Oldham civil engineering firm has got the Edge

Date published: 11 April 2018

An Oldham structural and civil engineering company has provided specialist services for the construction of a £5 million swimming pool and leisure centre in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Edge Structural Design worked on the project at Minsthorpe Leisure Centre, which included overcoming challenging ground and drainage conditions.

Work began on-site in late 2016 and the new centre has just been officially opened in March 2018, on time and within budget.

The new leisure amenity boasts a six-lane swimming pool, a gym and fitness suite and replaces an older swimming pool demolished in 2013.

Edge Structural Design was a consultant for Willmott Dixon and the client was Wakefield Council.

Edge founder and director Adam Sedgwick, a chartered structural engineer, said: “Swimming pools are unusual buildings and very demanding from multiple engineering perspectives because of the heavy loads, and the significant operating and heating equipment used for the general environment and the pool itself.

“We started our work in late 2016. We began looking into possible foundation solutions, the steel frame layout and then the pool structure.

"All work was carried out using the BIM (Building Information Modelling) Level 2 system, sharing information with the architects and mechanical-and-electrical engineers, who were GT3 Architects from Nottingham and Silcock Leedham from Leeds.

“The Minsthorpe site does not have a long history of use, other than the previous pool, so the ground conditions were quite challenging with low bearing characteristics.

"So we used a specialist technique called vibro-compaction to improve the ground’s weight-bearing capacity required for the proposed heavy building. 

"Furthermore, as part of the planning conditions, we were asked to improve the site’s drainage to address the national planning policies to reduce flooding.

"So, we successfully overcame a number of challenges.”

Sedgwick added: “Getting the new pool open on-time and to budget is a real boon for the local community. It’s great to see this new amenity open.”

Edge staff involved included BIM/CAD technician Pam Tippett, who worked on drawings and 3-D modelling; and project engineers Ben Marsden, who worked on structural elements, alongside Penny Clark, who focused on civil engineering elements.

Edge Structural Design, based at Chambers Business Centre, provides services to commercial and domestic clients including civil and structural services, temporary works design, structural inspections and reports.

It works with contractors of all sizes on bidding and tendering, technical expertise on ground conditions, foundations, cut-and-fill analysis using sophisticated 3D ground-modeling software and drainage design. 

It has previously worked for Willmott Dixon on the £15 million Oldham Leisure Centre and £8 million Royton Leisure Centre.

Elsewhere, Edge is currently working on a six-storey apartment in central Manchester with a two-storey reinforced concrete basement, refurbishment of a 500,000 sq ft industrial building on Merseyside and the conversion of a historic chapel site into apartments and houses in Delph. 

Other current work includes a new office in Bury, a three-storey retail and office building in south Manchester and conversion of a London office into apartments. 

Edge’s other projects have included assisting with temporary platforms for pilings rigs, site hoarding designs and temporary propping, and inspections and reports about urgent cases such as fire-damaged buildings.