Milbank Concrete Products based in Colchester, North Essex, are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of precast concrete products with a focus on exceptional customer service.

Throughout the design, manufacturing, delivery and installation stages, Milbank offer one of the most comprehensive and professional service packages, providing a range of precast concrete products including: balconies, beam & block flooring, bespoke concrete products, ground beams, hollowcore flooring, helical stairs, rail products, sea defence & flood solutions, stadia products and straight stairs & landings.

Following on from market research and the identification of the need for an affordable, cost effective and efficient thermal floor arrangement, Milbank Concrete Products have recently launched their new and improved insulated concrete flooring solution, WarmFloor Pro.

WarmFloor Pro offers construction professionals a cost-effective alternative to quickly assembling a thermally insulated concrete ground floor over the industry leading competitor brand, Jetfloor, by Forterra (Bison). Reduced initial construction costs and an increase in energy savings make WarmFloor Pro a compelling alternative to a standard beam and block floor. In combination with its certification and A+ Green Guide rating, WarmFloor Pro is proving to be a must have addition to any new, eco-friendly development where keeping heating costs low is paramount.

WarmFloor Pro is suitable for almost any structure, but is most commonly used in housing, from single dwellings to complete housing developments. It offers a simple, cost effective, concrete insulated flooring solution to self-builders and construction professionals alike. Without the need for any specialist tools or skills, installation of WarmFloor Pro is efficient and streamlined whilst minimising waste and emission rates.

WarmFloor Pro works by combining rigid insulation modules (EPS panels) manufactured from lightweight closed cell expanded polystyrene which is laid in-between prestressed concrete beams (either 155mm or 225mm deep) with an EPS top sheet, damp proof membrane and structural concrete topping. If required, underfloor heating can be incorporated with the pipework attaching to the EPS panels with plastic pegs before the concrete topping is applied.

WarmFloor Pro is comprised of 6 main EPS components that are available in two types of EPS; standard issue in white (0.038W/m²K) or an alternative high-performance platinum in grey (0.031W/m²K). The 6 components are made up of Top Sheets – available in depths of 75-150mm, Infill Panels – available in 533mm for nominal 600mm beam centres and 343mm for reduced beam centres, and End Panels – available in both 178mm and 300mm.

EPS end panels are used for both the start and end of the flooring installation. The end panels are inserted at the start of the row with the straight (1200mm edge) opposite to the beam. All units are 1200mm long and can be cut on site to the required length using basic tools such as a handsaw; (minimum 300mm long).

As every building is different, Milbank are well equipped to design your floor to achieve the specific targeted U-Values (reaching as low as 0.07W/m²K) together with the structural layout of the floor to suit. Milbank then manufacture the concrete components and supply the materials (including the EPS panels) directly to your site. WarmFloor Pro is currently available on a supply only or

supply and installation basis using their vastly experienced installation teams.

WarmFloor Pro Benefits:

  • Easy to install – does not require any specialist tools or skills.
  • Quick to install – each EPS panel is the equivalent length of 5 standard concrete blocks.
  • Cost effective – WarmFloor Pro is designed to save you money. Faster installation speeds combined with reduced waste and excavation removal allow for an increase in overall savings.
  • Bespoke – a wide range of EPS panel depths and grades are available to satisfy your U-value or budget requirements.
  • Sustainable – WarmFloor Pro is designed to last the lifetime of the building while maintaining its exceptional thermal performance.
  • Clean, safe and easy to handle – lightweight EPS panels only weigh around 2Kg.
  • Underfloor heating compatible – heating pipework is simply held in place using plastic pegs that push into the EPS panels.
  • Proven Technology – now in use for over 10 years.
  • Industry compliant – Milbank WarmFloor Pro is Fully certified and has an A+ green guide rating.

For more information on Milbank Concrete Products or to enquire about their extensive range of products including WarmFloor Pro Insulated Flooring, please visit their website or call them on 01787 223 931.

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Milbank Concrete Products recently worked alongside RG Group on the design, manufacture and installation of over 90 specialist precast concrete flint embossed retaining walls at the St James Retail Leisure Park development in Dover, with an estimated contract sum of circa £24m.

The St James development has transformed the retail and leisure offer in the heart of Dover and south Kent and is located on the A20, the main road leading to the Port of Dover, making it highly visible and accessible to visitors, tourists and those travelling to and from the port.

The development comprises a range of outlets including an M&S store, a six-screen multiplex Cineworld cinema, a 108-bed Travelodge hotel and five national chain restaurants, along with a further 12 retail units ranging in size from 2730 to 16,000ft2 (254 to 1486m2). With over 450 car parking spaces and 156,915ft2 (14,578m2) of new retail and leisure space in total, the development is well equipped to cater for a large number of visitors on a daily basis.

Design and construction

Milbank produced 97 precast concrete walls in total, ranging from 6 to 11 tonnes, using four separate timber moulds. The complex moulds were handcrafted by skilled, in-house carpenters and specific requirements were agreed with regard to the flint layout by Dover District Council, Dover Planning Departments and the site contractors in co-ordination with Historic England, using examples of local existing flint walls.

The flexibility of having four individual moulds allowed the production team to hand-lay the flint into two moulds, while the remaining two moulds were poured. The panels were cast over a ten-week period at Milbank’s precast concrete factory in Earls Colne. During the casting process, sand was used as a bed within the timber moulds to assist with the placement and spacing of individual flint stones, which were hand laid face down in the agreed style. Dover District Council visited the factory during the production period to assess the flint arrangement and to ensure it met its needs and gave the best possible match to existing flint walls and buildings in the vicinity.

To create the desired finish, the production team hand-picked the stones to ensure they all interlocked together neatly. Once this extremely time-consuming process was complete, steel cages, lifters and pipes were located and installed and the concrete carefully poured over the top of the flint stones to form the wall structures. The following day, once the concrete curing process was complete, the excess sand was washed off and the units were turned using the in-house gantry crane to present the finished article.

Milbank’s modern Sipe batching plant is capable of producing 35m3 of concrete per hour. For this particular project, a standard C40/50 strength-class concrete comprising of 460kg/3 of Portland cement, 1800kg/m3 of mixed aggregates and 40kg/m3 calcium carbonate fines were selected to create the desired finish and achieve the level of structural integrity required.

Installation and completion

Due to the size and weight of the wall units, with some weighing up to 11 tonnes and sitting at over 5m tall, a complex installation procedure was required involving the use of both 100-tonne and 80-tonne mobile cranes (lifting up to a radius of 17m) in combination with the specialist precast installation team. Due to the access restrictions on-site, short trailers were arranged for delivery ahead of schedule following on from an initial site consultation and the delivery vehicles arrived on a ‘just-in-time’ basis, allowing for the walls to be offloaded directly into position.

Each individual wall was located over projecting steel dowels and cast into the foundations on-site by the main contractor RG Group, a specialist in the retail, student accommodation and commercial sectors of the construction industry. Lined and levelled on shims and bedding, the walls dowel connections were fully grouted using specialist pipes cast into the rear of the structures during the manufacturing phase. The walls were designed with male-to-female connections to act as a shear key, which allowed the walls to act in unison and to reduce individual movement once installation was complete.

Due to the walls being manufactured and installed as individual units, it was required that the joining sections be hand-filled on-site by the main contractor with matching flint stones to consolidate all units into one flowing piece. Finally, end columns and caps were also manufactured on-site by the main contractor to provide finishing touches to the wall structure. The flint walls now act as a screen to the service area for the main retail block from the roadside, which includes M&S and Next at the Dover St James development.

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