The Shard

The Shard

Project brief:

Tarmac Building Products have been providing Truflow Screed to The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016 ft high.

Truflow is a pump or hand applied self-levelling, synthetic, anhydrite screed for sub floor levelling and is 10-20 times faster to lay than conventional screed (up to 2000m3 per day).

The Project:

The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe, reaching 310 m (1,016 ft) high. Offices occupy floors 2-28 of the building; world renowned restaurants are on floors 31-33; the 5 star Shangri-La Hotel is to be on floors 34-52; exclusive residential apartments take up floors 53-65 and the observatory with 360° views around the capital will top it all off on floors 68-72.

The UK’s first ‘Jump Lift’ was successfully installed in The Shard, which enables shaft construction and installation works to continue above an operational lift. This removes the need for hoists and allows operatives and materials to move safely around the building.

Problems faced:

The original specification called for a site batched screed to be used which meant the physical transporting of plant and heavy materials in small quantities in the Jump Lift. Progressive Group, who were contracted to install the screed, needed a more logistically friendly solution which also drastically cut installation times and so called in Tarmac, the UK’s leading supplier of screed materials. Due to the building’s busy London location, continuity of transport of materials to site was crucial. Once screeding started, interruptions in material supply were simply ‘not an option!’

How Tarmac Building Products helped – Truflow:

Tarmac Building Products have supplied their ‘Truflow’ screed which has been pumped up 52 floors of the building. This method has previously only been trialled in Germany and Holland and so is a real first in the UK. Truflow is normally pumped up to a maximum of 10 storeys in a building so tests were conducted in order to find the right blend of materials to cope with the massive 75 bars of pressure exerted in pumping the screed so high. Extra binder was added to the screed mixture to prevent separation and this allowed the product to be pumped through a 5 inch pipe to most parts of the building. The concrete pump used was also modified to allow for this work to be carried out.

Those floors that presented problems with the pipe installation were screeded with Tarmac’s bagged version, ‘Truflow B.’ Delivery vehicles were finely co-ordinated so that at any one time there were three Tarmac mixer vehicles in at The Shard

  • Contractor: John Sisk & Son
  • Joint Main Contractors: John Sisk & Son and Mace Group
  • Location: London Bridge Quarter, London
  • Completed: 2000 – June 2012

Products Used