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Case Study - Commercial Development, Ice Rink, Cambridge - Floorspan
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Commercial Development, Ice Rink, Cambridge

The Brief

In January of last year, we received an invitation to quote for a job from our long standing clients Melcon Construction on behalf of Cool Venues Ltd.

Members of the team at Cool Venues have been involved with “over 90%” of the ice rinks in the country and were uniquely placed to tackle the rigorous requirements of the new Cambridge Ice Arena- which is due to complete in the summer of this year.

Our brief was to design, manufacture, deliver and install the 1st floor hollowcore slab mezzanine.

Photo provided by Cool Venues Ltd

In January of last year, we received an invitation to quote for a job from our long standing clients Melcon Construction on behalf of Cool Venues Ltd.

Cool Venues have been involved with “over 90%” of the ice rinks in the country and were uniquely placed to tackle the rigorous requirements of the new Cambridge Ice Arena- which is due to complete in the summer of this year.

Our brief was to design, manufacture, deliver and install the 1st floor hollowcore slab mezzanine.

Photo provided by Cool Venues Ltd

Cool Venues' radical partnering approach and design philosophy is delivering one of the UK's most sustainable permanent ice rinks- for two thirds of the traditional cost.

Jim Kay - Director, Cool Venues

Key Points

For a developer, choosing a sub par subcontractor is potentially disastrous. This subcontractor becomes the weak link in the chain and threatens the success of the project. Floorspan go the extra mile to ensure we are a solid, reliable and profitable part of any project.

A huge part of this is communication. The more we know, the better we can plan.

There were many unique factors that were important to consider. Through talking with Jim Kay (Director – Cool Venues) and other involved parties, we established that the two of the most pivotal points for us were:

  • Cool venues deliver ice rinks at two thirds of the traditional cost and have a well defined design philosophy.
  • The site is adjacent to an airport which meant that the southern gable had to be reduced in height by 50%.


In practical terms this meant we would need to:

  • Ensure that we are able to deliver the project under budget.
  • Devise a foolproof installation plan.
  • Guarantee that the planks, which would be visible from below, met with the high design standards of our client.

Hollowcore Slabs- A better, cheaper solution

Originally, the specification detailed an entirely different solution constructed of wood (cross-laminated timber). However, it was  correctly identified that precast concrete slabs could be a cheaper way forward that would overcome many of the loading and bearing issues.

The first consideration on any project is what product can most effectively manage the span, load and bearing requirements. This means accounting for the distance the precast concrete planks needs to span. This is not always a straight forward decision as we want to offer the most cost-effective and efficient solution possible. In this case, because the job was a first floor installation with relatively large span requirements (4.6m * 5.9m), it was decided that 150mm hollowcore plank would be the most suitable and easy to install.

This reveals one of the key reasons that Floorspan is an attractive choice for contractors and builders of all kinds- we have a versatile range of products. That means that you do not have your budget stretched to breaking point by a solution that is structural adequate but expensive.

Another important consideration is whether it is necessary to compromise the structural integrity of the slab through notching. Our lead designer, with the help of our retained engineer, was able to allow for the customer’s requirements for notching around columns, whilst still far exceeding span and load requirements.

The first consideration on any project is what product can most effectively manage the span, load and bearing requirements. This means accounting for the distance the precast concrete needs to span. This is not always a straight forward decision as we want to offer the most cost-effective and efficient solution possible. In this case, because the job was a first floor installation with relatively large span requirements (4.6m * 5.9m), it was decided that 150mm hollowcore plank would be the most suitable and easy to install.

This reveals one of the key reasons that Floorspan is an attractive choice for contractors and builders of all kinds- we have a versatile range of products. That means that you, the client, does not have your budget stretched to breaking point by a solution that is structural adequate but expensive.

Another important consideration is whether it is necessary to compromise the structural integrity of the slab through notching. Our lead designer, with the help of our retained engineer, was able to allow for the customer’s requirements for notching around columns, whilst still far exceeding span and load requirements.

Flooring design know-how

Some of the obstacles that we needed to overcome have already been mentioned. Our approach was to assign the job to one of our more experienced designers, Constantin Marin, who was able to take an overview of the job and advise accordingly. For example, Constantin was able to ensure sufficient plank strength for the handrails by forming the ends of the planks solid.

Some of the obstacles that we needed to overcome have already been mentioned. Our approach was to assign the job to one of our more experienced designers, Constantin Marin, who was able to take an overview of the job and advise accordingly. For example, Constantin was able to ensure sufficient plank strength for the handrails by forming the ends of the planks solid.

Installation

The roof height, coupled with the distance between the mezzanine and the ice pad, meant we had a very tight space to work in with considerable reach.  Our vehicles are all fitted with rear mounted cranes and our drivers and installers are highly skilled at placing planks ready for installation.

Therefore, the decision was taken to use one of our rigid lorries to back into the building and unload the planks directly onto the steelwork. Health and safety regulations were observed to the letter and great care was taken to avoid damage to the existing works.

The verdict?

Floorspan showed great patience in what became a protracted detailed design programme. Care during the difficult installation process meant no complications or damage arose. Timely response post installation for approval of service holes was much appreciated. Adherence to budget was impressive.

Jim Kay - Director - Cool Venues

Work on the new Cambridge ice rink is ongoing with an estimated completion date of early summer nearly within site. For us, it has been great to be involved with such an interesting project that will go on to become a real service to the local community.

Beams. Blocks. Solutions.

Get your free quote. we go the extra mile to provide value.

Beams. Blocks. Solutions.

Get your free quote. we go the extra mile to provide value.