A stunning new Art, Design and Media Centre was to be the centrepiece of Phase III construction at Middlesex University’s Hendon campus in the London Borough of Barnet. Described by the Greater London Authority as ‘world class design’, the £40.5M state-of-the-art centre is part of a major redevelopment of the Hendon site turning it into a flagship campus master-planned by BPR Architects.


The material quality and technical precision of the concrete frame are both critical in maximizing the contribution of the building’s thermal mass to its energy–efficiency and ultimate BREEAM rating. Galldris Construction undertook the £6m concrete works package on behalf of main contractor, Vinci Construction. Completed in eight months, the contract included construction of a large 7m deep basement and high specification reinforced concrete (RC) frame up to five storeys. Galldris proposed the use of PUDLO waterproofing additive to provide a membrane–free, watertight solution for approximately 1500m3 of concrete in the ground floor and retaining walls to the basement.

Having used the product on previous contracts, Galldris’ project team were very confident that the product and technical service provided by PUDLO’s site inspectors would ensure the demanding performance standards of the project would be met. Their confidence was underpinned by the 20-year warranty provided by PUDLO on completed structures. PUDLO inspectors also attended large pours and monitored mixing of the product at the batching plant right through to placing of the concrete.

PUDLO inspectors also attended large pours and monitored mixing of the product at the batching plant right through to placing of the concrete. With the industry-leading warranty in focus, PUDLO provided Galldris personnel with close technical support, from planning and pre-start stage right through to completion and final handover. 

Nigel Green, Galldris project manager, said, “PUDLO attended every section of work and signed off each individual concrete pour, ensuring quality control was of the required high standard to avoid water leakage. The inspection team made sure the required curing was carried out to avoid any stress cracks that might occur,” said Mr Green. He added, “The product eliminates post pour waterproofing details that can be extremely difficult when casting a one-sided structure.”

As well as lining and filling pores, PUDLO additive alters the microstructure of concrete to provide significantly increased factors of both waterproofing and strength. Among others, it reduces water absorption, permeability, drying shrinkage and cracking, and improves dimensional stability and durability, all significant in achieving the thermal mass performance relied on in BPR’s energy-efficient design.


A £100m investment in Phases I and II has delivered acclaimed facilities designed by BPR. These include the Sheppard Library, the award-winning glazed Quadrangle Building, and the Hatchcroft Building, one of the first 15 university buildings to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. Also designed by BPR, the new Art, Design and Media Centre provides 15,460m2 of floor space, arranged over two to five storeys, with cutting-edge creative arts facilities for 1,600 students and 193 staff at peak times. Phase III construction, costing £80m overall, also included extensive landscaping and enhanced external space focused on encouraging biodiversity and supporting local wildlife and bird habitat. Designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘excellent’, the building uses passive design – its thermal mass and siting, maximisation of daylight, natural ventilation – to reduce CO2 and keep lifetime energy use and maintenance costs to a minimum. Low carbon and low energy features include the use of sustainable and recyclable building materials, solar hot water heating, natural ventilation and night time cooling system, gas fired combined heat and power and sedum ‘living’ roofs.

Completed in summer 2011, the new building has seen much of the University’s teaching and support facilities, which were previously spread over four North London sites, consolidated at Hendon.