AKSWard was brought onboard to provide Structural and Civil engineering design services for the proposed Quayside House in Gloucester, which is to be a mix of commercial office space and GP surgery.
Civil engineering services provided
AKSWard was involved early in the scheme and highlighted the risk of flooding on the site as the site is located in flood zone 3 (high risk of fluvial flooding). In order to develop the site the ground floor needed to become predominantly an open car parking area to allow flood water to flow into the site. This early engagement ensured that the scheme was developed with flood compensation as the main influence on the site. Making the ground floor open and raising all GP and office accommodation to 1st floor and above allowed AKSWard to demonstrate through the Flood Risk Assessment that this option provided more flood storage than the original building.
AKSWard put forward several options for protection of a ground floor pharmacy which was placed within an area at risk of flooding. Solutions included demountable flood boards, raising the floor level above the flood level and combining flood protection with external planter / seating. Using the external seating / planters as permanent flood protection was the preferred solution in terms of cost and removing the need for installing temporary flood protection boards.
The site also has a high archaeological value therefore excavations had to be limited to minimise the disturbance to the ground. In order to reduce the impact of the drainage system but maintain a limited surface water flow off the site AKSWard utilised and designed a system of shallow large slot drains to collect the rainwater and attenuate the flow off site.
Structural engineering services provided
Prior to AKSWard’s appointment the concept for the Quayside House was to look and reuse the existing piled foundations from the building which previously sat on the site. As such when AKSWard came onboard the first task was undertaking a review of the existing foundations to see if this concept would work and could be justified. This involved testing of proposed redundant piles to check their ultimate capacity, careful design of the superstructure to ensure that existing pile loads where not exceeded. Where it was unavoidable to increase the load, new piled foundations have been proposed.
The superstructure has been designed with the same column grid as the original building, with a few minor tweaks to column positions at ground floor level to accommodate the proposed parking layout.
Photography: ADP Architecture