11 May 2020
sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
ECE was appointed by Shoreham Port to oversee the complete redevelopment of a reclaimed parcel of land in Lady Bee Marina. The client's brief was to provide the port with a unique flagship project which provided small business units for rent to local companies. ECE’s initial response was to create a building that was not the standard metal frame metal clad business units but a contemporary interpretation of an industrial building's typology, which created a benchmark for future architecture in and around the port.
The development comprises three 2 storey buildings with a total of 14 individual business units of various sizes with a total of 1307m2 of lettable space. In addition to the new buildings, the site has provision for car parking, cycle storage and on-site refuse storage facilities. Considering the site's unique location, the ECE design approach aimed to respect its coastal setting by drawing upon the architectural vernacular and materials used in both the neighbouring properties and the surrounding area.
The building has a sawtooth roof profile that reflects the industrial setting and provides north light and stack effect ventilation to the internal spaces and south-facing roofs for PV panels. Careful consideration was paid to the Eastern elevation facing the marina. This elevation needed to be the public face of the building. The design includes sliding timber doors to help activate the elevation. Large numbers were also added to the doors to mimic branding to shipping contains used within the port. In addition, signage was added to aid visibility of the units but also to act as solar shading and reduce solar gain to the internal spaces
In more detail
The success of the leadership and collaboration between the consultants and supply chain, evident during pre-construction and on-site works, has led to the team carrying out a further two projects for the client. The consultants, contractor and supply chain team were all based within a 30-mile radius of the site. Programme collaborations and good communication created a ‘one team culture’. Full engagement of all parties encouraged ownership and high quality throughout the build, achieving the required target outcome.
Shoreham Port is an EcoPort and has recently achieved carbon neutral status. All developments within the port follow a template of high sustainability standards. The orientation of the building has minimised future reliance on mechanical services. The placement of north-facing lights provides the building with natural ventilation and light. Solar panels on the roof make the development energy efficient, the marine location of the development also maximises natural cooling. The scheme was required to be BREEAM ‘Very Good’, working with Delta Green ECE produced a specification to include a well-insulated building with PVs, electric charging points for cars, bicycle storage and other features to meet that requirement.
Additionally, ensuring the building’s weather tightness was important due to its Marine location and air leakage rate required within the SBEM assessment. The various cladding systems were selected to limit air leakage. The zinc coverings provide a hardy exterior and were carefully detailed to deal with the increased wind loading and salt air to ensure that the building is robust and low maintenance.
The building was located on reclaimed land within the Harbour. As a result, the bearing capacity of the substrata was exceptionally low. The soil investigations also identified a need for ground gas protection to create a safe environment within the building along with verification testing prior to occupation. Using traditional trenches were discounted as they would have resulted in cross-contamination of organic material between two strata layers. Piled foundations were also discounted due to the gas membrane detailing requirements around the pile caps, changes in level, and building perimeter. The chosen solution was to install a series of Vibro Stone columns to vastly improve the ground's bearing pressure. This then allowed the use of a ground bearing rafter slab which simplified the gas membrane installation and detailing. This approach significantly reduced the construction Programme.
Tim Hague, Director of Property and Development at Shoreham Port, said:
“Shoreham Port is a trust port, meaning we have a duty to boost the local economy and create jobs. ECE provided us with a layout of units that would be perfect to accommodate the growth of local firms.
We are delighted with the design produced by ECE. The development sits next to our head office, and therefore needed to look fantastic, and be in keeping with the surroundings. ECE’s design sits comfortably in our industrial setting, whilst reflecting the light and water of our natural surroundings.
We have received very positive feedback from the local residential districts and our extensive business tenant community. Crucially the development has been well received in the local commercial property market, and the media, finance and tech companies we hoped to attract have moved in.”
About the Building Project of the Year Award:
The SECBE Awards team look for outstanding local projects that: demonstrate great team working between the client and entire supply chain; were delivered before the programmed completion date, below the approved cost plan and to quality exceeding expectation whilst delivering the highest of health and safety standards; achieved the lowest environmental impacts; delivered outstanding customer satisfaction and may have also received praise from other stakeholders, and demonstrated the highest levels of the application of best practice, innovation and technical achievement to overcome the project’s challenges.