calfordseaden was appointed to provide Civil & Structural Engineering on this scheme which includes the construction of 357 residential units on the site of the former Brooklands college.

The scheme consists of five blocks of flats and a number of semi-detached houses. The site will also home 612m2 of commercial space and a beauty academy.

This project initially started as a phased scheme being developed by Inland Homes over five years.

During the design phase, Inland Homes negotiated the sale of the whole site to A2Dominion, whereby the phasing was abandoned and all of the blocks were to be built at the same time. Three of the blocks of flats are framed in reinforced concrete and include undercroft car parking for the residents. This led to the necessary introduction of a transfer slab between the car park and residential levels.

The design of all the concrete structures was undertaken using the most recent release of Tekla Structural Design. This is a 3D finite element analysis and design package which also links with Revit, the 3D drafting package that we have adopted to generate our drawings. This allows our design and drawing production to seamlessly co-ordinate and ensures both the design and drafting models reflect current structural form.

The scheme has very tight restriction in respect of drainage. Initially, it appeared that the only viable solution to disposing of the foul water was the utilisation of storage and pumping to a public sewer located in the adjacent highway. However, by careful consideration of levels, it proved possible to raise the units at the remotest part of the site, enabling us deploy a gravity-based system. This solution reduced the initial construction costs and ongoing maintenance liabilities.

After the results of a site investigation were reviewed, it became apparent that the SI contractor had used the incorrect equipment for assessing the strength of the ground, leading to conservative estimates of strength. The approach was reviewed by an independent consultant recommended by calfordseaden and the more cost-effective solution of a raft foundation was adopted.

The planners were consulted and a modest increase in height accepted. This combined with our refined design of the superstructure mean that not only was a simpler foundation solution be employed, but it could be built above the level of the ground water negating the need for any groundwater management, all of which has resulted in a significant time and cost saving for our client.