Stoke Central Business DistrictEngineering Case Study

October 2013 – January 2015

Full Project Details

Crown House Technologies (CHt) was responsible for the complete building services packages, and are working alongside an integrated Laing O’Rourke team that comprises Laing O’Rourke Construction, Expanded, Vetter, Explore Manufacturing, Select and Strongforce, to deliver the Stoke Central Business district project.

Our role

The Central Business District (CBD) is planned primarily to be a private sector developed and occupied project, providing more than one million square feet of Grade A office space which the city centre needs, together with a mix of leisure and retail uses. The scheme includes two five storey office buildings and substantial public realm works, which will then set the platform for future investment in the area over the next five to ten years. The client, Genr8 Developments, has developed the design alongside Stoke City Council, who will consolidate their services into the two new buildings. Designed to BREEAM Excellent standard, the project includes creation of a library, council chambers and several retail units for commercial let.

The challenge

One of the key challenges on this project was in the logistics planning for construction within  a busy inner city location, and the site footprint of the building having no lay-down areas. These challenges required  an offsite manufacturing approach. Particular consideration was then given to the following aspects at design development / technical design stage and project specific logistic regarding:

  • Modules to be designed in relation to maximum transportation size.
  • Consideration of the limiting factors, such as what can physically be handled, transported and installed (in particular relation to the building’s structure, fabric and internal partitioning).

  • Consideration to the onsite access and lifting requirements/capability when sizing plantrooms or sections of plantrooms.

Our approach

We digitally engineered a model to interrogate the design to a high level of detail, working in conjunction with the client and design teams. Using our Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) philosophy, modular components were delivered and installed on site, avoiding the risks of traditional onsite methods to offer the benefits of innovation, lean manufacturing, time, safety and sustainability savings. Site logistics were also digitally coordinated to reduce disturbance and traffic disruption.

The engineering behind our delivery

Engineering excellence and innovation

The site footprint of the building has no lay-down areas, requiring an offsite approach. Using our DfMA philosophy, modular components are delivered and installed on site.

Intelligent components

We are also piloting RFID (radio frequency identification). During manufacture, barcodes are attached to individual components, eg structural columns, so that they can be tracked to monitor their future performance and sustainability.

Cost and delivery certainty

Maintaining a positive performance against programme, we are using 4D modelling to produce detailed bills of quantities from the Digital Engineering/BIM model, in order to provide our client with additional cost clarity and control throughout the delivery.