Albert Mill, Manchester Redevelopment, Architect, Urban Splash Building, Design, Property

Albert Mill Manchester : Castlefield Architecture

Urban Splash Development by RBC in Manchester, northwest England

21 May 2010

Albert Mill Castlefield


Design: Regional Building Control (RBC)

An award-winning regeneration company has called on a top building control expert to help give home and office hunters a blank canvass to do their own thing.

Urban Splash has redeveloped a stunning Victorian mill in Manchester to create a mix of contemporary apartments and shell spaces which buyers can transform into their perfect place to live or work.

Urban Splash’s Albert Mill in Castlefield, Manchester:

Albert Mill Manchester Albert Mill Building Albert Mill
photos : Urban Splash

Customers who have opted for shell homes at Albert Mill, situated in Castlefield on the edge of Manchester city centre, have had the chance to personally style and layout the interior of their home or office. Albert Mill’s vast original features – brickwork, cast iron columns, timber beams and floors – give a unique canvas on which customers can work.

Offering homes as shells presented issues regarding the future fit-out and with this in mind Urban Splash asked Regional Building Control (RBC) to work with its customers to ensure that both the integrity of the Grade II mill and UK building regulations were respected.

James Tutton, area manager for RBC Ltd, said: “It’s quite an unusual project because not only have we collaborated closely with the team from Urban Splash but also we have to work closely with their customers. It was a matter of managing expectations while realising the buyer’s dreams of a space unique to them.” RBC has collaborated on three fit-outs to apartments and the team is currently working on a fourth.

The most problematical fit-out with regard to building control was to a larger unit apartment. The client wanted an open plan layout with bedrooms discharging into an open plan living area. The travel distance was excessive in terms of fire strategy under Approved Document B guidance. RBC was able to negotiate a solution that saw a domestic sprinkler installation adopted to allow for the design flexibility that the client required.

As the works were to shell stage only, assumptions and development criteria had to be prescribed for buyers to ensure that they did not compromise historical integrity or structural and fire resistant properties. RBC worked alongside Urban Splash to develop a ‘buyer’s pack’ which would serve as a guide to customers fitting out the units.

A planning requirement of the whole project was that existing timber ceilings and exposed internal brickwork needed to be retained. Careful consideration had to be given to the fire resistance of compartment floors and sound insulation. The floors were fire protected from above and an acoustic ‘floating floor’ was incorporated to overcome these issues.

Another challenge the mill presented was that the main wing of the building is served by a single escape route. This was designed as an external balcony arrangement and RBC were integral in negotiations with the Fire Service. The balcony or walkway was eventually constructed with fire protected steelwork and a hardwood flooring to ensure adequate stability in the event of a fire.

RBC is approved by the Government to carry out the full functions of Building Control as a Corporate Approved Inspector (CAI), as defined in the Building Act 1984.

It is an independent and proactive company, aiming to integrate with design and construction teams to ensure the needs of the client and the Building Regulations are met effectively and efficiently.

For more information go to or call 01992 653 900.

Anybody wishing to obtain further information about Albert Mill in Manchester can call the Urban Splash sales team on 0333 666 999 or email live(at)

About RBC

RBC is a leading authority in building control and endorsed by the HM Government as a Building Regulations Approved Inspector.

The company was established in 1998 and gained Corporate Approved Inspector status in the same year. It offers a comprehensive consulting service on Building Regulations and affiliated legislation.

With its head office in Waltham Abbey, RBC has nationwide coverage through regional offices in London, Newbury, Havant, Derby, Birmingham, Cheadle Hulme and a network of homestations throughout England and Wales.

The RBC team has an immense amount of experience across retail, leisure, residential, industrial, defence, healthcare, education and mixed-use projects from small scale contracts to multi-million pound, high-profile public and private developments.

For more information go to

About Urban Splash

Award winning property developer Urban Splash is the country’s leading regeneration company. It delivers true mixed use schemes including residential property of all tenures, commercial office, retail and a hotel.

Founded in 1993 by Tom Bloxham MBE and Jonathan Falkingham, the company has its head office in Manchester with regional offices in Liverpool, Bradford, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

Urban Splash has delivered challenging and exciting regeneration projects across the country including Fort Dunlop in Birmingham, Chimney Pot Park in Salford, Castlefield and New Islington in Manchester, The Midland Hotel in Morecambe, Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Lister Mills in Bradford, Rotunda in Birmingham, Matchworks in Garston and the Ropewalks in Liverpool.

In total the company has delivered hundreds of millions of pounds worth of new homes and commercial space.

The company has received over 280 awards to date for its commitment to architecture, design, regeneration and business success including 42 RIBA Awards the most won by a property developer.

Albert Mill Manchester Redevelopment information / images from Urban Splash

Location: Albert Mill, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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