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Did You Know construction - An initiative to bring community and the industry closer

Here we share space with the profession and ask people in the industry to share with us interesting facts and stories about construction and the built environment.

What we found out

What difference has it made


Construction & regeneration

Project dates

02 Feb 2019 - On-going

Contact (for more details)

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520

Construction & regeneration
12 Mar 2019 - Stephen Giles
Did you know?

Tallest buildings across Birmingham - now and in the future!

I am Stephen Giles, a member of the ItsYourBuild community and follower of all things construction. Here I look at how Birmingham is 'reaching for the skies'.

I am delighted to include some stunning photography from Daniel, another member of the passionate and growing ItsYourBuild community in Birmingham.



Take a leisurely stroll around this flourishing city of ours and you'll never be too far away from a development under construction, anchored by a colourful 'dancing crane hypnotically towering above'.

The city continues to reach new heights, with developer and investor confidence in Birmingham at an all time high. This is all culminating in record levels of construction, investment and redevelopment across the UK's ‘Second City’.

We are clearly in an unprecedented time of growth which the city has not seen in many a generation.

Another exciting chapter awaits in the evolution of this remarkable city.


Birmingham is currently building two of the largest office buildings outside of London, one at Three Snowhill and the other at 103 Colmore Row.

With HS2 inching ever closer, the city is already capitalising on its position. It has seen, and will continue to see, a number of businesses choose Birmingham over its' rivals. With this comes an influx of new professionals moving to the city, with developers already reaping the rewards and wanting to build even more offices. 

Away from the limelight of the City Centre, it's also interesting to note patches of derelict land scattered around the city which are now quickly being filled up by low-rise residential buildings, which densifies the city even further and which leads us one step closer to building taller.

Land prices are rising significantly in certain areas of the city and the only way developers can get more 'bang for their buck' is to do one thing, build tall! The clamour for developers to begin building upwards has already begun.


Broad Street, one of the largest parts of land in the city, is home to the city’s tallest ever habitable building – Bank Tower Two, a Wates development.  Bank Tower Two comprises 217 one and two bed apartments with a private gym, 24-hour concierge, a residents bar and much more. It’s been designed by local architectural firm Glancy Nicholls Architects.

Bank Tower Two reaches 33 storeys (102 metres) and sets a benchmark for city living, not just for Broad Street, but for Birmingham as a whole.

Incidentally, Broad Street is earmarked for even taller builds, with one imminent and another the focus of pre-application discussions. Various sites nearby are being earmarked for redevelopment in the not too distant future.


Opposite Bank Tower Two will be MODA Tower, otherwise known as '2one2 Broad Street' and is the imminent development referred to above. Currently undergoing groundworks, this development will reach a whopping 42 storeys (132 metres).

Followers, like myself, of all things 'Tall Buildings' in Birmingham have been remarking - "You wait ages for one bus – and then two come along at the same time!"


In a nutshell, yes! Clearly if it is economically viable for a developer to build a mammoth building on a patch of land they’ve purchased, they will do so.


Whispers are that we’ll see these huge builds opposite the future Curzon Street HS2 building. There appears a desire from many in positions of influence, for tall, well designed buildings. We’re already seeing prime land being bought by developers with the intention of building 'big'.

Nikal have Phase 2 of Exchange Square up their sleeve. There is also Berkeley Group's much anticipated 37 storey building proposed for Eastside Locks, with an application due shortly.

Then there's Court Collaboration, a local group, hoping to shatter all records themselves by reaching for the skies. Backed by huge investment from overseas, there are rumours of a 46 storey building from Court Collaboration on James Watt Queensway, with a planning application due shortly.

In the meantime, the development pipeline for Birmingham looks as healthy as ever.

Let's enjoy the ride!

If you'd like to know more about our Community of Passion at ItsYourBuild and would like to sponsor a passion, contribute to our community or follow everything construction, then connect HERE or call us at FreeTimePays on 0121 410 5520.

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Construction & regeneration
02 Feb 2019 - FreeTimePays
Did you know?

'Time Capsules' & 'Topping Out' ceremonies explained

Daniel Sturley, a member of the community and follower of all things construction, was recently invited to join Wates at a ceremony to mark the 'topping out' of Bank Tower Two.

But what is 'topping out' and what are these 'time-capsules'?

Here we share with the community, the reason behind, and the history behind, these ceremonies.


What is 'topping out'?

In the construction industry 'topping out' which is also referred to as 'topping off' is normally held when the last beam is placed atop a structure. 

The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced back to an ancient Scandinavian rite which involved the placing of a tree atop a new building.

Here the Wates team perform their 'topping out' ceremony atop Tower Bank Two.

And what about the 'time capsule'?

A time capsule is a cache containing goods and information specific to the time period in which the build took place.  

Where it is placed or buried is often a well protected secret.

Here's the Wates team with their time capsule. 

Go here to see how the British Library suggests a time capsule is prepared. 

All photography taken by Daniel Sturley.

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