Competition is strong for a share of the multi billion pound regeneration work and the chance to be involved with an iconic project such as the restoration of St Pancras International station. At the same time, the high volume supply of construction products into one of Europe’s busiest transport hubs and the surrounding residential and business communities poses considerable technical and logistical challenges.
One company that has been rising to the challenge is leading international building materials producer and supplier Saint-Gobain. Some of the UK and Ireland’s best known companies are part of the group, including Jewson, British Gypsum, Solaglas, Weber and Saint-Gobain Pipelines. Together, they provide a capability to deliver tailored product and service solutions for all stages of a project, from the groundworks through to the roof.
Nowhere is this demonstrated more effectively than King’s Cross, where Saint-Gobain’s products can be found at the heart of the development. Soaring more than 110 feet above street level, the magnificently restored glass roof of the historic Barlow train shed at St Pancras International features 10,000 m2 of laminated glass supplied by Solaglas. In total Solaglas supplied over 17,000 pieces of glass for this part of the project, all uniquely shaped. 16,000 were parallelograms which had different orientations and sizes. Each piece of glass had to be carefully tracked during manufacture and delivery and individually stamped in a particular location. The company also supplied a further 7,500m2 of laminated glazing, with special acoustic qualities, for the roof of the station’s modern extension which houses four brand new platforms.
Far below can be found soil, vent and rainwater systems from Saint-Gobain Pipelines. Providing superior strength and longevity, cast iron pipe products and fittings from the leading Timesaver and Ensign ranges have been specified throughout the tunnels and for the main station drainage. Additionally, Saint-Gobain Pipelines has manufactured and supplied 2500 tonnes of ductile iron segmental tunnel linings, comprising more than 700 complete rings and opening sets.
Outside of St Pancras, Saint-Gobain’s products can be found in many other developments around the King’s Cross area. One of the most notable is the innovative St Mary St Pancras project which combines accommodation for 188 students with a primary school serving 240 students. The project, which replaces a Victorian boarding school and several temporary classrooms, features an exterior wall insulation system from Weber. This provides high levels of insulation, thereby helping to optimize energy efficiency. Roland Lazard, Saint-Gobain’s General delegate for the UK, Ireland and South Africa said:
“The construction market is a major focus for our businesses in the UK and Ireland. As well as the range of products we can supply, our different businesses have great experience of working with both architects and specifiers, and with major contractors. We also have very strong supply-chain management expertise, particularly within our Building Distribution sector, where we can offer an integrated solution to large clients and projects such as the King’s Cross development.”