Plans were passed in 2012 for the construction of an outstanding hotel in Birmingham city centre. The build was the first in a group of five, four-star hotels planned to open over a period of five years under the Hotel La Tour brand. The 174 – bedroomed luxury hotel was developed at a cost of £24 million and comprises a restaurant, bar with terrace and conference facilities.
The dramatic increase in the number of visitors to Birmingham and the heightened demand for quality accommodation was the key driver behind the project – together with the improved physical and economic infrastructure of the city.
Council Leader, Mike Whitby said: “A record 32.8m visitors came to Birmingham in 2010 – our fifth successive year of growth -and this boom in both leisure and business tourism is one of the reasons that we have so many hotels currently at various stages of construction.”
PHP Architects appointed RCM, leading supplier of specialist building boards, to provide their Cemboard – a cement bonded particle building board – to be installed onto a light weight steel frame.
The build required FSC Chain custody, making Cemboard the ideal product for this build as it carries the relevant accreditations. Cemboard was used for the complete sheathing of the building, as well as in areas where noise would be an issue, in order to contribute towards the acoustic performance of the external walls.
RCM’s Cemboard is a rigid, medium density, high performance, cement bonded particle building board that offers enhanced strength and stability with the workability of wood. Cemboard is used primarily as an external sheathing or building board. Used extensively on both metal and timber frame structures, the product is applied behind all types of façade solutions, as well as in many acoustic floor and roof constructions.
The Cemboard has a mass and crystalline structure that provides excellent acoustic properties, high impact resistance, strong water repellence and improved fire performance – proven to be more effective than timber products. Cemboard also offers great workability – it is able to be cut, drilled and nailed, offering comparable qualities to those of timber.
Initially, Cemboard was used as a primary sheathing board on the project in order to carry a marble effect façade system. It was installed onto an aluminium sub framing system which was then fixed through the board. The marble effect cladding was then installed onto the building using a SikaTrack system.
Not only did this build cater for the increase of tourists to Birmingham, the hotel also generated 100 full and part time jobs for the local community – directing income back into the local economy.
The final design of the hotel reflects the clients black and white branding by splitting the bedroom blocks into the two colours. The twin blocks wrap around the triangular site perimeter, culminating in dramatic elevations with sharp towers. A large entrance atrium is set between the two bedroom blocks, providing light, tall bar and restaurant areas.
A total of 1,000 people worked on the site of this project, putting in more than 300,000 hours over 312 days of construction and with an estimated 125,003 cups of tea consumed by all of the workers!
“The project was a huge success” – Ian Quinton, Managing Director of RCM commented: “This was a fantastic project to work on, it was a great opportunity to showcase the many benefits of Cemboard and how it can be applied to such an outstanding building.”