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Standing tall at a soaring 42 stories, The Mercian proudly claims the title of Birmingham's tallest residential tower. This impressive development caters to the needs of city-centre professionals with 481 top-notch, build-to-rent apartments, seamlessly connected to the city's extensive tram network.

At the heart of this prestigious project lies a commitment to fostering a vibrant, modern community. The Mercian offers its residents a wide range of state-of-the-art amenities, such as health and fitness services, a 24-hour gym, dining club, residents' lounge, and an extraordinary 200-meter rooftop running track on the third-floor terrace – a groundbreaking feature in the UK housing market.

This private-rented-sector development not only houses residents but also features commercial units, office spaces and residential amenity areas. However, the complexity of the different uses at the lower levels and their interconnectedness with the residential areas – including the stairs – meant that the proposed design would not conform with the recommendations of standard Building Regulations. A custom fire-engineered approach was needed to support the building’s design.

Jensen Hughes worked closely with the design team and West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service in determining the appropriate fire safety measures. Due to the building height, which was over 125 meters (410 feet), a detailed qualitative design review was conducted to determine the additional features that may be required to ensure the building’s safety. We also drew on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling to support several fire-engineered solutions, including extended distances in the residential common corridors, the design of the office atrium and the connection of ancillary areas to the residential stairs.

Building Control and West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service approved the building’s fire strategy, and the project was completed in 2022. The Mercian will undoubtedly reenergize the Birmingham city centre, bringing people together for work, recreation, and culture while also promoting community well-being and sustainable living.

Project Details

Project Location

Birmingham, UK

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