This project was a triangular shaped block of flats that was being built between a mainline railway that ran into Liverpool Street Station, London and two highways. Due to the proximity of the site to the Network Rail’s assets, including a bridge over one of the highways, all designs and plans had to be approved by Network Rail.
We inherited the design for this project through an alternative tender bid and took the design through our usual vigorous investigation process to challenge all assumptions. Investigation is one of our guarantees to clients. We do not accept the status quo or assume that completed plans won’t have missed anything or there is an alternative solution.
In the case of the Westgate, we found that the original design hadn’t allowed for columns to be stacked up throughout the building; meaning a number of thicker transfer slabs had to be introduced. By slightly adjusting the bedroom walls and tweaking some of the apartment layouts we were able to stack the columns throughout the building and remove 2 of the 3 transfer slabs.
We also noticed that the original design had incorporated a floor screed on top of the concrete slabs. We recommended a power floated floor which not only reduced the loads on each floor by 1.8kN/m2 but is a quicker and more cost-effective process of polishing the existing concrete floor than screeding. It also allowed SWJ to push the limits of an 250mm thick flat slab, reducing the number of columns, pile caps and piles.