Friday, 28 July 2017

Burntwood drive-through - a very civil burger

It may just be a burger, fries and coke for those using the new drive through Mc D in Burntwood near Lichfield, but in June 2015 it was simply a tick on a planning application at Lichfield District Council.

IDP Architects had to design it; Fitzgerald were contracted to build it; JMS (Midlands) were appointed to provide the civil engineering specifications to make it happen; in turn appointing Polypipe for the attenuation needed on site and PDAS to design the pump.

Just a burger indeed, we had infrastructure to design, drainage to provide and roads to build.

We began by widening the access from the existing roundabout on the A5190 and re-aligning the access road. In fact, we had to re-design the whole infrastructure, creating a new entrance that was suitable for McDonald's. The car park and forecourt were re-structured to the architect's specifications.

As usual, such projects start sub-surface with the drainage. The authorities, in this case Severn Trent Water, wanted to re-use existing connections. On further inspection the drainage was too shallow and not fit for purpose. Shallow meant insufficient fall off so a pumping station needed to be introduced to pump surplus water 'up' to Severn Trent's mains.

Drainage requirements also meant that the existing car park (there had been a Tesco Express and Kwik Save there) was too flat so needed re-profiling.

To save the client money, instead of excavating it, digging out the existing surface, we built it up to create the drainage profile needed. This was achieved by planing the surface and laying Glasstex on the existing base course and beneath the new. Tensar Glasstex is specifically designed for asphalt reinforcement and repair as a Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer.

The pavement needed building on top of the planed surface - problem: this would have caused further drainage problems because the receiving surface was not permeable. The solution was to core through the receiving surface at regular intervals to allow drainage to the sub-grade.

In setting up the road design, JMS had to supply setting out information of the carriageway design in a digital format compatible with the Contractor's systems.

Comprehensive details of the road plan - long section - were further supported by outputting figures for each section of the road.

Severn Trent Authorities raised a further question that had to be addressed, namely their Brown Field Development Policies / Redevelopment. This requires a reduction of at least 30% in post development state of surface water.

To achieve this goal we had to provide attenuation throughout the development. Two attenuation tanks were needed, one downstream and one for the actual McDonald's site as well.

Because of the different heights of water in the system expressed as 'head' of water, a pumping station was specified to satisfy Severn Trent's requirements to ensure the maximum allowable flow rates were not exceeded.

The final hurdle was to demonstrate that these flow rates would be satisfactory once the drainage changes had been made to the site.

They were, it is, and mine's a Big Mac please.

Many thanks for the contribution from Bhav at JMS Midlands. If you would like further information, please contact Bhav Parmar on 02476 350505.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Contemporary living for the studiously chic - or, student flats with attitude.

This is a project that so satisfyingly delivers the extraordinary clarity of the clients creative vision. JMS Midlands was part of the team that helped Neal Gohill of Spur & West deliver his twofold goal.

The architectural brief included redeveloping a prominent site in Loughborough’s ‘golden triangle area’, through thoughtful design for urban living, planned functional spaces and flexible design interiors.

Key considerations included respecting conservation criteria by careful selection of build materials and improving the street scene by using design elements in adjacent Edwardian properties.

The final ambitious plan involved building what externally looked like an infill with two large Edwardian terrace properties, but in fact were five stylish high end two bedroom apartments over three floors with a total built up area of 3,510sqft.

From this... this.

Their purpose, to provide unmistakably high end accommodation for those studying at Loughborough University.

The design was a simple yet highly practical ‘horse shoe’ footprint allowing the opportunity to create multiple dwellings over several floors with sufficient light and window openings in a confined site measuring only 9m x 26m.

Each flat is designed to look and feel different from the others.  All have their own unique identity from a bedroom with its own courtyard, a lounge with bi-folding doors into a privates garden, a kitchen with a high pitched ceiling and roof lights, a lounge with multiple vertical sliding windows and a bedroom with a separate dressing/studying area.

Construction quality was predetermined to be of a high standard early on, due to techniques required in the build and materials approved for local authority compliance.

Whilst internally we intended to deliver a chic, modern finish, externally the intention was quite the opposite. The property is understated but tastefully finished to fit in with surrounding Edwardian properties, that are all located in this conservation area.

Key elements that were considered to reduce the visual impact of a new build included texturing and lining up each facing brick; ageing the look of the mortar by adding limestone; matching the corbelling on gable ends; using reconstructed stone heads and cills and exposing roof trusses to reflect the neighbours; and more as detailed in the accompanying report.

Commercially, the design had to deliver as much space from the compact footprint as possible. This not only involved tight specifications but a clever use of materials to minimise the impact of ceilings, walls and floors. The quality of the end product is one to be proud of.

But it’s worth adding that quality was the key from the outset. A policy of cleanliness, neatness and care reduced the works’ impact on neighbours and passers by. So much was this the case that the neighbours (and ourselves) are delighted with this new ‘Edwardian’ property on Burleigh Street.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.