Project background

Acies acted as temporary works designer for Morgan Sindall on the construction of a new leisure centre and secondary school in London, as well as the demolition of a leisure centre on the same site. Initial involvement consisted of the temporary works design for the enabling work to the leisure centre for it to remain operational during the construction period and on an existing public sewer access shaft for it to be reconfigured to make way for the foundations of the new leisure centre.

Our involvement

We provided the foundation design for the temporary three-storey site accommodation block to serve projects during the construction period. Following the enabling works and site set-up phases, temporary works on the leisure centre project consisted of designing a working platform around the perimeter of the proposed building to allow for the use of the mobile cranes required at various stages of construction and the foundation for a trestle to assist with the installation of the large steel roof trusses. There was also a requirement to carry out design checks on two piled tower crane bases, access scaffolds within the double- and triple-height spaces around the indoor swimming pools and the construction plant being used on areas of the suspended slab within the building to install cladding.

Acies projects - Britannia Leisure Centre - image of building

What challenges did we face or help to resolve?

For the new secondary school, the key aspects of the project in relation to temporary works were the erection of two tower cranes, sheet piling to allow for the construction of the basement and a goods hoist. As the proposed route for Crossrail 2 passed directly under the footprint of the building, piling was not an option for the tower crane bases. The principal structural engineer for the permanent works had included supporting the tower cranes within their raft foundation design for the structure. However, it was dependent on the whole raft being constructed prior to the cranes being erected.

Another area where an innovative design solution was required was for the goods hoist foundation. The hoist needed to be positioned on the pavement adjacent to a main road and at the top of the new basement retaining wall for the secondary school.

Acies projects - Britannia Leisure Centre - image of glass frontage

How did we resolve those challenges?

We developed a design for standalone raft foundations for each tower crane to allow them to be erected while works on the rest of the foundations were still being carried out. These bases were then incorporated into the design of the permanent raft foundation to avoid breaking them out at a later date.

To distribute the loads from the goods hoist, loads at the base of the hoist needed to be suitably distributed over a reinforced concrete raft foundation to avoid excessive surcharge being imposed on either the retaining wall or the numerous services underneath the pavement. Our engineers designed a raft for the constrained location, which avoided both the services and applying loads to the retaining wall.

Acies projects - Britannia Leisure Centre -AstroTurf pitch

What impact did our work have for the client?

Our work helped to deliver an outstanding leisure centre to serve the community of Hackney.

“I am so proud that we have delivered one of London’s best leisure centres, with absolutely incredible facilities that are affordable for people to enjoy.” Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney (2016–2023).