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Quartzelec continues M&E delivery on prestigious Axis Tower in Manchester

Manchester has a new addition to its skyline, with the construction the 28-storey residential Axis Tower. Quartzelec, a leading independent engineering service provider, is delivering the M&E contract which includes the installation of one of Europe’s largest digital advertising screens – measuring a massive 30m by 7m, across 10 storeys of the North Elevation of the tower.
Axis Tower has been developed by Manchester’s Property Alliance Group and is being built by main contractor Russells Construction. It comprises 172 apartments. The whole building is clad in bronzed aluminium panels with a glass façade system that also incorporates the massive media screen. A unique luxury space, the 24-hour concierge reception area features polished concrete and each apartment will be finished using high specification materials.
“This has been a fantastic project for the Quartzelec team to work on over the past few years and the addition of the massive media screen was one of the final elements to be completed,” stated Stephan Morrison, the recently appointed Managing Director of Quartzelec’s Contracting business. “Despite the small building footprint and allowable space for use of access equipment, we were able to reach up to 60 metres and install the individual sections of panels, successfully completing the electrical installation and helping to bring the individual sections of the Elonex manufactured screen to life. We continue to deliver some of the most prestigious and demanding engineering projects in the UK and this is another, multi-million-pound project in our growing portfolio.”
Construction work on Axis Tower commenced in 2016 and the mechanical elements of the project delivered by Quartzelec included: the mains water supply to the site and liaison with the utility companies; installing all the centralised hot water and the hot and cold water distribution along with the necessary sanitaryware and wastes; the residential sprinkler system and smoke vents; plus the air conditioning to the reception along with mechanical ventilation for the building.
From an electrical perspective the schedule of works included managing the incoming mains supply; all internal and external lighting plus all mains system wiring and electrical supplies to the heating and mechanical services; residential and landlord fire alarms, emergency lighting and a standby generator; installing the integrated CCTV and door access and intercom systems; Satellite TV, telephone and data feeds throughout the building; plus plant room electrical supplies. The last element completed was the installation of the media screen.
“Building this 28-storey tower on a small site, on a canal bank, in the middle of the city is no mean feat, but we have developed a wealth of experience of this type of constrained high rise build with several recent city centre schemes,” added Gareth Russell, Director of main contractor, Russells Construction. “We put together an expert team to devise and implement the solutions necessary to deliver Axis, creating a high-quality residential development which will provide a new standard of luxury accommodation for Manchester.”
Located in the city centre on Albion Street on the bank of the Rochdale Canal, close to Deansgate, Axis Tower has been designed by architect Jon Matthews on behalf of developer Property Alliance Group, with WSP acting as engineering consultants.
The build programme required Russells Construction to remove existing foundations that were installed for a prior scheme, put in new foundations and create the basement floor of the new Axis Tower building before commencing the superstructure. Quartzelec had an ongoing presence on the Axis site throughout the project which at its height had upwards of 30 Quartzelec staff including project managers, M&E engineers and qualified trades people carrying out all the necessary activities during normal working hours.
Contracting highlights
Quartzelec is an experienced and well respected independent multi-disciplined service provider in the UK. Its Contracting services encapsulate HV/LV Services, Utilities Services and Building Services; that’s supported by the Group’s esteemed 100+ year heritage for the design, manufacture, repair and refurbishment of rotating machines derived from the UK’s regional electricity companies.
Over recent years the Contracting business has successfully delivered many prestigious M&E new build and restoration installation and maintenance contracts that have recently included: 2 Schools and a Sure Start Centre with Elliott Modular; a £2.6m contract from main contractor Morgan Sindall plc, for a school extension in Manchester; a £3m M&E design and installation contract for 135 bespoke ‘retirement’ homes for Wythenshawe Community Housing Group in South Manchester; a £3.4m installation at Menai Science Centre in Anglesey, North Wales for Wilmott Dixon; a £1m HV/LV upgrade at Aberdeen airport; further HV upgrades for North British Distillers in Edinburgh; a replacement HV substation for Santander in Liverpool; and the M&E elements of the £1.3 million restoration and modernisation of the historic Grade I listed Sheffield Cathedral Gateway Project.
Success at Quartzelec
In 2017 Quartzelec celebrated 10-years of OEM independence and 100 years of heritage, building its reputation as a cost-effective provider of electrical engineering services. Key to this was strong leadership, a dedicated and knowledgeable 600 plus workforce and a positive ‘can do’ approach that enabled the business to achieve a +£63m turnover with continual global growth.
An independent, multi-disciplined engineering service provider, Quartzelec offers integrated solutions through two key areas; Contracting Services and Rotating Machine Services. The electrical contracting businesses deliver a growing portfolio of prestigious projects and currently operate and maintain more than 5000 HV customer assets at over 500 customer sites across the UK. The rotating machines operations include the design, manufacturing, installation, maintenance, refurbishment, rewinding and servicing of large, project critical motors and generators to customers operating across a broad range of industrial and commercial sectors around the globe. It also has the ability to work on any OEM-manufactured machine and/or equipment, including those built by its previous heritage companies such as GEC Machines, GEC Alsthom Large Machines, ALSTOM and Cegelec.


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