Large Mixed Use Building in London

Brief

Our client, who is a developer, had bought a site in central London with Planning Permission for a 60 unit mixed use development.  Arranged over 7 storeys, this development housed apartments, live/work units, offices and retail units in one complex.  The site was very deep but with a relatively narrow frontage onto Long Lane and the permitted scheme allowed for 3 wings running into the site connected at the front with a fourth perpendicular wing in the shape of an E.  Being central London the site was enclosed on all sides with adjacent buildings.

Our client engaged us to produce working drawings and gain Building Regulation Approval as well as carrying out on site inspections.

Our solution

The shape of the site and the building proposed for it, presented a number of design problems to be solved, notably access for construction and fire safety.  An early decision was taken to design the building around a steel frame with light weight concrete floors utilising permanent steel formwork.  This allowed the frame to be delivered and erected in phases from the rear of the site forwards.

The upper storeys of the building exceeded a height of 18 meters from ground level, which is deemed to be beyond effective ladder rescue in a fire situation.  We therefore designed the staircases and lifts serving these areas as fire fighting shafts, giving them increased standards of fire protection and ventilation, as well as dry rising water mains, which enhance the Fire Brigades ability to tackle fires at high level.

The mix of residential and commercial units within one building, especially where they share a common staircase does not generally comply with Building Regulations.  As a result of meetings and consultation with the Fire Authority and Building Control, we were able to agree a package of compensatory features which allowed this building to go ahead.

Work delivered

As can be imagined, a substantial package of drawings, details and specifications were prepared for our client to allow them to cost and construct this building.  We also carried out extensive consultation with the Fire and Building Control Authorities to ensure their approval of the scheme.  During the construction phase we were on hand to provide information and advice to the site staff as well as attending site meetings with the other consultants.

Technical Design – BRD Tech Ltd.
Developer – Buxton Homes
Structural Engineers – Roberts Hay Partnership
Party Wall Surveyor – Stocker & Roberts