We took full design responsibility for the structure

Here at Premier Substructures, we understand that below-ground prefabricated steel substructures are still a new concept to many end-users. This can also become a bit of a barrier, as people don’t tend to like change.

However, there are various benefits compared to traditional methods; including significant time savings, accurate budgeting, watertightness, and much tighter tolerances of +-3mm. Because of these clear benefits, clients who have used our services once usually come back.

Below, we’re going to highlight the challenges one of our clients was faced with when they needed to save time on their project, and how we were able to help.

The challenge

We were contacted by our client, Northfield Construction, to complete two very large sumps for British Gypsum. Northfield are familiar with our work, as we completed and installed our first substructure for them around 15 years ago – having been referred to us by another company.

This was a very big job for us, and the units absolutely had to be installed in the Christmas factory close-down, making deadlines particularly tight. It was the only time we were able to install, as they couldn’t close the factory at any other time.

The sumps were for a product-handling facility at the end of their production line. The main reason they came to us was because they knew from previous installs that we could be quick and that prefabricated steel allowed for a fast turnaround, without the risks of going over-time.

The biggest risk of not using prefabricated steel, and instead opting for the more traditional method of in situ concrete, would mean that the project wouldn’t have been completed on time and the facility would have to be shut down for longer, losing money.

The solution

The architect on the project knew our work, and knew we could not only install the sumps much quicker than in situ, but could also install substructures that were completely watertight. This meant that the substructures could be installed in just two weeks, rather than five.

Having worked with us previously, our client was able to order the substructures ahead of time so that when it came down to actually installing the sumps, the time it took to install them was cut lower than half.

This was the only way the project could have been completed, as closing down the facility for more than two weeks simply wasn’t an option.

We took full design responsibility for the structure, including the installation process, once we were appointed to the project – therefore removing all risk from the client’s end.

The results

We delivered and installed the prefabricated steel sumps to Northfield Construction on-time, resulting in a very happy client. In fact, Northfield’s MD called Mel whilst he was in Ireland to thank him personally for the work carried out.

The end products were installed at +-2mm and are also completely watertight – guaranteed. This helped them to mitigate the risk from one of the high-risk elements on the construction programme.

If time is a big driver for your project, remember that prefabricated steel has a big advantage, as long as you’re able to order ahead. That way, when your project is underway, we can come in and install it 70 – 80% faster than more traditional below-ground construction methods.

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Want to talk to one of our team? Call us now on

01775 821222