Base Structures were asked to tender for the fitting of a screen to minimize and soften the industrial visual impact of the cooling section built at the rounded northern end of the new £140 million Energy Recovery Facility (ERF). When operational this new ERF will take receipt of some 210,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste each year, to be treated in two boilers. The challenge to Base Structures was to install a suitable screening for the air-cooled condenser area: a 54 m diameter half dome on the northern end of the Newhaven ERF which needed to obfuscate the harsh detail of the externally mounted cooling equipment and yet would allow the necessary volume of air through it.
Delivering a structural solution required us to develop a fully engineered aluminium fabric clamping detail that would complement the inherent flexibility of the fabric thereby ensuring that the daily stresses and strains imposed on these very large wind catching sails would dissipate uniformly into the enclosing skeletal steel frame.
“We hit upon the idea of a ‘wavy’ clamping system,” says Base Structures’ Head of Projects, Mark Smith, “using an aluminium extrusion which allowed us to pass the load evenly through the steel, rather than through the PVC. We made a series of different prototypes until we evolved a fully engineered design that achieved the loads necessary.”
The architect identified a 50% open mesh fabric as delivering on these functional criteria. To enable this relatively light weight architectural mesh material to perform structurally it contains galvanised steel threads which are woven through it to a regular pattern.
Two different clamps were developed: an ‘intermediate’ design to hold the sections of fabric together, and a ‘perimeter’ design, used to clamp the joined sections to the supporting steel structure. The only modification necessary was to pre-stress the mesh before it was clamped in.
Installation of the mesh above the heavy process equipment took around six weeks for a team of six on the ground fitting sections together and 14 riggers, clamping and bolting the sections into place. Having refined this techique, Base Structures is confident it will significantly reduce this build time for future projects.
Like a vision taken straight from the set of Blade Runner, East Sussex’s new Energy Recovery Facility perches in the estuary of the River Ouse reclaiming the energy stored within our waste which would otherwise end up as landfill.
“Base Structures found a technical solution on the basis of their knowledge, creativity and problem solving attitude. They transferred successfully the information from design study onto the final construction.”
Andreas Clausen, HOCHTIEF Construction Manager
Following our previous works to the Grandstand blinds, the Lords team asked us to carry out a condition survey of the truss steelwork, in doing so it was agreed that the structure required a full redecoration.
We designed a full painting specification along with all the necessary works. We attended site to clean the steelwork truss, columns, tie rods and flagpoles before project managing the redecoration works by specialist painting contractors.
The results have been well received and the structure has a new lease of life.
Following our previous works to the Lords Grandstand louvre blinds, we were approached to replace some tired ETFE cushions with a cost effective substitute. We were happy to assist and advised a bespoke solution for the new roof-lights to the grandstand which were in great need of improvement.
We developed a roof-light scheme that comprised of a series of polycarbonate roof light panels allowing natural light through whilst still providing thermal and weather protection. Importantly, for sporting arenas such as Lords, the specialist matt finish (Softlite) on the polycarbonate suppressed glare and ensures maximum visual comfort. We designed, supplied and installed the roof-light panels, sub frames and associated fixings.
Large advertising hoardings are not everyone’s cup of tea but in terms of sheer scale this one takes the biscuit! At over 6000m2 of roadside advertising area, this project was widely lauded as the largest Out Of Home opportunity available in the UK at that time. Sitting adjacent to the main arterial route from the M60 into Manchester and exposing full frontal glory to the new City of Manchester Stadium, this is one bill board that is impossible to ignore. Exposure was even claimed for airline passengers on the flight path into Manchester Airport!
During the planning application process our client had to guarantee to the Gas-o-meter owners Transco, that clothing the structure would in no way detract from it functioning as originally intended. Therefore prior to receiving approval, extensive structural engineering calculations were produced which predicted that by wrapping the skeletal steel frame within a web of suitably tensioned stainless steel cabling the structure would not deflect sufficiently to stop the rise and fall of the gas chamber within. Thankfully the calculations were spot on and the resulting fully clothed gas holder continued performing unhindered and as unabashed as it had when naked!
An additional USP of this site was that the cable net devised for carrying these super large printed banners allowed for quick, 8-hour removal and re-installation of the media so that a pair of eyes seeing it on the way to work in the morning would be exposed to a different campaign on the way home in the evening. Striking visibility has always been the life blood of the advertising industry.
Battersea’s Power Station is an iconic Grade II* listed building which is being brought back to life along with regeneration its surrounding areas. Included in this exciting and innovative redevelopment is the Archlight Cinema, a small independent picture house. In keeping with the boutique feel, Arc Cinema Solutions Ltd approached Base Structures to dress the exterior of their premises.
Base designed, manufactured and installed three main canopies & two infill canopies over each of the railway arch cinema entrances.
Due to the nature of the arches’ structure, there were several design challenges that required overcoming due to construction constraints imposed by Network Rail. As well as a requirement for the canopies to be demount-able at short notice, these also included how to physically link the three fabric arches to the ageing Victorian brickwork. Several designs were developed and considered to meet both the client’s brief and satisfy the challenging conditions.
Programme was another significant consideration. Archlight were primed to open, but without an entrance canopy solution. With Base engaged, we were eager to identify and develop a proposal which both fulfilled the technical criteria and visually impress.
The client, Glaxo Smith Kline, were obliged to provide the screens to the side of their building in Ware, Hertfordshire, in order to obscure the large M&E ductwork behind. The screens will eventually support Wisteria climbing plants, which will grow and increase in weight over the years.
The GSK Living Screens project comprises three large steel frames approx 11m wide and 17m high to each of which are fitted five separate sections of cable mesh. The architectural mesh is supported by means of perimeter stainless steel cables which are in turn connected to the structure via fabricated stainless steel plates. The support system has a tension absorbing spring system. Wisteria climbing poles are fitted in front of the mesh. The purpose of the screens is to support vegetative growth which is in turn intended to conceal the ductwork behind.
In order that the growing climbing plants do not overstrain the netting and structure, the horizontal support cables incorporate stress relieving springs. The mesh fitted is a high quality Swiss made product renowned for its appearance and performance, precisely patterned to fit each application.
Lord’s Cricket Ground required a new awning to the Grandstand roof to replace the existing retractable blinds over the seated area. Following on from previous works we carried out for the MCC to their Mound Stand and Pavilion canopies, we assisted them in developing a louvre scheme to provide the necessary sun shading and give the stand a fresh look.
The new scheme consists of 384 light-weight aluminium louvre blades in bays of 16 and has been designed to reduce snow and wind loads. A solar survey was also carried out to calculate the optimum angle for the blades to prevent direct sunlight passing through onto the spectators below, whilst allowing maximum ambient lighting.
Due to the precious & hallowed Lord’s outfield, particular care was taken whilst our works were carried out. Light weight Spider MEWPS were deployed to reduce the impact and point loading on the pitch grass.
This is an exciting addition to our portfolio and showcases the extensive design and build knowledge we have in house that enable us to provide custom solutions for special projects.
Base Structures recently helped bring to life the street walkways of the O2’s new retail development, the Designer Outlet Village. A total of 8 canopy masts were positioned in its walkways, with 4,744 aluminium white diamond petals and 5300 white discs in two sizes suspended from stainless steel tensioned nets.
The final result is a stunning decorative ceiling giving the mesmerising impression of hanging petals, with the ‘tree trunks’ created using glued laminate beams.
We’re proud to be involved in such a unique project, working with a team over the course of 11 weeks to design, prototype and see the project through to a high-quality installation. We are really happy that the results speak for themselves, and visitors to the O2’s new Designer Outlet Village are now greeted with an impressive feature and visual effect that we hope will put a smile on shopper’s faces for years to come.
We are excited to announce a new city dressing service designing, creating and installing stunning displays in town centres and retail areas around the country.…
Our client required a specialist rigging contractor to install the fittings, support system and fibre optic rope lighting at their new commercial residential developments in the Bristol Harbourside.
The installation was named the Parallax and was the keystone feature in the completion of this development being part of the planning regulations. Rigging projects such as this highlight the diversity and versatility of the services our installation team can offer.
The Highways Agency anti-corrosion programme for the Severn River Suspension Bridge requires the sealing of the cables with Hypalon fabric wrapping. Initially we supplied rope access labour to assist with the wrapping work but whilst on site we soon realised that the process could be much improved with the use of an inflatable welding blanket.
Using technologies developed through out core business of manufacturing Tensile Fabric Structures, we designed, manufactured and supplied a solution incorporating an air cushion that when pressurised, formed itself onto the surface of the main cable whatever the size or shape. This system successfully speeds up the de-humidification process and improves the quality of weld and has been widely adpopted within the bridge cable wrapping industry.
We completed the first phase of these works in 2007 but this is an ongoing project with further phases of work and many more bridges and cables to go!