Working collaboratively to improve buildability
The residential development at Stockport Interchange is part of a transformative project to reinvigorate Stockport’s city centre. The dramatic upgrade to the town’s transport infrastructure is being funded by TFGM and will not only provide easy access to the nearby train station but also provide fantastic new amenities including a two-acre rooftop park, cycle route and commercial space.
renaissance is working on several elements of the interchange project, one of which is the residential development. Working with clients Willmott Dixon and Mayo Civils, we’ve designed and delivered proposals to guide the project to successful completion.
Stockport Interchange project specifics
The £50 million, 17-story residential development will provide 70 one-bedroom and 126 two-bedroom apartments overlooking the beautiful elevated public park and recreation podium. At podium-level, a six-unit commercial space will bring new retail opportunities, providing added convenience to residents at this town-centre location.
As well as the fully furnished, high-quality apartments on offer, residents of the complex will also have access to a private rooftop garden in which they can kick back and take in the fantastic views across the distant Peak District Hills.
Working closely with Mayo – the concrete frame contractor, we were able to optimise the buildability of the floor slabs and frame. By rationalising the reinforcement of the concrete frame, we facilitate the construction process for the team on site.
By fine-tuning this process, not only were we aiding the site team, but we were reducing the embodied carbon of the project.
At a really basic level, this was simply about site logistics. Asking questions like:
- How will sequencing be considered?
- Can these materials be loaded out via entrance one or two?
- Is there any way we can adopt fewer bar marks to provide greater efficiency?
A solid example of this process is the reinforcement used for floor slabs. We’ve all opened some flatpack furniture before and despaired at the sheer amount of different components, right? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if there were only ten components and not twenty?
That’s the approach we took with the reinforcement. By limiting the amount to ten, it meant that the buildability of the floor slabs and the logistics of construction was vastly improved.
This was a collaborative process between renaissance and Mayo, established and developed over a number of years. Through that strong relationship, we were able to continue to make significant improvements to the design and construction efficiency.
Optimising through efficiency
As an engineering consultancy, we’re always looking to improve the efficiency of the projects we work on. At the residential arm of Stockport Interchange, we managed to deliver design optimisation in a couple of areas.
Firstly, we were able to reduce the thickness of the core walls. These ground to top floor supporting structure give the building its lateral stability and along with the frame tend to be carbon-intensive. By designing with efficiency in mind, we were able to reduce the thickness of various walls by 50mm.
This exercise reduced our usage of steel, concrete and importantly, embodied carbon.
Secondly, we were able to remove several transfer structures by designing the column grid more efficiently. Again this led to a marked reduction in material usage and delivered yet more embodied carbon savings.
With these exercises in efficiency, we were able to remove over 100TCo2 of embodied carbon from the project.