The Winnersh Triangle lies within a mile of the M4 motorway, close to Reading and is the subject of a phased redevelopment plan to create a new grade A business park. We were appointed to provide structural, fire, infrastructure, sustainability and geotechnical services for five buildings, including a new HQ for Jacobs Engineering. Bespoke office accommodation was required while the client requested that the building's design be consistent with the rest of the park.
The Jacobs building comprises five floors on top of a podium structure containing an undercroft car park, set half in the ground and designed to work with the site's contours. The podium is finished with a mixture of hard and soft landscaping which helps attenuate surface water drainage and reduces discharge into the drainage network.
With insufficient time for a concrete flat slab, the structure is steel frame. The required density of building services coupled with increased floor-to-ceiling heights left only 300mm for the structural zone. Downstand beams were also unacceptable to Jacobs. Our solution keeps the beams in the centre of structural bays sufficiently shallow to be contained within the depth of the precast concrete floor planks. This created a series of uninterrupted 'race-tracks' within the ceiling zone giving flexibility for services distribution similar to a concrete flat slab.
In the interests of lean design, the podium sits on pad foundations, with short small diameter driven piles beneath the building reducing noise and vibration. The driven piles gave substantial programme advantage, resulting in no material arising and enabled the sub-structure to be reduced 30% by volume when compared with conventional augered piles.