The Mall Apartments – Ealing

9 storey apartment development
11 week installation programme
System installer: -

Innovative Panelised Construction in Challenging Urban Environment

In the vibrant heart of Ealing, West London, a construction project took shape that showcased how panelised off-site solutions can overcome urban challenges and provide homes for underserved areas.

Overcoming logistical challenges

The site, once a compact, private car park nestled between two existing buildings and backing onto the bustling Ealing Broadway tube station, presented formidable logistical challenges.

The ambitious goal was to create a multi-occupancy residential haven, offering a blend of short-term and corporate lease apartments to cater to the ever-demanding needs of the thriving London community.

In just five months, the structure for a nine-storey block of apartments was manufactured, delivered, and installed. And thanks to the collaborative efforts of the contractors involved and the innovative light gauge steel frame solutions from Intrastack, the load-bearing structure was delivered on-time and on-budget.

the mall, ealing

Communication and Coordination

Effective communication and coordination were crucial to the project’s success. Intrastack was involved in the project from its early stages, working closely with the client’s design team and the main contractor.

The project was originally going to be a concrete build, however this changed to a panelised structure due to the speed of construction and in turn, a quicker return on investment. Speed was an important consideration, as there were people on the waiting list for short-term and corporate leases.

So, Intrastack’s team worked with the project design team to re-design the project as a steel frame building. This ensured considerations, such as the structural calculations, the line loads, the layouts, and the architect wraps, were in-line to ensure an efficient delivery.

Weekly design team meetings ensured smooth collaboration and alignment. Technical project managers from Intrastack actively managed the project, leading to a well-coordinated and efficient process.

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Technology and Sustainability

The Intrastack design process utilises Tekla Structures for digital design, which go into the architect BIM model. This technology produced a detailed 3D digital model of the envisioned build to enable precise planning and coordination at the manufacturing stage.

Panelised construction significantly minimised material waste, as every piece of steel was cut to size, eliminating offcuts. Additionally, the strategic packing of delivery vehicles reduced the number of deliveries, minimising the project’s environmental impact. In the end, the project comprised 25 deliveries in total, with a total of 464 individual panels forming the structure.

Challenges and Timelines

The project faced logistical challenges due to the urban location and limited access. The tight site and challenging logistics necessitated innovative solutions.

The site was located off Ealing Broadway, a main road in a busy London area. This meant time restrictions were imposed, only allowing deliveries to site from 10am. Surveying the site was key when planning delivery and offloading.

The site was positioned between two neighbouring properties on either side, so care had to be taken when lifting from the vehicles. Specifically loaded vehicles were utilised to fit through the narrow gap between the buildings, and a tower crane lifted materials over the top of the buildings, since there was no direct access.

A panelised construction approach was chosen, as the light gauge steel frame system offered flexibility in both design and logistics, which were ideal for the limited footprint of the site. The system also required minimal time and resources on-site, as most of the construction was carried out off-site in the manufacturing stage. This was ideal for this project, given the busy area and the limited room available.

The installation of the structure achieved remarkable precision in adhering to its timeline, which left very little room for deviation. Despite facing adverse weather conditions, such as sub-zero temperatures during the final stages of the year, the majority of the project remained unaffected, as much of the work was carried out at Intrastack’s off-site manufacturing facility.

An impressive feat was the project’s consistent pace, with Intrastack working two floors ahead of the scheduled timeline at the manufacturing stage. This proactive approach ensured that while the third floor was being installed, the fourth and fifth floors were already manufactured, allowing for swift progress towards completion of the structure.

By having all the components meticulously panelised, stacked, and prepared well in advance, delays were minimised, and the installation process for the tall, narrow building was able to go ahead without delays. This approach ensured that the installers’ productivity remained high, playing a crucial role in efficiently delivering the structure.

Impact on the Construction Industry

The project showcased the benefits of panelised construction in urban environments with limited space and challenging logistics.

Traditional construction methods would have posed greater disruption and required a longer construction period, and volumetric structures would have posed a problem when transporting the large modular buildings through the busy central location and lifting them over buildings onto site.

The panelised steel system allowed for a faster return on investment and efficient construction within a compact area.


The completed 9-storey apartment building has added revenue and much-needed residential accommodation to the busy Ealing area.

The speed and success of the structure-installation has led the client to consider similar panelised construction for a proposed neighbouring site.

Intrastack involvement in The Mall project was delivered on time and on budget, thanks to the high level of coordination between all those involved and Intrastack’s attention to detail during the manufacturing and installation process.

The on-site build was completed in 11 weeks, with the planning, design and manufacturing running 35 weeks prior to that.

the mall, ealing

Proactive involvement from the early stages, effective communication, and collaboration with stakeholders ensured a seamless construction process. The use of panelised construction not only met the tight schedule but also overcame logistical challenges in a constrained urban environment, showcasing its effectiveness in delivering efficient and sustainable structures.

As Andy Higson, Business Director at Intrastack, explains;

“Intrastack’s success lies in our commitment to seamless coordination and meticulous attention to detail when working on our projects. It’s not solely about securing projects; rather, we ensure that we devise the perfect solution tailored to each customer and their specific needs. In the case of The Mall, this entailed multiple components, including consulting with the contractors to advise on the speed, versatility, and efficiency of our light gauge steel frame system, and to discuss the design aspects of the building. We also consulted on the strategic delivery and sequencing of the project for smooth on-site operations, especially given the limited space on site and restriction due to the busy, central location.”

Project numbers:

  •  LGSF structure installed in just 11 weeks
  •  9-storey block of apartments completed
  •  25 deliveries in total for the LGSF structure
  • 464 individual panels delivered to site
the mall, ealing

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