Top Marks for UltraScape at Birmingham University Library!

UltraScape’s BS 7533 Compliant Mortar Paving System has been used in the construction of Birmingham University’s brand new state of the art library.

The new main library which cost £60 million, opened in September 2016 and is already being heralded as one of the first of a new generation of libraries in UK higher education. The Library has been tailor-made to suit modern users’ requirements and is designed to make more of the University’s extraordinary collections accessible to students and staff, with expert library staff on hand to help and advise on texts, support and resources.

Principal contractor, O’Brien Contractors, installed hard and soft landscaping around the prestigious new library, which included 1200m² of yellow rock granite paving. The colour was chosen to enhance the tones of the new building.

UltraScape’s Pro-Bed HS provided a perfect bound base for the granite. It can be laid up to 75mm in one pass, with greater depths achievable using successive layers. The fast strength gain of Pro-Bed HS allows pedestrian areas to be trafficked in as little as 12 hours. UltraScape’s Pro-Prime was applied between the paving elements and bedding mortar. The addition of a slurry primer is essential to yield bond strength compliant with BS 7533 and helps prevent costly failures.

UltraScape’s Flowpoint was used to grout the setts. Simple to use, requiring only the addition of water on site, it is poured over the area and washed clean, filling all joints evenly, without staining.  This slurry method provides an easy method of grouting large areas, quickly. Flowpoint can be opened to pedestrians in just 1 hour and vehicular traffic after only 4 hours, minimising disruption. It can accommodate widths between 5mm and 50mm and depths of up to 200mm

in a single pass and is available in 2 colours; natural grey and charcoal, with bespoke colours available upon request. A special order of buff was produced for this project to compliment the paving elements and surrounding environment.

UltraScape’s Paving Guard surface sealant was applied once the grout had set to help preserve the installation. When applied, the product forms a protective barrier to many common stain agents. It also reduces the ability of chewing gum adhering to the surface of paving, making it easier to remove during the cleaning cycles.

Established in 1958, O’Brien Contractors is a Midlands-based provider of civil engineering, design and build and groundworks services, as well as turnkey sports pitch solutions. Receiving the prestigious five star rating for Achilles Building  Confidence accreditation in 2014 means O’Brien sits alongside leading names in the construction sector as suppliers of excellent quality work with a commitment to growth and sustainability.

Key projects and customers include the Nestlé manufacturing facility with John Sisk and Son; the Regeneration of Longbridge Town Centre with Morgan Sindall; and Primark’s Retail Distribution Centre with Sir Robert McAlpine.

For further information on Ultrascape’s  BS 7533 compliant mortar paving system and ancillary products, please visit or call 01827 254402. Keep up-to-date with the latest news and competitions from UltraScape on twitter, follow @Ultrascape_UK