A new office building for Barnet Council which forms an important part of the wider Colindale regeneration plan. The building provides modern office space for the full range of council services and a fundamental part of the brief was to co-locate their disparate departments into one building, including a community drop-in centre and café at ground floor leading out to a new public square.
Nearby residential and college buildings meant that rights of light placed hard restrictions on total building height which conflicted with the minimum floor to ceiling height and floor areas required by the Council's brief. This was solved primarily by adopting post-tensioned flat slabs, and through removing a dropped ceiling internally.
The post-tensioned flat slabs saved enough structural depth over the building's nine storeys so that it fit within the rights of light envelope, while still providing wide column-free spaces internally which meant that net to gross floor efficiencies were maintained.
We were also able to convince the client that we could guarantee a concrete soffit of sufficient quality that a ceiling would not be required except at major service runs, which helped to reduce floor to floor heights while maintaining floor to ceiling height.
Initial concepts required the phased closure of an important road as well as moving a busy bus stop and several items of street furniture to make the underground drainage connections, all of which would have required lengthy approval processes with Highways, Transport for London and Thames Water.
We coordinated with the main contractor and directly with their sub-contractors to design a connection which was tunneled and avoided any costly and disruptive above ground work. This removed the connection from the critical path and reduced risks considerably for the main contractor.