“We have had the pleasure of working with PRO Structures on recent projects where they have brought their proactive and commercially minded approach to assist the design process. We have enjoyed working with Ron and his team who have always been willing to consider and suggest pragmatic solutions that are most applicable to the scale and budgets of the projects in question. This has been of particular use on our refurbishment schemes, such as this one, which have utilised their flexible approach to great effect.” – Peter Wood, Director, Angus Meek Architects
Scope: Converting a 1960s office block into 30 apartments
Services Provided: Structural design alterations and justification work
Creating 30 new apartments from a 1960s office building
This fascinating project is set to create 30 new apartments out of an old 1960s office building, helping to regenerate the area of St Anne’s in Bristol by providing vital new affordable dwellings for Merlin Housing Society, who are working in partnership with Bristol City Council and developer Prelon Developments. To achieve the client’s vision and meet the design brief, we worked closely with Angus Meek Architects, as well as GeoTesting Services on the geotechnical side.
It was a structurally challenging scheme, as the office block is L-shaped, with a modular steel frame, and the new proposals involve the need for lightweight partitions and re-cladding of the external elevations in order to ‘cut and carve’ the building into flats. In dividing it up in this way, the structural design alterations included working around the existing internal columns, while needing to remove some cross-bracing, and rationalising the building’s stability by stiffening the affected areas. PRO Structures’ work also involved justifying the existing timber and roof members to make sure the building would work to the new tolerances and loads.
This structural alteration and justification work has given our client vital reassurances with which to progress the development.
The scheme also uses air source heat pumps, complying with the Government’s plans for new homes to be zero carbon rated from 2016. These are an energy-efficient climate control system generating free heat from the air outside, rather than from traditional fuel sources such as gas, oil or LPG. Our design included roof mounting these pumps onto new structural frames.
PRO Structures’ work involved: