Tall Pines, Henbury Road
This project may otherwise have been an ordinary scheme, to design a garage. However, the site in question is located in a tree preservation area, with the main house built in grounds containing numerous protected trees.
The site for the adjacent garage was therefore highly constrained, needing to sit close to the house and following its classical style, while avoiding, and in some cases bridging over, the tall pine roots.
This meant that the structure, which is built in traditional load-bearing masonry with a suspended beam and block floor, needed to sit on eight foundation piles, each pile driven 6m into the ground while ensuring the protection of nearby tree roots which had spread under the garage footprint. PRO Structures worked closely with both the architect, Biddulph Architects, and arboriculturist Assured Trees, to both conform to the classical design of the main house – and this is a garage which even has a glazed dome roof and high-level storage in the eaves! – and protect the tall pines which give the property its name.
Pictures show the classical form of the garage adjacent to the main house, and the tall pines to the side whose roots reach under the garage footprint.
We just wanted to shine a spotlight on a couple of our more technically interesting recent projects – soon to appear online as case studies.
Firstly, St Luke’s Hall in Bedminster, where PRO Structures was proud to be part of an historic scheme to convert an 1870s ‘poor house’ into 14 new one- and two-bedroom apartments, with a wraparound extension to the side and rear of the original building. We had to design piled foundations to bridge over a substantial original Victorian sewer, while the superstructure design included split-level apartments on the ground and first floor (pictured below).
Secondly, our challenge at 77 Hill View in Henleaze was to carry out the foundation and superstructure design for an exclusive detached four-bedroom home incorporating an inset 2nd floor which is to be completely open and column-free.
Now on site, the south-westerly elevation will be cantilevered out completely (see plan below), while being open plan and unsupported by internal columns, so our main challenge was to design the concrete reinforcement in the supporting walls to ensure the building’s stability. To do this, we used Masterseries finite element 3D modelling work out the stresses on the concrete walls and design accordingly.
PRO Structures is thrilled to announce the completion of a new £400,000 vet’s practice called Wells Vets, which opened its doors to local pet owners on 1st October.
This state of the art steel portal frame single storey practice consists of a reception area, waiting room, three consulting rooms, and X-ray room, one surgery, a cattery and kennels, as well as staff facilities. The practice was designed and built by BJ Campbell SW in collaboration with Angus Meek Architects, opening us up to D+B opportunties.
A major mixed-use 2.2 acre mixed use development on London’s Caledonian Road is well underway for Ridgeway Glazing, one of our major clients in this field. We have also been working with them on several other schemes to justify structural aluminium mullion sizes for patent glazed elevations, along with the mullion fixings for the structural framework – these include five units at Central Park, Avonmouth, as well as the Ensleigh North development in Bath, and Plot 12 at Royal Wharf, London.
This niche area of design has rapidly become an important area of expertise for us at PRO Structures, and our specialist knowledge in the field has grown apace.
Darren Frost, Technical Director for Ridgeway, said: “As part of our ongoing search to expand our supply chain, the addition of Ron and his team at Pro Structures has bolstered our ability to integrate with and perform on prestige projects. These range from smaller industrial units with complex dynamic requirements through to the construction of our larger projects such as Royal Wharf, Europe’s largest privately funded residential development. The broad range of skills within Ron’s business are an asset to ours.”
Piling is due to start this week at 48-52 Stillhouse Lane, Bedminster. This new 3-storey, 2,800 sq ft residential block which will house 3 two-bedroom flats is being built on piled foundations – PRO Structures is proud to have carried out the sub- and superstructure design for BDA Estates and Nick Morley Architects.
Also starting on site this week is an office conversion scheme at 31-35 High Street, Shirehampton, for Alliance Property Care, along with new build apartments on land adjacent to 28 Pembroke Road, which runs parallel to the High Street. This project, which had previously been mothballed, is now able to progress due to new Government funding for affordable housing.
Meanwhile, a two-storey bespoke detached home on Hill View has recently started on site with Durrance Developments, for which we carried out both raft foundation and sub-/superstructure design in ICF – a system of formwork for reinforced concrete with rigid thermal insulation.
We have recently won several schemes of interest, including structural design for the conversion of the old Bishopsworth Police Station into eight new terraced and detached houses, for Hawkfield Homes – change of use has become one of our focal strengths over the past couple of years, as we have adapted to the need to convert superannuated office or agricultural buildings into new housing.
Another change of use project which has just received planning permission is the conversion of a former office block called Union House in Trowbridge for Charterhouse Homes, in order to turn it into 15 much-needed new flats with additional first and second floor extensions. Working in partnership with Clear Future Design Architects, we hope this scheme will go out to tender by Christmas.
PRO Structures would like to extend a warm welcome to our new degree apprentice, Luke Rearden. Luke joins us fresh from obtaining both A’Levels and a BTEC Level 3 in engineering design, and will be studying for a BEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UWE while working with us four days a week.
The degree apprenticeship framework was launched this year by the Government as part of a scheme to take on-the-job learning to a higher level, and we are delighted to be at the forefront of the initiative, by taking on a student who will learn and grow with us over the course of his degree.
Originally from Bath, Luke chose engineering because it can ‘help society as a whole’ – and was attracted to PRO Structures because he relishes the prospect of being part of a small, dedicated team involved in a wide variety of projects.
Whoever said engineers don’t know how to have fun? Team building, PRO Structures style, with a cocktail masterclass at Flipside and a fond farewell to our student engineers Martin and Petra who are moving on to the next stage of their careers. We look forward to welcoming our new student intern and degree apprentice in due course.
(Did you know that the word cocktail came from the way a race horse’s tail would tilt up (a cocked tail) if it was fed ginger to give it a natural buzz before a race? Or that the quintessentially English spirit, gin, is actually Dutch, or that a ‘Mexican Elbow’ is an elaborate kind of elbow-shaped juice squeezer..? Well now you do!)
We’re proud to share five new case studies which are now online, showcasing some of the variety in our recent workload:
These represent the variety of work PRO Structures can offer, from volume house-building for developers to bespoke design working closely with architects; from civils to structural, and from a challenging change of use project to convert a disused farm building in the rolling hills of Gloucestershire to a brand new earthquake-proof commercial jetty in the Caribbean!
Enjoy reading more about them and if we can help with anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.