NLG Associates were appointed by Keegans in 2013 on behalf of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) to provide full MEP designs which would allow the complete refurbishment of their Molton Road Service Hub complex approximant 1680m² (18,000 sq ft) in order to maximise underused office space which in turn will ‘freed-up’ buildings for sale that were not longer suitable for RBKC use.
The brief was to achieve a BREEAM excellent building providing their staff with a modern comfortable and safe working environment taking into account acoustic issues of the A40 duel carriageway above and Ladbroke Grove train station behind the building.
The challenges was that the building was located under an existing dual carriage way and that the existing structure needed to be disconnected so did not touch the underside of the A40 to prevent structural noise from being transferred into the building.
The building in its existing configuration was not designed for a modern office space environment. The building structure needed to be modified to incorporate a disabled lift as well as electrical intake room, mechanical plant air handling units, heat pumps and associated controls and equipment. All structural beams located on the ground floor were installed with castellated beams which we were able to reuse. A suspended ceiling was originally proposed. However, due to the floor to ceiling heights the look and feel of the refurbishment changed to be one of a media style office with exposed ductwork, cable trays and pipework.
The floor to ceiling heights were very tight and the MEP services had to be designed very carefully in order to maximise the floor to ceiling heights. We maximised this space by using space above desks and perimeter walls in which to route duct work and co-ordinate all lights. We achieved this by undertaking our design in 3D Revit software working closely with the architect who also used the same software design tool. During the design period we were able to identify all low headroom areas and design them out or alter the building layout to fit around the restricted floor to ceiling heights.
Another challenge was incorporating IT requirements of the different building users from the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea as well as Hammersmith and Fulham with each borough operating differently from an IT perspective. To achieve this we designed three different cables to each desk as the facility was to be used as a hot desking building as most of the users made visits within the community. Therefore each user had a different colour IT cable depending on what borough they belonged too.
The outcome was that a tired looking building that was not used was brought back into life as an energy efficient building with a modern working environment which achieved the delivered goal of being BREEAM excellent.