Byron House, Nottingham

Creating dramatic kerb appeal whilst working within a constricted urban environment

Byron House, Nottingham: Case Study Summary

Client Location Sector Main Contractor
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham Student Accommodation Vinci Construction

Byron House is an award-winning accommodation scheme in the heart of Nottingham city centre. Sigmat light gauge steel frame expertise enabled the eye-catching and imaginative designs to take shape.

Situated in a vibrant urban environment just minutes away from the city’s academic facilities, Byron House is a 911-bed student scheme that incorporates a series of five interlinked buildings with heights ranging from 4 to 9 storeys.

The Sigmat design team worked closely with Vinci, the main contractor, to deliver a very successful scheme within a constricted urban site. Bespoke light gauge steel frames were needed to achieve the complex façade requirements of the stunning buildings, designed by Church Lukas architects.

The angular, non-standard shapes of the buildings can be clearly seen in the photographs shown and Block A (shown on the right) includes a significant overhang, which created an unprecedented challenge to the Sigmat team.

From the outset it was clear that bespoke frames would be needed to achieve the angles and the stability and strength required. The relationship between the light gauge steel frames and the traditional frames which support the landscaped roof gardens was also a key consideration.

The new Nottingham Trent University accommodation campus contains five buildings. The Gill Street building is a low-rise rectangular shape and Byron House which has four distinct blocks, which are named A, B, C and D.

The Sigmat installation team was involved in the construction of all buildings and worked simultaneously on different buildings during the programme.

In addition to designing frames that enabled the unusual angles of buildings B and C and the overhang of Block A, Sigmat also incorporated three further innovations to aid the design:

  • Acoustic pads were fitted to the underside of Block B to dampen the noise emanating from the nightclub below.
  • Profile sheet roof decking was used instead of roof cassettes, to achieve the unusual roof shapes designed by the architect.
  • A bespoke 9-floor staircase was designed and manufactured by Sigmat.


2014 EM RICS Project of the year


2014 EM RICS Best commercial project


2014 EM RICS Best leisure project



2014 RIBA EM project


2014 EMPD Design excellence award


2014 Schuco Education sector project







The size and context of the overhang of Block A is something that has never been attempted in light gauge steel before. We came up with an innovative solution and we are delighted with the outcome.

James Walker, Commercial Director, Sigmat

Sigmat delivered Byron House in a safe and co-ordinated manner to an extremely tight programme. Site logistics were complicated, but Sigmat managed and coordinated all lifts and pours in a professional and precise manner. The system delivered is fast, flexible and reliable. I would not hesitate to use it again on further projects. Design delivery ensured production was not delayed and included many design interfaces with other large contractors working onsite. Block A was extremely demanding due to its shape and design, which challenged all of the design teams. Sigmat worked closely with a number of the designers to solve difficult design challenges, ensuring production was unaffected. The production teams were extremely motivated and well-managed throughout the programme and worked well with other contractors. Working with Sigmat has been a pleasure and it is great to see competent companies delivering quality products to the UK market.

Brian Scott, Senior Project Manager, Vinci
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