Designed to appeal to start-up businesses, together with existing small and medium enterprises, the project involved the redevelopment of a 2 acre site in Dartford for SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) to form a managed business enterprise centre offering 20,000ft² of office space, providing 75 units of varying sizes and 10,000ft² of workshops in 2 terraces.
The site formally housed an Unwins Wine Warehouse which was demolished prior to the start of our contract.
The new build office space comprises a structural steel frame on a piled foundation. Floors are concrete with the external fabric formed from a combination of masonry and feature over-cladding together with glazing and entrance feature details.
The studio/workshop comprises a steel frame on piled foundations. The floors are suspended PCC supporting partial cover mezzanines in some units. The fabric of the buildings are a combination of masonry and render.
Value engineering and design development resulted in the original first floor timber frame being substituted for a steel frame, reducing cost and shortening the construction programme by a week.
The building features Poly Carbonate Cladding forming a external box outside building.
Section 278 works included a new cycle path along Victoria road, a 4 way mini roundabout, new junction and street lighting and drainage alterations.
Due to the significant risk of unexploded ordnance being present in the area, all site staff received specific training in bomb recognition and detection.
The workshops feature a green roof, whilst roof lights reduce the reliance on electric lighting.
The office building is naturally ventilated and is constructed using precast floors with exposed finished soffits, which allows the absorption of cooler air during the night via open(shuttered) windows, which is then released during the day.
Other environmental features include rain water harvesting, sustainable urban drainage and Photovoltaic panels. Lights, taps and showers sensors ensure that both water and power usage are controlled, restricting the amount of water used and automatically switching lights on & off in accordance with localised activity.
The concrete from the demolition of the existing warehouse was crushed and enabling it to be recycled as type 1 material under footpath and parking areas on the site.
Traditional timber shuttering to ground beams were changed to a Cordek shuttering system that is a permanent fixture and cuts timber waste levels dramatically. Off cuts were also used for under chair supports to the beam soffit.
The project achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
Considerate Constructors Scheme ‘Beyond Compliance’ award.
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