Portsmouth International Port

Leading provider of construction and infrastructure services Kier was appointed by Portsmouth City Council to construct new border control buildings for Portsmouth International Port. Secured through the Procure Partnerships framework the £17.1 million project will support the wider ambitions of this new free port for Solent.

EOS Framing was appointed to design, engineer and offsite manufacture an advanced Thrubuild® light steel loadbearing system for the project. Thrubuild® delivers an ‘all in one’ structural solution providing crucial time and cost benefits. A systems approach ensured the outcome was predictable and repeatable, eradicating the risk of onsite variability.

Key Data

Portsmouth City Council

Main Contractor:

Steel Framing Systems Supplier:

Materials / Type of System:
Thrubuild® Loadbearing System


This project was not about architectural impact or design aesthetics – the brief was to deliver a robust and highly secure sustainable building. The new development had to meet the target for Portsmouth International Port to become the UK’s first net carbon neutral port by 2030.

As a highly sustainable and adaptable system, Thrubuild® was used to develop buildings within the existing structure – creating offices and inspection rooms together with storage facilities, including refrigerated units for chilled and frozen products.


Mitigating risk, fire performance is a result of testing to BS EN 1365-1 for walls and BS EN 1365-2 for floors. The Thrubuild® range offers 60 – 120 minute fire resistance options and after completing rigorous fire, acoustic, weathering, airtightness and mechanical testing, systems are supported by a 30-year product and performance warranty.

This is not the first time our Thrubuild® system has been used to create ‘a building within a building’ but this type of highly sustainable approach using an existing structure does throw up some unusual challenges. The preassembled frames had to fit through a small opening within the structure. This required a highly technical and accurate approach as all components had to be small enough to ‘enter the building’. BIM Level 2 technology controlled the detail manufacturing process to enable the design to be tested in a virtual environment to ensure 100% accuracy. Also, the Thrubuild® structural system had to be installed against an existing internal wall with access to only one side. The preboarding of the Thrubuild® frames overcame this complication.

Close collaboration with the designers established the most eco-efficient solution. Thrubuild® offered the best strength-to-weight ratio improving efficiencies, reducing concrete in the ground, eliminating site waste and reducing deliveries. Thrubuild® systems were wrapped, colour coded and labelled to match the design drawings, enabling a quick and easy installation by the site team.

EOS is dedicated to sustainability. Our systems carry an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and are made from 59% recycled steel which is 100% recyclable. Steel can be recycled or reused endlessly without detriment to its properties.