Poundfield Precast of Ipswich in Suffolk has been chosen to supply a total of 242 bespoke reinforced concrete road, pavement and wall barrier panels for the prestigious Morelands & Riverdale project alongside the river Thames at Hampton.
Blackbottle, owner of the site and main contractor, is refurbishing a pair of listed Victorian former pumping stations to create a new 4000 sq m scientific community for small, start-up biotechnology businesses.
One of many challenging aspects of the conversion is the installation of a 6 m wide roadway and parking area alongside the two buildings. This part of the contract has been awarded to Whitescape Ventures of Liss in Hampshire and covers the construction of a 220 m long roadway. This roadway has had to be designed to enable former owner of the buildings, Thames Water, to gain access at any time to a 42 in mains water pipe running the length of the narrow site.
To achieve this access, Whitescape has installed a 2.5 m wide cantilevered steel frame to carry part of the road over the run of the pipe onto which are located some of the Poundfield panels. The road bridging panels measure 5 m in length by 700 mm in width and principal architect on the project, Belu Architectural Design & Conservation, specified a decorative finish. Poundfield has been able to produce the necessary finish by creating an exposed aggregate surface and, to enable their easy removal, each panel has four cast-in screw points into which lifting eyes can be fitted.
The remainder of the Poundfield panels are being used as non-removable road units which will abut the final block paved road surface and removable pathway panels alongside the wall barrier panels.
Commenting on the choice of Poundfield, Blackbottle’s program manager Alan Hopley said: “The road element of our project produced a number of engineering challenges that required precision work, not only from the designers, engineers and installers but also from our suppliers. Poundfield has met all aspects of its targets – manufacturing processes, aesthetics, liaison, timing and logistics and so we hope to be able to work with the company again on further stages of this project, or on any of our others in the future.”