The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the face of an iconic piece of London history. Phase 2 of the precinct redevelopment includes the re-purposing of the Grade II* listed power station structure into a truly mixed-use development including retail space, premium offices, and luxury apartments at high level.

The redevelopment poses significant challenges for the engineering and construction team, including the challenges of extending the design life of existing structural elements being retained, constructing around existing foundations, preserving the heritage listed structure during construction, and providing temporary support to the building (whose wash towers are in the order of 300 feet high) during each stage of demolition, excavation, and construction.

Robert Bird Group were invited into the project team by the client late in 2016, with the project facing critical cost and programme challenges. Robert Bird Group’s engineering and risk-management contributions resulted in significant cost reductions in the structural works packages across the project, and construction programme accelerations were made possible.

The key to Robert Bird Group’s contribution to this project has been a collaborative attitude – engaging with the client, consultants and contractors – coupled with technical skills and experience in delivering design solutions that simplify construction and reduce risk.

Project Value:
£1.2 billion GBP
Year Completed:
2021 (target)
Building Metrics:
Circa 120,000m2 of mixed-use space including public parks, main energy centre, a shopping centre, offices, and luxury apartments.
Sectors:
Residential, Commercial, Retail, Energy

Client:
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Architect:
Wilkinson Eyre
Structural and Civil Engineer
Wilkinson Eyre
Robert Bird Group Services:
Value Engineering (new structure) (existing structure)
Construction Engineering (construction methodology development) (temporary works design) Due Diligence Engineering (new structure)

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical challenges

  • Developing temporary support solutions that stabilize the retained heritage structure elements but allow staged removal and replacement, as permanent structure is erected and connected to the heritage elements
  • Design solutions that strengthen existing heritage elements, rather than demolishing and replacing them
  • Developing minimal-intrusion repair strategies for the existing heritage brickwork and steelwork, that minimise risk of damage during repairs, whilst providing surety of performance under an extended design life, all managed in a 4D BIM environment

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