to indicate enclosures being sent):

Essential items to include are:

  • photographs (before, during and after, please make sure all images meet health & safety requirements, eg PPE)
  • product literature
  • evidence of health & safety practices, onsite training, can include: graphs, spreadsheets, matrix, etc.
  • evidence of sustainable management systems implemented, can include: graphs, spreadsheets, etc.
  • testimonial from the client

Optional items to include are:

  • case studies
  • press releases
  • references from third parties, etc.
  • video clips (note re H&S in photographs also applies here)
  • other (please detail): ________________________________________________________________________
CONTRACTOR:  Polydeck Group Ltd
PROJECT NAME/LOCATION:  University of West of England, Bristol
CLIENT:  BAM Construction & UWE.

Altroscreed Quartz FeRFA type 6,

Altro Flexiflow FeRFA type 5,

Altrocrete PU FeRFA type 8

SUBMITTED BY Guy Hogg, Polydeck Group Ltd, 5 Sheldon Business Park, Sheldon Corner, Chippenham, SN14 0SQ.  [email protected]


Completed Application Forms and accompanying information should be sent to
Lisa Hennessey, FeRFA, 16 Edward Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 8NP.
In order to maintain the quality of your submission it should be posted rather than emailed.


Please complete each of the following and ensure you provide as much information as possible.
Extend the boxes as required for your text to fit.  (You may refer to enclosures where applicable.)

NAME OF PROJECT:   Future Space, University of West of England, Bristol

1 Why have you selected the above project as a Project of the Year?
BAM Construction had been awarded the contract to refurbish and update a 30 year-old building, previously part of the Hewlett Packard campus in Bristol.  The building was to become the University of West of England Enterprise Zone and was to be used for R&D by project teams and to nurture start-up companies working in the field of robotics and smart-controlled machinery or vehicles.

Such ventures are in line with government initiatives to encourage the birth of new cutting-edge hi-tech companies who will provide future security for the UK economy as volume production is relocated to countries with lower labour-costs.

The programme set for BAM was extremely tight and to add complication, only half of the building was to be released to BAM, whilst the rooms within the other half continued to function, occupied by UWE academic staff.  Temporary partitioning separated the two halves, so contract-terms meant that dust, vibration, odours and work-noise including music, singing and colourful language would not be accepted by UWE.

Polydeck Resins Ltd were pleased to win the contract for installation of the Altro products specified for this prestigious contract, but a number of challenges faced BAM, some of which were not anticipated at their own tender stage.  Further difficulties only became apparent when the existing floor tiles were removed, all combining to leave the main contractor exposed.

Polydeck were able to provide specification guidance to clarify and even improve the resultant finishes along with problem solving assistance with the substrate and with programming before and during the installation to help to bring the project to completion by the required date.

The original specification called for 700 sqm Altroscreed Quartz to the main access corridor and central hub, along with 900 sq. Altroshield epoxy coating to robotics workshops.

Due to the significant increase in natural light through new roof-lights, the Altroscreed Quartz was specified with a non-standard system of UV-stable clear polyurethane seal-coats.

A slip-resistance factor was specified which would have created cleaning issues during service.

This meant that even at the pre-contract stage, there were communication, detailing, pricing and installation anomalies with this complicated bespoke specification.

2 How does this project best highlight your skills and expertise?

•    The 30 year-old concrete slab was originally covered with vinyl-asbestos tiles which, following discussions between client, architect, BAM and Polydeck, were uplifted and removed as hazardous waste by specialist contractors.

•    A level survey then revealed that undulations remained in the surface of the slab, which would cause problems for the robotics machinery in workshop-laboratories.  Even before that the installation of high-tech acoustic partitions with precision door closures would be compromised.  Forging in close partnership with the BAM structural engineering team, Polydeck carried out corrective grinding and infill to the surface to improve surface regularity, doing so at extremely short-notice to avoid delay and at greatly reduced cost to help offset the unplanned expense facing the main contractor, architect and client.

•   Although unclear in the original specification, the surface seals required for the Altroscreed Quartz were solvent-bearing and Polydeck brought the anticipated off-gassing to the attention of BAM.  Polydeck clarified the specification with the Altro technical team and were aware that the fumes would almost certainly create an issue with UWE staff in the other half of the building.  Contingency plans were established for exhaust ventilation and out-of-hours application.  These measures did indeed prove to be necessary.

•   The existing slab exhibited numerous construction, movement and day-work joints with small bays, which would present unsightly, poorly-distributed interruptions within the floors of the robotics workshops.  One bay spanning two workshops had also fractured. Polydeck identified these issues and introduced the option of Altro Flexiflow, (elastomeric flow-applied finish) for consideration.  Keeping the cost-uplift to a minimum allowed the contract parties to achieve a truly seamless finish n the workshops and adjacent corridors.

•    The overall installation time required by the resin systems placed significant added pressure within the programme, inhibiting access for other trades.  A complicated schedule for access routes was established by BAM & Polydeck, dividing the installation of the resin into multiple phases.  It was essential that each was completed exactly on the prescribed date, so morning meetings were set-up to assist synchronisation with other trades.

•   As often happens, other trades encountered timing problems and it was necessary for BAM to alter the planned installation sequence, Polydeck were able to accommodate the changes and work extra hours to recover the programme.

•   As the site was occupied by non-construction staff and storage space was at a premium, the storage, control and protection measures for both full and empty resin containers was brought into sharp focus.  Health & safety procedures were established and strictly enforced by the Polydeck team on site.  Waste was collected regularly by Reconomy waste management a part of the FeRFA scheme.

•    When one section of the quartz flooring had been installed and was curing over-night, a UWE security guard walked into the wet screed to check a fire alarm switch-panel, leaving numerous footprints in the resin screed.  Despite efforts to minimise the appearance of the footprints, the floor finish was not suitable to be handed-over.  Working with the architect and BAM, Polydeck were able to propose and subsequently install a new section of screed between new sections of decorative aluminium trim, creating a feature within the floor area.

•   During the contract, it emerged that there would be storage and possible spillage of liquid nitrogen within another area.  This presented the specifier with a difficult choice for the floor finish.  Little or nothing would withstand the attack of liquid nitrogen if it was accidentally spilled.  Polydeck and Altro provided a solution with the best resistance available.

3 Did the project include any new products and/or innovative installation techniques?

Whilst the products were not entirely new, the chemically-resistant, uv-stable seal coats were a departure from the norm and a bespoke system developed by Altro specifically for the specifier, Parsons Brickerhoff.  It had not been used elsewhere.

Following discussions the specification for the robotics laboratory workshops was upgraded to a flexible polyurethane, producing an enhancement to a joint-finish, demonstrating the benefits of this new-generation of resin flooring.

Storage and possible use of liquid nitrogen within another area, The Accelerator Room, presented further challenges to the specifier.  Altro and Polydeck were able to combine sacrificial rubber matting with 9mm Altrocrete PU to provide the best resistance to thermal shock from the risk of spillage.

The complex installation programme (to dove-tail with others) demanded the utmost care, planning and supervision to ensure that no unforeseen events delayed completion of each section and in fact hand-over of the resin flooring took place on the exact date demanded by the programme.

4 Were there any specific aesthetic requirements and/or design concepts required for this project?

The renovation of an old building into a home for such hi-tech industries demanded a significant transformation, “ a silk purse from a sow’s ear”.  New sky-lights flooded the central circulation hub with natural daylight, which in-turn greatly increased UV light illuminating a light-coloured quartz floor, so colour stability was important and brought about the use of non-standard seal coats.


The laboratory workshops required the utmost cleanliness and a surgical appearance, this would not have been possible with a coating applied to a 30 year-old slab.

5 Why was resin flooring chosen for this project, what quality and level of service was offered to the client?

Resin flooring was chosen to provide aesthetic interest in the corridor and hub area with a finish which was not the predictable vinyl, wood or carpet.  Within the robotics workshops a durable, easy clean finish was required with the ability to withstand the demands imposed by a variety of as-yet unknown machinery and equipment.



6 Did the project present any challenges such as difficult conditions, size of project, programme restrictions, aesthetics or performance requirements?  How did you overcome these challenges?

Please see section 2, points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 8 as above.


7 Environmental & Sustainability considerations:
Please give details of the environmental policy adopted for this project to include any data on waste management and recycling.  Please include evidence where appropriate.


Discussions pior to commencement revealed the presence of asbestos-vinyl tiles and these were removed/managed by specialist contractors.

Waste management during installation was by Reconomy, feeding into the FeRFA recycling scheme.  Storage and management of product, waste, fumes and noise on sight was controlled to very tight standards due to site-congestion, other trades and non-construction personnel who might be within a short distance of the working area at any time.

See section 2, point 7 as above with documents and e-mails enclosed in support.



8 Health & Safety,Training & Staff Development
Please outline the health & safety, training and staff development initatives used to support and upskill employees involved in this project.  Please include evidence where appropriate.

Two new apprentices were involved during the installation and on completion of their probation period they will be assigned to the FeRFA Apprenticeship Training Scheme.  Richard Burton, previously a Polydeck floor-laying employee was also involved in this project as the first in his new role as Training & Development Manager and one of four Contract Managers appointed from within Polydeck.

Please see H&S information enclosed.

9 Why is this a Winning Project?
Please summarise in no more than 500 words why this project should win the Large Commercial Project of the Year Award 2016:


Before installation had commenced and even before being awarded the installation contract, Polydeck and Altro engaged in extensive communication with the architect and main contractor providing information and guidance.  This allowed BAM to provide the best possible service to their client.  The manufacturer and installer joined design meetings, becoming an integral part of the design and contract-management team.

Un-forseen substrate issues were identified and remedied promptly, at minimal cost to help the project team to keep the project on track at a very early stage.

Start dates were changed to improve programming, as a result of this guidance.  Once underway, the project still presented several challenges on site, but was delivered exactly on time.  All of this was within a very tight programme (described on reflection by the BAM Project Manager as unfeasibly tight).

Due to the nature of a partly occupied site, close management of the contract and environmental control was absolutely essential.

Subsequent damage to the installed resin was remedied without fuss or delay.  Messages of endorsement from other contract parties are attached.


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