The Emporium, Bartholomew Row

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The £15 million Emporium scheme revolves around the development of a former lighting factory which dates back to the early 1700’s and is Grade II listed.

  • Leada Acrow products in-situ on construction site
  • Leada Acrow products in-situ on construction site
  • Leada Acrow products in-situ on construction site
  • Leada Acrow products in-situ on construction site
  • Leada Acrow products in-situ on construction site

Customer Name

Clark Mulhern Limited

Project Location

Birmingham City Centre


35 weeks for Leada Acrow products and 10 weeks for GB Access.

Products Used

MevaDec, MEP shoring system and EPS mesh barrier guard railing from Leada Acrow, plus a personnel and goods lift from GB Access.


Located in the centre of Birmingham on the fringe of East Side Park, within walking distance of the universities, the Bullring and Birmingham New Street Station, the factory has remained derelict since Christopher Wray Lighting moved out in 2003. The development also includes the construction of a new 15-storey concrete framed building which is being used for student accommodation, plus bars and restaurants at ground level and art and design studios. Georgian Houses are also being converted into offices. The new tower comprises a total of 166 student studio apartments and the new building is designed to complement the existing listed buildings.

Clark Mulhern Construction Limited is based in the West Midlands, specialising in reinforced concrete works, supplying and installing formwork, reinforcement and concrete placement. They were seeking formwork products to enable the core of the new tower block to be slip formed and the construction of pre-tensioned concrete floor slabs.

The Challenge

This was a huge project - in fact it is Clark Mulhern’s largest contract to date. The company had never used Leada Acrow products before and were familiar with competitors’ products, so it was essential that we communicated the many benefits of using the MevaDec panel system in particular. Top priorities were safety, ease of use and versatility of panel placement to allow for changes and speed of application. The site was also very tight on space, so it was essential that all deliveries were efficiently made on time so as not to delay work.

The Solution

We invited Clark Mulhern to the MEVA showroom in Tamworth for a hands-on session with the equipment. We could also communicate the cost-efficiencies of using MevaDec panelised slab formwork system in comparison to alternatives, whereby the basic per metre price is advantageous. Furthermore, we could offer additional benefits such as our Technical Department working directly alongside the customer and one of our Technical Engineers visiting the site to discuss various options and solutions.

In terms of meeting the specification, our MevaDec system met the safety requirements as panels are held in primary beams, allowing placement of the panels from below and eliminating the need for operatives to work from above. With regards to ease of use, MevaDec has a limited number of different components with the ability to position panels anywhere along the primary beams and ‘drop-heads’ with 180mm of movement.

MevaDec is also highly versatile, as panels can be positioned anywhere along the primary beams, allowing easy erection. Panels can be cantilevered to allow walkways outside the footprint of the building. Finally, MevaDec allows rapid completion of projects as the lightweight panels reduce operative fatigue, the 180mm of movement on drop-heads allow props to be left in place when striking and it allows easy placement of make-ups.

The Results

Leada Acrow won the contract to supply the MevaDec slab formwork system, MEP shoring system and EPS mesh barrier guard railing for this prestigious contract. As the project is long-running and is in a prominent position in Birmingham City Centre, we were able to brand some of the EPS guard railing with the customer’s name. As well as the products supplied by Leada Acrow, our sister division GB Access also installed a personnel and goods hoists for use during construction of the core, so we were able to supply a one-stop solution.

“We have been extremely impressed with Leada Acrow formwork products and the time efficiencies that they have allowed us to make on this prestigious project. We are completing a floor every six days.”

Sean Clark, Clark Mulhern Limited

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