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Top marks for Catering Design Group

Daventry-based Catering Design Group (CDG) has completed four refurbishment projects this summer for schools and colleges, valued at a combined turnover of almost £900K.
Working to tight timescales to complete the works before the start of the autumn term, all four projects show CDG’s creative approach.
The first was the redevelopment of the kitchen and servery area at UWC Atlantic College, based at St Donat’s Castle, a 12th century castle over-looking the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast.
UWC Atlantic College develops compassionate global corporate citizens through its pioneering and distinctive IB educational model. Students from over 80 countries and from vastly differing environments, political, religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds live, work and achieve success together in this unique learning landscape.
Working with on-site caterers, Chartwells Independent, CDG has redeveloped the kitchen and servery area.
Helen Davis, CDG commercial director, said: “Last year, we designed and built a café area for the College’s new sports hall, so it was great to get this repeat business. The kitchen and servery area were looking tired from wear and tear. Our challenge was to ensure that our designs were in sympathy with the building and reflect UWC Atlantic College’s ethos.
“One of our design aims was to remove a suspended ceiling in order to expose the original timber ceiling above to enhance the space, taking the area back to its historic roots within the main castle building.”
At Birkenhead School, an independent day school in Oxton in The Wirral, CDG has re-designed the main kitchen, servery, dining room and Sixth Form catering facility.
This included changing the kitchen layout, the installation of a new ventilation system and increasing the servery area to extend the food offer. CDG re-designed the dining area
and enhanced the Sixth Form facility by condensing the operational kitchen to increase the counter space to allow for a healthier food offer.
Kathryn Pell-Walpole, sales director of Chartwells Independent, said: “CDG are great partners to work with; as well as being completely on trend with finishes, they understand a caterers’ operational requirements, such as ergonomic flow and counter flow. The transformation at Birkenhead School is truly remarkable.”
At St Columba’s College, an independent Catholic day school for boys in St Albans, CDG transformed what was previously a lack-lustre ‘canteen-feel’ dining hall with a fresh, contemporary design based on four key colours to reflect the school’s branding.
The colours are now mirrored in cluster lights, furniture legs and frames. CDG included bespoke central ‘cross’ design conduit lighting to tie in the servery and seating area. The CDG team also designed and installed a 6th Form café, providing a small but modern facility for the pupils.
Paul Daly, bursar of St Columba’s College, said: “Our goal was to enhance the dining experience for our pupils and staff and we now have a vibrant space with improved flows and new counters that showcase our food. Catering Design Group showed great creativity from the outset. They understood the brief and worked in partnership with us and our on-site caterers, Chartwells Independent, to realise our vision – from concept to completion.”
The fourth educational project was also repeat business for CDG. Following the design, build and the refurbishment of the kitchen, servery and dining areas at Kings Bruton, a boarding and day school in Bruton, Somerset last year, CDG were invited back to change a former a music teaching block into a new kitchen to support the school’s BTEC curriculum and act as a hospitality kitchen for functions.
The project involved the supply and installation of equipment, ventilation, new M&E works, works to walls and ceilings, as well as lighting and decoration.
Helen Davis said: “We are fortunate to have loyal clients who know that we understand their business and appreciate the creative approach we take. It has been an incredibly busy summer, but we wouldn’t have it any other way."


Polypipe bolsters flood defences at new £2.7m medical centre

Polypipe, the UK’s leading manufacturer of sustainable drainage and water management solutions, has helped to protect a new £2.7 million medical centre from flash floods.
The Loughborough-based company supplied its Polystorm and Permavoid geocellular water management systems to the 1,191sqm Churchdown Surgery in Churchdown, Gloucestershire.
Building on the initial design by the contract engineer Rutter Johnson, Polypipe worked with consultant engineering firm EPG, and civil engineer and installer NGB Cheltenham, to review and value-engineer a solution capable of negotiating various onsite challenges, including an extremely high water table.
Using the combined design and installation experience of the team, a mixed product solution was supplied by Polypipe that included a Permavoid system for use beneath a large permeable paving car park and two Polystorm tanks utilising anti-floatation measures in soft landscape areas.
Due to the high water table, a 150mm deep system using 2,614 Permavoid cells delivered 138m3 of stormwater storage beneath the hard landscaping surface. Permavoid was also selected due to its high structural load capacity. Polypipe, EPG and NGB had to tend with a water table that left only 130mm of cover in large hard landscaped areas, which meant a shallow attenuation system was required.
In addition, 200 Polystorm PSM1a crates were used in soft landscaped areas, which provided a further 40m3 of water storage. Due to the high water table, both Polystorm attenuation tanks installed beneath the landscaped areas surrounding the car park were wrapped in a fully welded impermeable geomembrane. Both systems are designed to cope with and manage sudden heavy rainfall, which has affected the region in the past decade.
To treat oil and capture silt, 35m of Permachannel, Permavoid Biomat and four Permaceptor separators were used to channel the collected stormwater away from the site and into local water networks.
Following consultation with EPG and NGB, Polypipe delivered a customised Permaceptor much larger than the standard model to manage greater amounts of stormwater collected from the overall water management system.
Each modified Permaceptor can treat a larger catchment area over 150sqm and was installed to reduce the amount of Permachannel and Permavoid Biomat cells needed within two isolated permeable car park areas separated from the Permavoid tank.
As well as this the main Permavoid tank beneath the car park area had a fully welded membrane to the base and sides.
Phil Williams, consultant engineer at EPG, said:
“This project provided objectives that we knew Polypipe could deliver upon. With only 130mm cover on the car park we chose to use Permavoid beneath the car parking bays because of its load bearing capability, and the ability of the system to negotiate the high water table on the site.
“By working with Polypipe’s technical experts, we were able to design a system that could be considered ‘good practice’ by the SuDS manual, local and national planning documents.”
Rosie Cheetham, marketing manager, Polypipe, added:
“This is a great example of a collaborative approach delivering a system that will serve a community for years to come.
“Our water management experts worked closely with all parties from the early stages of the design process to develop and deliver a modern, intelligently engineered SuDS solution that was easy to install.”
Neil Bermingham, managing director at NGB (Cheltenham) Ltd, said:
“Having been awarded the full civil engineering and groundworks package, this project provided a perfect opportunity to continue our collaborative relationship with Polypipe.
“Using our installation experience and knowledge of the site, we were able to work with Polypipe and EPG to provide a value-engineered solution to the client that offered cost and construction phase benefits in addition to increased flexibility in future use.
“Having utilised our own in-house CSWIP-qualified geomembrane welding team, we look forward to collaborating with Polypipe and EPG on future contracts.”
The practice, which opened in March 2018 and can serve 20,000 patients, features consulting rooms, nurse treatment areas, a lift, training rooms and a large car park.
However, the semi-rural village is prone to flooding, most notably on July 20, 2007, when a staggering 78mm of rain fell in just 12 hours across the county. Regional news website GloucestershireLive described it as “the worst natural disaster in the county’s living memory.”


A taste for the high life: Industry urged to embrace concrete innovations in high-rise building design

With a record number of skyscrapers under construction in the UK, Aggregate Industries is reminding contractors that innovative concrete solutions such as Lytag are proving increasingly essential to achieving world-class sustainable building design for high-rise structures.
According to the latest report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, more high-rise towers are being built in the UK in 2018 than in the previous ten years1, with a record 510 tall towers at more than 20 storeys high, currently planned or under construction in London alone2.
With this in mind, Aggregate Industries is advising the industry that using lightweight concrete solutions – often more cost effective and sustainable than standard options – has never been more crucial, particularly for meeting the complex design challenges of the UK’s most high-profile construction projects.
Barry Mellor, Lytag commercial manager, comments: “The task for the modern structural engineer or contractor is not an easy one. Given the growing trend for high-rise developments across the UK, the onus is on creating cost-effective and sustainable structures which, at the same time, provide scope for greater design freedom than ever before.
“As such, lightweight concrete solutions such as Lytag, a secondary aggregate up to 50% lighter than natural aggregate, can help developers to make the seemingly ‘impossible’ possible by enabling them to achieve remarkable architectural feats. Providing the same level of structural performance as standard weight aggregate used in concrete formulation, Lytag is ideal for reducing the number and size of columns in order to create bigger structures with greater spans, whilst at the same time being able to reduce the total load of their builds. Essentially, it reduces the volume of foundation needed by using less concrete and steel during the construction process.”
What’s more, Lytag is made from fly ash generated by coal fired power stations. Being a secondary aggregate means it can drastically improve the green credentials of a build as seen during the construction of the £135m 70 St Mary Axe landmark development – the latest skyscraper set to transform London’s skyline. Lytag was instrumental in helping the tower recently receive an Excellent rating in BREEAM by conforming to clause WST 02 in relation to recycled aggregate.
Barry adds: “Pushing boundaries is the cornerstone of pioneering design and, in turn, maintains our status as a world-leading construction company. And at the heart of this is seeking innovation in all areas, including building materials such as concrete, which as the most widely used man-made material in the world, has for far too long been viewed as an everyday, standard construction commodity.
“However, since its inception 60 years ago, Lytag has had an incredible track record of helping to create the London skyline – usually on projects considered the first of their kind, which use space wisely, boast impressive aesthetics and keep sustainability at the forefront.
“We’d recommend architects, developers and contractors, who haven’t done so already to continue to use Lytag’s unique capabilities to achieve the gold standard in high-end, intelligent and sustainable building design.”

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