37 Eign Gate, Student Accommodation

Project: 37 Eign Gate Student Accommodation,  Hereford
Client: Patterson Homes
Project Role: Building Service Engineer
Working with: Hook Mason Architects, Simpson Associates & Ward Williams Associates
Value: £4M 

Originally constructed in the 1920’s and substantially redeveloped in the 1960’s, 37 Eign Gate is the former home of Woolworths in central Hereford. Having fallen largely into disrepair, the whole building has now undergone a large-scale refurbishment to create a modern student accommodation and education premises to house students attending the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, NMITE.

Our Client is working with NMITE to create a mixed development with accommodation, cycle store, library, café and lift provision. Our focus is the basement plantroom, ground floor lobby and cycle store and 3 storeys of residential accommodation providing 71 bedrooms, including ancillary areas and a Relaxation / Cinema Room. The large-scale refurbishment and reconfiguration include the installation of a new mezzanine floor and roof extension at 3rd floor level to maximise the available space and potential of the building. Complete new lighting and building services were required throughout, including new utility service connections.

Particular challenges include the nature of the original 1920’s building, adapting the design and working with limited services routes to ensure the M&E fitout would be fit for purpose. The HWS servicing strategy has been carefully considered to minimise storage losses and maximise efficiency. Due to the tight design programme, high-level concept proposals were presented and discussed to ensure coordination of design and location of plant and service risers. The site in central Hereford has very tight access, with existing tenant restrictions on both sides of the building and a pedestrian access only area as it fronts onto the shopping street. Negotiations with the electricity network, WPD were extensive with a complicated transformer upgrade housed in the building basement.

Coordination of service risers and pre-fabricated shower pods proved critical to the success of the design, and early liaison with the pod manufacturer enabled the units to be adapted to suit the particular site constraints to ensure a successful and coordinated install. This was particularly relevant given the constraints of the existing building, allowing pod ductwork connections to be adjusted to coordinate with existing steelwork, and valve positions to maximise access from the restricted service risers.

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