Ramada, Warrington

The Ramada Encore Hotel in Warrington is a 103 bedroom hotel with bar, restaurant and conference facilities. It is situated on a large business park and its market aimed at the local business trade. The hotel has been open now for less than a month and has surpassed the clients and staff's expectations.

The hotel was built on traditional mass fill foundations with lime / cement stabilised ground for the ground bearing slab and car park. The superstructure design incorporated a part steel frame part precast concrete ground floor with precast concrete first floor slab. A structural concrete topping was then used to achieve the required floor loadings and raise the floor levels to work in with the bathroom pod levels. The upper floors were internal precast concrete walls with an external steel frame infill, again with a precast / structural topping floor. Pre assembled bathroom pods were used on this development and were positioned by the crane as the building assembled. The roof was precast slabs to which an insulated membrane roof covering was installed with siphonic drainage. The external façade of the hotel was mainly an insulated render to the upper floors with a mix of brick slip and curtain walling to the ground floor.

It was decided that instead of using solid precast walls, a twin wall system would be used. Twin wall precast units are made by casting a 60mm concrete slab on a steel deck and then once cured flipping it over and casting in with another 60mm slab. Reinforcing bars are used to bond them together in the production process and a 60m void is left between the two slabs. Once installed on site, the cavity is grouted thus securing them to the starter bars. This had key advantages, the main ones being a good paint grade finish to the walls, shorter lead time and quicker installation. To aid the overall installation time a metal framing system was used on the majority of the outer walls instead of precast concrete, concrete was only employed to act as shear walls in a few locations. This light weight framing with a CP board covering was an ideal backing for the external insulated render and brick slip system used on this project.