Guernsey Water’s new headquarters at Brickfield House, St Andrew, was the culmination of many years of planning, negotiation and redesign. MAL was employed to provide both the civil and structural engineering design of this landmark building whilst maintaining continued access to the existing operations building on the site and ensuring the environmental impact of the new development was mitigated.
Since the 1990s, Guernsey Water had wanted to centralize its operations and, after many years of planning, negotiation and design alterations, its new headquarters at Brickfield House, by St Andrew’s Reservoir, was finally opened in May 2011.
MAL was responsible for the structural and civil design of the new building, yards, car parks, access road and foul and storm drainage. One of the challenges faced by the construction and design team was to maintain access to the existing Guernsey Water operations building on the site. A phased construction and handover approach was undertaken whereby the new access road, building and car park were completed and occupied prior to the demolition of the old office and warehouse building and the commencement of the rear yard construction.
The new development consisted of large clear span storage and industrial areas as well as modern open plan office space. The main building had to be constructed on piled foundations due to the mainly inconsistent fill material while the superstructure, consisting of steel columns and large span cellular beams, allowed for larger diameter ducting service runs within the floor makeup.
The new access road to the site was one of the longest new road constructions undertaken in the island in recent times and MAL worked with a number of specialist designers on the design of the road and its drainage and service runs.
Another of the challenges faced by the construction and design team for Guernsey Water’s new HQ was to ensure that the finished building and grounds would not adversely impact on its rural surroundings. With this in mind, the levels of the building and yards were set into, as opposed to onto, the surrounding landscape, which resulted in the requirement for retaining structures around the building and yards.
MAL also designed Gabion retaining structures of varying overall heights as it was felt these would be more in keeping with the natural setting than reinforced concrete structures.