Metsec has supported the renovation of Portland House in Exeter city centre as part of a £17m luxury student accommodation scheme with load-bearing steel frame structure (SFS) system installed by Mansell Finishes for Select Property Group.

The four-storey 1960’s concrete-framed structure has been converted into a 161-flat, seven-storey student accommodation block on the site of Exeter’s former Theatre Royal. Create Construction converted the building using Metsec’s load-bearing SFS, installed by approved subcontractor and FIS member Mansell Finishes. The lightweight design of SFS enabled three additional storeys to be added to the original concrete building without impacting the structure.

Stephen Ginger, managing director of Metsec Purlins & Framing, said: “SFS makes use of the axial capacity of specially designed studs, which are designed as a series of columns to provide complete load-bearing wall panels. These are typically stick-built on-site, ensuring maximum flexibility to suit site requirements.

Dean Johnston, managing director at Mansell Finishes, commented: “Metsec’s SFS was ideal for this development as it offered a high-performance load-bearing solution and ensured the quickest installation process.”