Our Projects

The Park Community Centre, Knowle

Project Overview and Our Involvement:

The Park Community Centre is a cornerstone of a £7.3 million initiative aimed at creating a state-of-the-art, purpose-built centre that offers affordable workspaces and vital services for local organisations and individuals.

Situated in one of Bristol’s economically deprived areas, this project has the potential to make a substantial impact. Clarkebond played a pivotal role, providing Structural, Civil, and Geotechnical Engineering expertise from the initial concept through to completion.

Appointment Process:

Clarkebond has had a long-standing partnership with Deeley Freed, and due to the nature and significance of this project, they agreed to work on a not-for-profit basis. This collaboration was established because some of the Deeley Freed team sit on the board of The Park Trust.

Sustainability Features:

  • Flow Rate Reduction: Achieved a remarkable 42% reduction in flow rates exiting the site, enhancing flood resilience downstream and reducing strain on the existing sewer network.
  • Landscape Enhancement: By dedicating 8.5% more space to landscaped areas, the paved footprint of the site was reduced, contributing to a more sustainable environment.
  • Water Quality Improvement: The installation of an oil interceptor in the car park helps maintain water quality by collecting hydrocarbons produced by vehicles before they enter the public sewer.
  • Environmental Impact Reduction: The project not only bolstered flood resilience downstream but also increased the amount of landscaped area and introduced an oil interceptor, collectively reducing the environmental impact of the new centre’s operations.
  • Energy Efficiency: The buildings are designed to be energy-efficient, translating to lower running and maintenance costs, enabling resources to be allocated more effectively for the benefit of the local community.
  • Efficient Ventilation: The incorporation of mechanical ventilation louvres above windows, utilising hit and miss brickwork in the external leaf, ensures efficient ventilation without compromising the aesthetics of the building.

Challenges and Resolutions:

  • Pandemic Challenges: Commencement of construction during the pandemic presented various challenges, including site activity, material prices, availability, and lead times.
  • Poor Ground Conditions: The incorporation of steel-driven piles, typically used in residential developments, successfully addressed poor ground conditions.
  • Speedy Construction: Utilising pre-cast ground beams and ground floor slabs accelerated the construction process.
  • Propping Elimination: The design of a long-span first floor structure eliminated the need for propping, enabling concurrent progress on ground and first floor activities.

Relationship with the Team:

Clarkebond maintained close collaboration with the project team, conducting in-person meetings during the design stages.

As social distancing measures were imposed, the team seamlessly transitioned to virtual meetings and site inspections, employing tools like Microsoft Teams, site photography, and video.

Relationship with the Client:

While Clarkebond had a longstanding relationship with Deeley Freed, they quickly built a productive working relationship with Emma Hinton of The Park Trust, ensuring the building was tailored to meet the needs of the end users effectively.

Added Value:

Design innovations, like propping elimination on the first floor, have enhanced the construction process, leading to impressive outcomes. The project has provided a home for diverse organisations, enriching the community with offerings ranging from disability support to sports clubs, adult and youth support networks, and various educational and learning organisations.

Future Work:

The completion of The Park Centre has paved the way for the construction of ‘Oasis Academy Daventry Road,’ a new 900-place secondary school. This project, led by Wates Construction, is expected to open its doors in September 2024.

Additional Comments:

The adoption of video conferencing and remote collaboration methods in this project has demonstrated their utility and is expected to shape future design and construction projects. Additionally, the successful use of alternative foundation solutions and precast elements in commercial developments may influence decision-making on upcoming projects, offering both programmatic and economic benefits.

Read more – The Park Community Centre

Project Facts

  • Project Manager: JLL 
  • Main Client: The Park 
  • Completion: November 2022 
  • Architect: AWW