'The Courtyard' by Marriott Hotel, Exeter - Sigmat

The new ‘Courtyard By Marriot’ Hotel will be the largest commercial hotel in the region with 250 bedrooms, ground floor leisure facilities and a spectacular rooftop cocktail bar.

Working with Exeter based KTA Architects, Sigmat have been involved in delivering an all-encompassing offsite MMC solution including; 4-levels of hot rolled steel transfer structure with Sigmat’s own SFS infill, 5-levels of Sigmat Light Gauge Steel Framing with 160mm SMD decking throughout the whole scheme, including provision of roofing, lift / stair cores and staircases.

In keeping with the architects detailed design for the outer wall, Sigmat were required to precision design and manufacture  every stud to the external walls which were pre-pierced to receive the  fixing point for the horizontal rail on each floor, to support the feature vertical fins.

This unique approach was employed to deliver on the architectural designs specifics to create an impressive  wave effect across the building.

Commenting on the ground-breaking design specifications, Sigmat’s Darren Hooley, said:
“By installing the SFS at the same time as the pre-assembled panels on the upper levels, this allowed other trades to follow straight behind with their works, which in turn accelerated the overall programme of works significantly. As the build progressed it was extremely rewarding to see the hotel gain landmark status in the south west, the final highlight of which was the completion of the bespoke link bridge which we installed from the Exeter Chief’s main car park direct to the hotel reception. This has been a tremendous project to be involved with.”

Alongside additional architectural features such as vertical aluminium brise soleil which helps to manage heat and light, the heart of the scheme also includes a bespoke, hot-rolled glazed link bridge which offers seamless access from the hotel reception to the nearby Sandy Park stadium, home to the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club.

Sigmat’s Design Director Anthony Longbottom said the hybrid nature of the scheme had presented unique challenges:  “The scheme presented a number of key structural challenges;  The vertical brise soleil fins were up to 17m long and fixed directly to the LGSF external wall studs. Torsion of the light gauge sections was prevented using an innovative rail system which also allowed for on-site tolerance and adjustment when installing the fins. A hybrid design utilising slender hot rolled posts and braced light gauge steel panels at the upper floor allowed for a large open plan space with continuous glazing down the full elevation.”

“Another key architectural feature was the gull wing roof with 62m2  central opening over the roof top bar area. To create this, our engineers designed a series of plan trusses within the roof structure requiring complex wind modelling and stability analysis. The project was a really exciting one to be involved with and relied heavily on Sigmat’s wealth of hot rolled and cold rolled design expertise.”

Lead architect on the project, Adam Willis, from KTA commented: “This has been a ground-breaking project for us. The hybrid approach of using hot-rolled to level 3 of the structure and light gauge for all upper floors has offered us huge amounts of flexibility and really demonstrated the effectiveness of LGSF as a leading value engineering solution.”

“LGSF is an amazing system for the right project and has huge benefits for this type of scheme such as the speed of construction onsite and the flexibility to create a cost-effective,  custom engineering solution that really delivers.”


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