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issue 01 - about us
3layout Woolgar Hunter Magazine | 2015 |
Woolgar Hunter engineers
Head Office100 West Regent StreetGlasgow G2 2QD
+44 (0)141 332 [email protected]
the first Edition of layout, Woolgar Hunter’s magazine.
I am delighted to introduce our magazine to you which illustrates our areas of expertise and highlights some of our recent experience. Through this, and future editions of the magazine, we propose to showcase the projects in which we are involved, the skills we have, and to spotlight topical issues within the industry.
Since our inception in 1971, Woolgar Hunter has always been a forward thinking firm of engineers working to the maxim set down by our founder Des Woolgar, with whom I had the pleasure of working with for many years. His maxim was that ‘the client has to want it and be able to afford it’. With this in mind, our designs are tailored to the client, are bespoke to the project and, crucially, are designed with efficiency as a main driver. This has led to an enviable amount of repeat business of which I am very proud.
Our engineers, technicians and support staff are a talented and focused team of people who work tirelessly to produce well engineered design solutions for our projects in order to ensure they are what the client wants and that they are within the budget, so that our aim, which is to build, can be fulfilled.
If we can be of assistance to help you realise your aims, please call us.
William NeilsonManaging Director
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6 areas of expertise
7 trends in office design
13 dynamic concepts
14 hotels and leisure
about us |
1: 20 Cadogan Street, Glasgow (image courtesy of Cooper Cromar Architects)2: The Albus office building - Glasgow, BCO and Scottish Property Awards Winner3: Morrisons Store, Glasgow4: Hotel Malmaison, Dundee5: New office building under construction at 1 West Regent Street, Glasgow6: Ayr Campus under construction7&8: Kelvin Hall refurbishment, Glasgow
We believe in the value of a fully coordinated engineering design service and our in-house teams can provide engineering advice at every stage of your project. geo-environmental engineering: Our geo-environmental team has an early involvement in projects analysing and investigating sites; providing geotechnical, mining and contamination advice for land acquisition and pre-planning; through to detailed design and construction. The team works closely with our civil & structural engineers to promote efficient, sustainable ground solutions including remediation and substructure designs.
civil engineering: Our engineers work closely with their geo-environmental colleagues to undertake site assessment and profiling using 3D modelling software, striving for sustainable ‘balanced volume’ earthworks design. They provide integrated roads and sustainable drainage solutions to help maximise a site’s potential. structural engineering: Our experience in structural engineering design ranges from complex multi-use schemes to small, bespoke projects. Working with clients from all business sectors, our main objective is to produce economic, well-engineered schemes with a clear structural logic to them.
telecoms infrastructure engineering: Our specialist telecoms team has been providing tower analysis and base-station site design for the industry leaders in the mobile communications sector since the mid-nineties. In that time, it has built an enviable reputation for ‘on time’ delivery in a fast moving sector.
areas of expertise
hotel & leisure
Our workload is varied across a number of industry sectors, ranging from engineering design on projects predominantly in the Private Sector such as commercial; retail; residential; hotel & leisure and industrial sectors; through to more Public Sector oriented education and healthcare projects.
We also specialise in providing telecommunication infrastructure design for the mobile communications sector. Our geo-environmental team is actively involved in collaboration on urbanism studies providing advice on regeneration & masterplanning projects.
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spotlight ontrends in office design
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Control of Floor Vibration. As spans increase, the performance of the floor plate, in particular, the vibration performance becomes key. We
manage this by careful consideration of the Frequency and Response Factors. It is essential that these figures are set at realistic levels and monitored throughout the design process in order to control the final performance, of the finished floor. We have built up a body of work which analyses our building designs from which we can draw upon to set achievable design targets to deliver affordable long span schemes.
Deflection and Tolerance. With the imminent changes in the Scottish Building Regulations, air tightness will become even more of a key
issue in the building design solution. In the design of long span floors managing deflection and tolerance and the integration with the selected façade system needs careful consideration.
Choice of Material. Steel versus Concrete – For many years now in UK construction, steel has been the dominant structural material
for medium to long span floor design. This is beginning to change, particularly for medium span (sub 12m) floors, especially when we employ post tensioned techniques. In floor spans greater than 12m the opportunity for a structures services strategy using cellular beams, and the lighter more elastic steel material, means a steel solution is particularly efficient. The debate between materials will continue with steel offering speed of construction and potential savings in the substructure, whilst concrete has inherent fire protection and a flexible service zone, We believe there is no silver bullet and each project needs to be judged on its own merit, especially on long span projects when a bespoke solution is key to driving out costs.
Programme and Commercial Competitiveness. Although the design team can work to the most efficient solution there needs to be a strong focus
on delivery and the market. The market and the programme will ultimately play a strong part in the design solution so should be considered from the outset.
spotlight: trends in office design |
Long Span floor plates in Commercial Buildings
As confidence returns in the economy, we have seen an upturn in the commercial office market with several new schemes being commissioned. One attribute that seems to be in favour is long span flexible floor plates which provide ‘column free’ spaces.
Recently, Woolgar Hunter has completed projects at 1 West Regent Street in Glasgow and CityPark 1 in Aberdeen, with both buildings achieving 16m free span floors. In addition, several recent commissions that have come into the practice aspire to even longer spans.
The attraction of ‘column free’ space to the end user is obvious from a space planning point of view and the ability to ‘sell’ this flexibility puts developers of such buildings in a great position in the market. However, from an engineering perspective there are a few challenges.
As the clear span of the floor plate increases, there is pressure on the building services distribution and the structure becomes hungrier for depth. Therefore, to achieve harmony (and economy!) for the building, a project balance must be found between key attributes.
From Woolgar Hunter’s recent experiences, we have identified our top four structural drivers that need careful consideration when examining long span floor structures in office buildings
New offices under construction at 1 West Regent Street , Glasgow
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sector focus commercial
We have a wealth of experience of designing commercial office buildings for city centre and business parks. Our experience includes projects with complex substructures and multi basement construction as well as steel and concrete superstructures with long span floors to create ‘column free’ environments.
Woolgar Hunter has been a partner consultant of HFD Group and their associated companies for over
10 years. We find their approach to design refreshing. Always looking for simple but creative solutions to complex issues, with an eye to the
commerciality. They blend with other members of our professional teams seamlessly and consistently deliver the right solution.
”David J. ShearerManaging Director - HFD Construction Group Ltd
| sector focus: commercial
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Recent Commissions… a timeline:
We have been involved in a number of high profile projects in Edinburgh over the years, including 80 George Street for NFU Mutual together with Exchange Crescent and St Andrews Square, both for Standard Life.
In recent times we have been fortunate enough to have provided the engineering solutions for the Aurora Building for Commercial Estates Group. This building sits on a steeply sloping site in Glasgow and has a triple basement served by twin sets of two car lifts. Aurora was followed by the highly successful G1 Building in George Square, Glasgow, located on the site of the former principal post office within the city. The project involved a full façade retention to hold the impressive Victorian blonde sandstone elevations and the creation of a new double basement and vertical extension. The successful G1 commission was followed by 1 West Regent Street which comprises of 143,000ft2 of Grade A office space on the site of the former Odeon Cinema in Glasgow. This successful development for Mountgrange has a single basement adjacent to the low level train line with retail units to the ground floor. HFD Group followed the G1 commission with another commercial development, this time to design 215,000ft2 of new Grade A office space in Aberdeen for the Wood Group PSN. This is an exciting development which houses a large footprint basement for plant and parking. The site has long span floor plates of over 50,000ft2 to create a flexible workspace for the tenant. Titan Investors commissioned Woolgar Hunter to design the engineering elements of 20 Cadogan Street, Glasgow which is a new 130,000ft2 replacement building for Richmond House and Epic House. The project involves creating a new ten storey corner site with a prominent presence in the City.
1: CityPark 1, Aberdeen, in construction (image courtesy of HFD Group)
2: Aurora, Glasgow 3: G1 basement works
4: G1 Building, Glasgow 5: 1 West Regent Street, Glasgow
sector focus: commercial |
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Working in a live environment: Working in the education sector has, in many instances, involved working within an occupied, live and sensitive environment; bringing additional challenges to a project. The recently constructed new Science and Technology building for the Glasgow Academy is a good example of this. The Academy’s campus in the West End of Glasgow has senior and junior school pupils studying in buildings situated next to the River Kelvin.
The delivery of the new building involved demolishing a four storey sandstone tenement building, which was in an advanced state of disrepair due to historic subsidence issues; and constructing a piled five-storey concrete frame with a semi submerged ground / basement auditorium building, immediately opposite the school front door!
The client, design team and contractor worked together to programme the works to take advantage of school breaks for particularly noisy / disruptive activities and were mindful of exam times for programming of the works. The environment also had an impact on the site, the very tight site was one of the reasons that a concrete frame was chosen in order to minimise the area required for material laydown.
| sector focus: education
sector focus education
Our involvement in the Education Sector extends across the full spectrum from Universities and further education Colleges through to School and Pre-School educational buildings. Our participation in this rewarding sector demonstrates the full range of our skills, from involvement in masterplanning studies for campus sites to carrying out the civil and structural engineering designs of the buildings and substantial external works elements of the project.
The University of Stirling has worked with Woolgar Hunter on a number of projects over the years including refurbishment and new build. They are an excellent consultant C&S engineer and operate very effectively as part of the wider project team. They are professional, efficient and innovative and can identify with the client objectives and limitations.
”Karen PlouviezDirector of Estates and Campus Services - University of Stirling
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1: David Livingstone Memorial Primary School (image courtesy of AHR-Global Architects) 2: Science and Technology Building - Glasgow Academy
3: Transitional Research Laboratory Building - University of Glasgow 4: Ayr Campus, University of the West of Scotland
(image courtesy of Keith Hunter Photography)
Our recent commissions in the Education sector include:
• University Buildings (Teaching & Laboratory buildings)
• Further Education Colleges
• Student Accommodation Buildings
• High Schools
• Primary Schools
• Kindergarten / Nursery Schools
sector focus: education |
team playerPerson who calibrates his personal goals in order to collaborate and work well as a member of a team, a group or an organisation. A single element critical to a group success.
spotlight ondynamic concepts
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Oak Clad Monopole
sector focus: dynamic concepts |
Layout: How would you describe your approach to design? Darren: As product designers we very much react to our customer’s problems. We view these as opportunities for us to either refine an existing design / product they use or to develop a new product line for them. In the telecoms market speed is everything and getting new ideas and products to market quickly is of paramount importance to us. Woolgar Hunter appreciate this and our working relationship with them has evolved to be an excellent example of collaboration; sometimes the engineering design leads the process, sometimes it supports us but it is always part of the solution. We favour a ‘hands on’ workshop approach and Woolgar Hunter has bought into this, which helps promote a collaborative design process.
Layout: What are you working on at the moment? Darren: We have two fantastic new products (I would say that!), which are new to the market. Our fabric shroud is an alternative to the fibreglass shrouds you see on top of street poles on the pavement. Our alternative is lighter and much easier to ship. The key is an innovative tri-spring head plate we designed which always keeps the fabric under tension. We have had a lot of interest in it, not just in the UK, but further afield as well - we have shipped test rigs to Taiwan and Malaysia .
We have also designed a replacement for our timber monopole, the DC 280 which is a glulam monopole up to 18m in height. As antennas have increased in size we have, with input from Woolgar Hunter, designed a steel core timber clad monopole which can carry significantly higher loads to heights of 20m plus. The timber facing is beautifully crafted by our suppliers, Fabrikat in Nottingham.
Layout: What next?
Darren: Who knows! that is the great thing about Dynamic Concepts, the wide diversity of work we get involved in - it is market led and we happily follow.
Darren Mooney Head of Product Design Dynamic Concepts
Dynamic Concepts is a firm of Product Designers specialising in developing products for the telecoms industry and a valued client of Woolgar Hunter. Since their inception in 1995 we have worked with them on the design of their award winning products, ranging from bespoke towers to their sustainable ballasted rooftop antenna support system. Our relationship with them is an excellent example of team working. Layout caught up with Darren Mooney of Dynamic Concepts recently and put him in the Spotlight.
| sector focus: hotels and leisure14 | layout Woolgar Hunter Magazine | 2015
sector focus hotels and leisure
Within the hotels & leisure sector, we have been fortunate to enjoy a high degree of repeat business. The main driver to the engineering success of a hotel development is the ability to seamlessly integrate the cellular nature of the bedroom accommodation on the upper floors with open plan, common areas on the ground floor such as front of house, leisure facilities, swimming pools, conferencing and banqueting.
The engineering challenge to coordinate these structural arrangements, is generally achievable by introducing transfer structures which can obviously be more readily accommodated in new builds with increased ground floor storey heights. This is more of a challenge on refurbishment projects where fenestration needs to be respected. Early collaboration between the design team can minimise this issue and reduce the need for transfer structure which is space hungry and expensive.
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1&3: Malmaison Hotel, Dundee 2: De Vere Hotel, Glasgow 4: Motel 1 , Glasgow (image courtesy of Leach Rhodes Walker Architects) 5: University of St Andrews Sports Complex (image courtesy of Cooper Cromar Architects) 6: Clydebank Leisure Centre - Revit Model 7: Clydebank Leisure Centre (image courtesy of Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects LLP)
Our experience is split between new builds and refurbishment projects, with boutique operators choosing to refurbish existing buildings. Our recent experience includes refurbishment projects for Malmaison and Hotel du Vin at Aberdeen, St Andrews, Dundee and Edinburgh. We currently have new build projects for Motel One and De Vere in Glasgow. Within the leisure sector, we have been involved in a wide range of projects including various sports facilities such as the new £20m eight-court sports hall and pool facilities at Clydebank, which has just started on site.
The refurbishment of the University of St Andrews sports facilities is also on site, and includes new indoor and outdoor pitches; an extended and refurbished gym; together with an eight-court multi centre sports hall. On leisure projects we commonly require complex structures to manage the need for long spans and layered uses of space which require different column grids. A fantastic example of this would be the Clydebank Leisure Centre, which provides a variety of different activities and also has a complex triangular plan geometry with feature cantilevers. On this project we have used our 3D modelling software to allow the team to understand the structure, focus on the build process and allow early coordination of the services.
sector focus retail
Woolgar Hunter have been my appointed engineers on a multitude of builds. Diligent, professional and always with the client’s interests forthmost, they have delivered
innovation without the cost and always meet our demanding retail construction programmes. I’ve tried many other engineering practices and I now won’t build without them
Robert Grant, Shurgard Construction Director U.K. and Nordics
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Our recent experience includes introducing cinemas into existing retail centres / parks. Whilst a great draw, especially for F&B tenants, their introduction can give rise to complex engineering issues, particularly when dealing with existing buildings, where the need is to create larger volumes than the building was originally designed for. This is further complicated by dealing with acoustic issues associated with placing a cinema as a neighbour – especially in one of our projects where the neighbour upstairs is a public library! The key to success is to ensure that we fully understand the existing structure; its constraints and capabilities; and work with the client and the design team to brainstorm possible scenarios early so as to build in as much flexibility as the budget can stand. We have developed detailed step-appraisal procedures for dealing with buildings in this sector to allow maximum flexibility in the structure. As well as retail centres, we also have a wealth of experience of working on large, single, stand-alone store projects; either as ‘one-offs’ or in a rollout. In the food sector this ranges from designing Morrisons stores in Glasgow & Dundee to a number of large food retail extensions in the south of England.
In the non-food side, we have recently been involved in several Decathlon stores throughout the UK, including the new store at Braehead, Glasgow and we have an ongoing relationship with Shurgard Self Storage UK, designing their stores in Greater London. We currently have eight buildings in design or on site.
Repeat business is something we value highly, as it allows us to build a good working relationship and deliver appropriate economic designs to our clients. As well as repeat business with clients who build their own retail buildings, we also enjoy this with brands. We are currently involved with Hollister having first provided advice for their Edinburgh store in 80 George Street, which was previously one of our commercial office projects. It was a façade retention and total rebuild with retail units to the ground floor. Since that project, we are looking at a number of new stores for them, however, there is no truth in the rumour they asked our engineers to model their clothes!
Our experience of new build retail parks and shopping centres, together with our involvement in complex refurbishments and new build stand-alone stores, means we are well placed to offer advice on all types of retail projects throughout the UK.
| sector focus: retail
1&2: Fort Kinnaird, (image courtesy of 3D Reid Architects)
3: Decathlon Store, Braehead, Glasgow 4: Park Royal, London (under construction)
5: Wellgate Centre, Dundee (image courtesy of Threesixty Architecture)
In retail projects the key to commercial success is the ability to attract a good mix of tenants and we understand that this effectively means a ‘prospective tenant is king’. Our designs have to be flexible to try and accommodate any tenants who show a genuine interest throughout the design period – and even beyond!
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| thank you!
In future editions of LAYOUT we will provide information on other sectors we currently work in and “Spotlight” on trends and topical issues, as well as having guest articles from our friends and colleagues in the industry.
If you would like any further information / case studies on any of the projects mentioned or to provide feedback on this issue of LAYOUT, please contact us at [email protected]
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Woolgar Hunter LAYOUT magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper using renewable energy and supports the Woodland Trust foundation for trees preservation.
LAYOUT magazine is a Woolgar Hunter publication. Concept, Design, Art Direction, Photographs and Illustrations by Samuel F, Copyright © Woolgar Hunter 2015 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without Woolgar Hunter’s express consent. contact: i[email protected] - woolgarhunter.com - +44 (0) 141 332 0471
civil + structural + geo-environmental engineers