We provided civil and structural engineering and transport consultancy services for the flagship innovation centre located at the NORA regeneration site in King’s Lynn,
The building provides facilities for starter businesses to establish themselves and is specifically designed for full adaptability of room layouts to allow businesses to develop and grow. To achieve this, the layout uses an efficient structural steel frame to minimise the presence and number of internal columns.
The building is arranged with a main two storey office wing, with core facilities and conference/meeting rooms within the four storey wing. This includes a central four storey atrium area with cantilevered floors providing a break out and communal space for occupants.
The design concept strives to provide a visually striking landmark to attract new businesses to this quarter which has the potential to develop in future.
As well as achieving a maximum lettable area ratio, a key design criteria were to and provide an inspirational environment. The provision of high ceilings and natural daylight through the use of corridor floor voids, curtain wall glazing and roof lights together with dramatic roof and building profile sets out to meet this requirement.
This area of King’s Lynn is located within tidal flood plains and on particularly poor peat soils and is bound on two sides by rivers. While the building is piled and raised above the flood plain, the surrounding car parking and infrastructure could not economically be stabilised. This area has been engineered in four stages to accommodate the anticipated soil settlement by several processes:
- To mitigate the extent of settlement, a period of soil surcharging was undertaken during the construction stage to accelerate primary settlement of the peat.
- The car park surface is designed as a permeable surface but with an impermeable layer at the base layer. This reduces the sensitivity of surface to standing water by draining below the surface.
- The permeable sub-grade is reinforced with geogrids to prevent differential settlements, and finally
- Reinforced concrete transition slabs are provided between the mobile soils and piled structures to prevent sudden changes in levels from differential settlement.