‘World’s first skyscraper’ brought back to former glory

Midlands | Property & Construction
Main Mill at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings in Shropshire
The Main Mill at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings in Shropshire

 

The Grade I listed Main Mill in Shropshire – the ‘world’s first skyscraper’ – has been restored after standing derelict for decades.

Leicester-based Aggregate Industries completed the project with partners SMC Minimix Concrete on behalf of Historic England.

Termed ‘the most important building of the modern age’ by the Chairman of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Sir Peter Luff, the site comprises of eight listed buildings, including the Main Mill, which was built in 1797, when Shropshire was at the heart of the industrial revolution.

As the first iron-framed building, the site paved the way for modern skyscrapers.

The site restoration is due for completion in 2021, with the introduction of a café at ground level and several thousand feet of contemporary office and meeting space on the floors above. Future plans for the remaining land and buildings on site include the development of new living space.

For main contractor Croft Building and Conservation Ltd, a key requirement of the project was to source an aggregate solution that would be lightweight enough not to overload the fragile iron structure. Aggregrate Industries’ lightweight solution, Lytag, was used to reduce the composite deck concrete slab load by approximately 25% over normal weight control.

Barry Mellor, Commercial and Technical Manager for Lytag, comments: “We worked closely with the team to facilitate the project, sharing advice and mix designs for the end product, in order to provide a holistic solution for the customer that played to each of our strengths; product innovation and logistics.

“We are thrilled to have supported such a prestigious and culturally important project that will see the rightful restoration of a building that is integral to the fabric of history.”

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