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Lightweight Composite Concrete Stairs Reduce Weight for Quad 7

Designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects, Quad 7 provides 9,000m² of office and retail space just a short distance from Auckland International Airport. The building is part of The Quad — a pedestrian-friendly office precinct perfect for businesses looking to take advantage of an easy airport connection.

The distinctive design of the building, which was awarded a 2017 NZIA local architecture award, features an elongated black glazed box which is elevated above the ground floor. While the lower levels provide options for hospitality and retail tenants, the upper levels offer ample space for commercial tenancies.

Four external stairways provide access to the upper levels — a smart design choice which maximises floor space for tenants. For these stairways, GRC’s Flexus Stair System was specified — a lightweight and flexible engineered composite concrete system ideal for projects where weight savings are critical.

“With the Flexus Stair System, you get the performance and appearance of solid concrete stairs, but in a lightweight, modular system,” says Jamie Marryatt, GRC. At approximately 1/7th of the weight of solid concrete stairs, Flexus stairs can significantly reduce the weight of a building. Key to this is their slim design which doesn’t compromise on strength; while most solid concrete stair systems are on average 225mm thick, Flexus stairs have an average thickness of 30mm.

Designed for external stairways, the lightweight Flexus Stair System has been tested and approved by Opus to be compliant with NZBC slip test requirements. GRC uses adjustable stair moulds to cast the stairs — a feature which enables the tread and riser heights to be adjusted to any dimensions required.

Approximately 500 stairs in natural grey cement colour were installed for the four external stairways of Quad 7. The modular construction of the system, with the tread of each stair designed to slot into the riser of the stair above, helped ensure fast and accurate fixing.

The final result for Quad 7 is safe access for occupants, with the design and construction teams benefiting from savings on time, costs and weight. Contractors, McCreeny Construction, were so pleased with the system’s performance that they have since successfully recommended it to architects for other projects as an alternative to precast concrete stairs.

View more information on GRC NZ, including contact details.
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