he initial phase involved creating additional carparking spaces to offset those that would be lost further to the construction of the retail pods.
The main challenge presented by the first phase was to extend the level footprint of the carpark by cutting into an existing embankment and retaining the ground by way of a criblock retaining wall. As a large electric pylon was sited at the top of the embankment careful planning and liaison was required to ensure work was carried out in a safe manner.
Once the additional carparking had been handed over the second phase of work could commence which included construction of the pods, external works and also adaption works to other areas of the busy retail park.
The construction of the retail pods was bespoke and designed to be carbon neutral. The superstructure consisted of a timber glulam frame with metal composite cladding panels carrying timber cladding to the walls.
Floor construction incorporated an underfloor heating and cooling system whilst the curtain walling was designed in conjunction with the passive ventilation system, which was designed to automatically purge excess heat in the summer.
The roof was fully utilised for photovoltaic panels which fed into a remotely accessible building management system to both power the passive technology contained and also sell on excess energy produced.
The tenants for the pods were secured prior to commencement and so the additional shell requirements of both Costa Coffee and Subway were incorporated into the building design.
The lack of available space for construction and the heavy use of the retail park required careful planning and liaison with local stakeholders to ensure the works were carried out effectively.
The result of the project was an attractive and environmentally friendly retail space which achieved a number of firsts for buildings of it’s type in Europe and has also led to similar schemes being undertaken.