Manchester Tower Block Renovation - 20,000 Wall Ties

wall ties manchester tower block

drive tie into wall

engage test key

wall tie testing in thermalite block

remedial wall ties helical

Work has commenced on the restoration of a large tower block building in the heart of Manchester’s City Centre. The large-scale project will include the expert installation of at least 20,000 replacement wall ties to provide the very highest levels of structural strength and integrity.

In common with similar large cities in the UK, Manchester's City Centre has seen a huge influx of new residents in recent years, leading to the construction of a diverse range of new apartment buildings and the renovation of high rise social housing accommodation. These renovations breathe new life into the old buildings, providing a strong and lasting repair to ensure the structure is secure and fit for use for many years to come.

The brick ties are being replaced by Twistfix-registered contractors Hilton Cavity Tie Services, a company that is dedicated to wall tie replacement and structural masonry repair work. Melvin Hilton has been busy installing helical wall ties to properties owned by Manchester City Council for almost 20 years and is well known to council supervisors as being a master wall ties installation and testing technician.

His experience proved to be of great value on pre-contract testing when Mr Hilton discovered that the brick-faced building had a concrete-frame inner leaf with Thermalite block infill panels that are only 75mm thick. This triggered 2 major changes to the replacement tie specification; reduced tie embedment and increased tie density.

Criteria for selecting type of wall ties for the multi-storey tower block and tie spacings

  • BS 5628-1 requires that the spacing of a wall tie system should double from 2.5 ties/m2 to 5 ties per square metre where one leaf is less than 90mm thick
  • BRE Digest 329 identifies suitable remedial tie systems that offer fire resistance of greater than half-an-hour
  • The tie penetration depths in the 75mm wide Thermalite block would need to be reduced from the specified 85mm to 60mm without major adverse effect on the performance of the tying system.

A number of clearance holes were drilled through the brick face and ties installed into the Thermalite bock, which were subsequently pull-tested to determine tensile load capacity at the reduced embedment. The Twistfix helical ties are manufactured with innovative and patented precise-pitch helix technology; for this reason the strength of the mechanical interlock connection with 60mm penetration into the lightweight blocks is almost twice that of any other helical wall tie tested.

Proven to deliver the very best performance, a factor that was critical in the pre-contract testing of various brands of helical wall ties, the council were happy to give the green light for the Twistfix remedial ties to be used on this multi-story block. The tying system also offers rapid installation rates and low-cost installation tools; it is little wonder that it is the tie of first choice for the professional replacement wall ties specialist.

We look forward to hearing more as the job progresses and will share updates in these news pages and directly with our thousands of newsletter subscribers.

For more information on the patented Twistfix Replacement Wall Ties, please call 0845 123 6006 or email