Progress at our current Newbury Gasworks Site

26 October 2020

THE CHALLENGE
Newbury Gas Works is an ongoing civil works project, situated within the Sterling Industrial Estate. The site had a long history of industrial use, leaving a heavily contaminated site within a built-up area of Newbury surrounded by residential and commercial properties. Cognition Land and Water successfully completed the remediation phase of the development and were then selected by the Client for the follow-on groundworks, concrete frame and highway works comprising S278 and S38 works. This would allow for the future construction of 119 private residential apartments and concierge following completion of the development.


OUR APPROACH
Our primary approach to all groundworks and concrete frames is to identify and seek out opportunities that bring both a financial and programme benefit to our Clients. Having completed the ground remediation, Cognition were able to take advantage of their prior knowledge of the site.
Cognition’s cost-effective outlook is demonstrated in the following changes to the initial design plans:


• The basement slab finished floor level was raised so that an excess of 3,500m3 of hazardous and non-hazardous material would no longer need to be removed, therefore saving the Client from further expense.
• The heights of the basement and upper floors were reduced in order to mitigate against the increased height of the basement slab. Following the reduction, the overall building height and massing were maintained, ensuring that the apartments would still appeal to the end customers.
• The basement car park was revised from an in-situ concrete slab to a mostly tarmac road formation. Cognition were able to do this as the development was of a piled foundation solution and the depth to groundwater was a couple of meters below the proposed basement level.
• The final venting strategy was revised as the new levels gave the opportunity to introduce perimeter openings for natural ventilation in the basement. This meant that the gas membrane which previously covered the full expanse of the car park could be reduced to core areas only. This again gave both financial and programme savings to our Client.


OUTCOME
Whilst the contract is still in its construction stages, Cognition have so far presented the Client with a project that has significant cost savings and benefits. The design changes identified by Cognition have both cost savings for the current scope and future trades with standard ceiling heights. Upon completion and occupation of the project, there will also be reduced maintenance and risk to M & E to the basement with the introduction of natural ventilation in –lieu of mechanical.