Miliners Wharf Manchester






GMI Construction Ltd

Longworth were appointed by GMI to install 6500m2 of VM Quartz Plus Zinc Roofing and Cladding to the cantilever balcony pods, penthouses , glazing infill panels and roof to a high specification apartment building in the desirable area of New Islington, Manchester. The vast amount of traditional zinc craftsmanship looks fantastic!


Zinc Roofing and Cladding Complexities

The complexity of the project in this instance did not lie within the design detail work but in the scheduling and distribution of zinc roofing and cladding materials around the site and to the facade face. All the substrate, panels and flashings had to be fabricated to the exact required dimensions all within our in house workshop.

The project was running to a very tight programme and to avoid any costly delays we devised an innovative way to package the materials required on site to be distributed effectively and efficiently. Materials and associated fixings were palletised in to kits to correspond with the programme. This process enabled the site operatives to focus their efforts specifically on designated areas which increased productivity and with virtually no waste. From the demanding programme we developed a more efficient method of working, this process has now been put in to effect for all of our projects. More time and effort is spent during the planning stage to ensure that our workforce can be as efficient and dynamic as possible.

Zinc Roofing and Cladding Workmanship

Longworth is a registered VMZINC at Work Partner contractor. This means that Longworth’s installers are trained annually in VMZINC recommended details and are able to provide a 30 year material warranty reducing the risk for GMI and providing them with greater peace of mind that the work carried out will be exacting and by master craftsmen.

The many variations to the VM Quartz Zinc Plus interlocking panels was designed and formed off-site at our head office and workshop. This was to keep the time on-site to a minimum when working to a very tight overall programme of 78 weeks. Each panel was fabricated to millimetre tolerances so that the on-site installation would provide a uniformed finish to the façade.

The cantilevered balconies were a bespoke non-standard design with irregular angles. In order to maintain the linear paths that the angles of the balconies had, each folded section had to be perfect. It was critical that this high standard could be replicated hundreds of times. By pre-fabricating the panels off-site we could maintain much higher levels of Quality Assurance and as a result the project created jobs for our off-site fabrication of materials.

The roof and the roofs of the balconies were a traditional standing seam finish that required traditional hand finishing on-site. This provided the client with incredibly neat and accurate finishes that would not have otherwise been achieved had it not been for the training and experience of our craftsmen.

Zinc Roofing and Cladding Challenges

Milliners Wharf was the last phase in a larger development scheme called The Hat Box. The previous phases were already fully occupied with over 260 inhabited apartments surrounding the new development.  An inherent problem with construction in this type of environment is controlling the level of noise emitting from the site. Consideration of the residents was taken in to account in Longworth’s project plan and in each method statement for the use of tools at certain times of day.

The building is located adjacent to a live metro-link tramline. Working platforms were within 5 meters of the live over-head power cables of the tramline so the RAMS and Project plan were always written with this complex challenge in mind. House-keeping was a very important aspect of the project. If anything from the site was to blow on to the tramline and disrupt the operations of the Metro-link there were severe fines and potential large disruptions to the project programme. Methods of working were written to be working as cleanly as possible with little to no wastage.



Zinc Roofing and cladding Milliners Wharf Longworth (1)
Zinc Roofing and cladding Milliners Wharf Longworth (2)
Zinc Roofing and cladding Milliners Wharf Longworth (3)
Zinc Roofing and cladding Milliners Wharf Longworth (4)
Zinc Roofing and cladding Milliners Wharf Longworth (5)


  • VMZinc Quartz Zinc Plus Cassettes
  • Fundermax rainscreen system
  • VMZinc ZCM secret fix system to ground floor

What our clients say

"The efforts during the construction stage of the works must be commended. The quality of the finished product is evident to anyone who cares to visit the campus at Stockport College."

Tom Herd - Senior Design Manager, Wates Construction