October 2022 saw the grand reopening of the iconic Battersea Power Station, a once steadfast supplier of London’s electricity and now an energized hub of entertainment, one that PCE is very proud to have helped transform.
Breathing new life to the Battersea Power Station required PCE to deploy cutting-edge construction techniques, fueled through innovative problem solving strategies, an offsite ‘kit of parts’ approach, and an optimized HybriDfMA solution delivering extensive engineering gains, programme benefits and enhanced client value.
Working with Construction Manager Mace, PCE helped transform the original insitu strategy to one that embraced Hybrid construction, with PCE’s structural design team using advanced Business Information Modelling to work alongside Mace in creating value engineering benefits, improving the overall delivery of the programme.
One of the fundamental challenges revolved around designing three additional residential levels to be carried by the existing foundations of the original Grade II listed structure with the new structures, an obstacle that presented many design engineering and buildability challenges. Commencing from level 5, PCE interfaced new stud columns on top of the existing vertical steel columns, providing a platform to build levels 5, 6, 7 and 8 as a new structure, connecting past with present.
A Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) approach using a HybriDfMA solution, coupled with advanced digital design modelling and value engineering initiatives helped optimise the design and manufacturing phases, allowing PCE to execute an installation strategy embedded in efficiency.
Using its comprehensive and adaptable supply-chain model, PCE constructed a hybrid solution consisting of steel columns, steel beams, cantilevered balcony beams, and two-way spanning reinforced flooring units, offering flat soffit floor structures to adjoin the existing grid pattern. In controlled factory environments where every detail is scrutinised to ensure the highest standards, PCE’s ‘kit of parts’ philosophy meant units were engineered offsite and fitted with the necessary components to ensure an expedited onsite installation strategy, delivering enhanced speed and safety whilst simultaneously guaranteeing quality.
Steel columns were pre-located onto the flooring units prior to onsite lifting, facilitating faster construction in addition to a refined lifting schedule, reducing the number of lifts and resource waste. Additionally, the façade connections back to the structure were pre-coordinated offsite and placed into the flooring units, eliminating the need for on-site drilling works. Further to this, all edge protection was pre-fitted to the flooring units to ensure that when the units were delivered to the site, they could be hoisted directly from the trailer into position.
The identification and use of optimal material meant floor units could be manufactured to a thinner design, without sacrificing structural integrity. Furthermore, no structural or levelling topping was needed on the flooring units. With sustainability a crucial factor in all phases of operation at PCE, the successful reduction of required product quantities, weight and transportation to site, in turn reducing carbon, was important to an overall successful project delivery.
The benefits of this approach extended beyond PCE; it allowed for reduced trade works on site and also enabled following on trades to directly finish their products on top of the completed structure with greater speed and ease.
Working on such a large construction site with limited access had its challenges; coordinating complex logistics to ensure efficient just-in-time deliveries, consistent safe cranage and a sustainable assembly strategy with minimal disruption required thorough planning and preparation, a challenge PCE’s multidisciplinary team overcame to maximum efficiency. PCE are proud to have delivered a project that not only breathed new life into a cornerstone of historic London, but did so using an approach governed by efficiency, speed and sustainability.