‘Topping Off’ ceremony welcomes the High Sherriff to guide the trusses into position – at 12.30pm on Today
Local firms help finish job
AS an architecturally-innovative £27.5 million building at the University of Huddersfield takes shape, two giant steel trusses that will help lock the structure in place are to be installed in a special twist on the traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony.
The ‘topping out’ ceremony usually commemorates the installation of a final beam at the top of a structure. But the two herringbone pattern trusses – 16.2 metres tall – will extend vertically from the ground floor to the roof of the new Oastler Building at the University, four levels higher. The trusses will act as a frame for the main entrance to the building and support the roof.
Manufactured by the Halifax-based firm Elland Steel Structures Ltd – which has fabricated 674 tonnes of components for the new building – the huge trusses will be trucked to the University in the early hours of Tuesday 4 May, so as not to disrupt peak-time traffic. On the site of the new building, which overlooks Huddersfield’s busy Aspley roundabout on the town’s ring road, workers for construction firm Morgan Sindall will lower the trusses from a huge crane into specially “shoes”, which will position structures in place.
The county’s High Sherriff, Mr Chris Brown and the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, will then insert a bolt as a ceremonial means of marking this key phase in the completion of the building. When ready for use at the start of 2017, the building will be a new base for the law school and for the study of humanities.
The University’s Department of Estates and Facilities encouraged Huddersfield-based architects AHR Global and building contractors Morgan Sindall to use local manufacturers and suppliers as much as possible in the design and construction of the building.
The structure’s steel and aluminium frame will be faced with 2,092 square metres of glazing, fabricated by Huddersfield firm Dual Seal Glass Ltd and Brighouse company HWA. Other major contributors to the build include the Myers Group, proprietors of Johnson’s Wellfield Quarry at Crosland Moor, Huddersfield. It has furnished 1713 square metres of locally quarried stone and are a major supplier of concrete for the structure.
The ‘topping out’ ceremony will welcome representatives of many of the firms and practices involved in the project, including Morgan Sindall. AHR Global and structural engineers Tim Stower and Partners Ltd.
The new building is to be named after the 19th century campaigner for factory reform Richard Oastler, who had strong Huddersfield connections.