The Pressworks

The redevelopment and refurbishment of a former jewellery factory site in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham.

Northwood Street

Birmingham, UK




Etec Group




Currently in site / Structural works completed




Scapolan Burney


Scapolan Burney

Download PDF


The site includes various different structures, several of which are Grade II listed. These are being retained and celebrated, with new apartments being constructed adjacent.

A survey of the ground conditions identified significant obstructions across the entire site including cobbled streets, vitrified glass, coal, two separate roadways, vaulted cellars, and various bits of concrete.

After extensive discussions with the client and design team, we worked on a methodology to de-risk the site where possible with GPR surveys, pile probing, and where necessary localised trial pitting was undertaken to clear obstructions.

After a full structural appraisal, we identified the right solution for this site is to install a raft slab foundation and use Modern Methods of Construction in the form of a structural steel framing system. Close coordination with the Heritage Consultant was crucial to identify which historic materials could be retained, strengthened, or replaced.

An existing Silver Press at the site is being restored and will be on display in a new courtyard.

We designed the Below Ground Drainage including SuDS, with careful placement of the attenuation tank to avoid the existing below ground obstructions, modelled in Civil 3D and coordinated with structural elements in Navisworks.

In accordance with National Standards and Birmingham’s local requirements, we also produced a full Drainage Statement to assist and discharge associated planning conditions against the site.

Highway work was undertaken for the development with the stopping up of two existing crossovers under a S278 Agreement, undertaken with the local highway authority.