How do you add another two floors to an existing four-storey office block, while converting it into flats … but without strengthening the whole building?
This was always going to be a tough brief as, commercially, it would never be viable to strengthen the whole building and so our goal was to only add strength where it was needed. By using careful analysis and investigation of the existing structure, we were able to pinpoint the exact areas that required further work, thus creating considerable savings for the client both in cost and time.
We designed the two new upper stories in a lightweight construction, consisting of a basic steel frame infilled with timber walls and lightweight cladding. The goal was to keep the loads as low as possible.
SSA’s ‘cork in a bottle’ solution
We designed what we describe as a ‘cork in a bottle’ solution, which involved forming an annular ‘ring’ around the pad foundation in plan and reshaping the original pad into a ‘cork’.
Our ‘cork in a bottle’ solution saved the contractor tens of thousands of pounds and made the overall project fully commercially viable.