Battery Park, Selly Oak

Battery Park, Selly Oak


Project involved the regeneration of the former Lucas Battery Factory in Selly Oak and then the development of new retail park, Sainsburys Superstore and Student accommodation. The reclamation element of the works included cleaning up a very toxic site to allow new development.

The new development is a single storey collection of retail units sited around the customer carpark. BWB value engineering led to solution for the foundations utilising cement stabilisation and traditional spread footings. The Sainsburys is a two storey building with the retail floor at 1st floor level and undercroft carparking. This steel frame building also included a two span bridge over a future canal and its associated towpath. This complex C&S structure included reinforced concrete piers, a contiguous pile wall and bridge beams on bridge bearings supporting the Sainsburys 1st floor structure. This building is founded on CFA piles. The student accommodation is an 18 storey building, reinforced concrete up to 2nd floor Podium level with Pre-cast concrete structure up to the 18th floor. This building is also founded on CFA Piles.

Key Challenges

Combining the efforts of Structural Civil and Bridge Engineers to work together to create the Sainsburys building with the service yard and back of house sitting on a bridge spanning across a Canal basin and tow-path combined with geotechnical engineering associated with the contiguous piled wall that formed one of the bridge abutments.

Achieving the carpark and service road levels to the exacting standards required by retailers whilst tying in with fixed levels due to WPD substation Canal Bristol Road Harbourne Lane Aston Webb Boulevard and major overhead power cables.

Treating the ground contamination without taking material off-site, including dealing with Arsenic and Asbestos on a site that was literally on fire underground.

Our Value engineering exercise carried out on behalf of Interserve saved the majority of the £12m required to get the cost below budget to allow it to proceed.

Key VE items included changing the residential tower from all reinforced concrete to pre-cast with RC Podium structure a more efficient foundation solution for the ground floor slab and pile caps incorporation cement stabilisation to allow the retail units to be founded on spread footings and changed the retaining forming one of the abutments of the Sainsburys bridge to contiguous pile from traditional Reinforced concrete.

It links the Harbourne Lane side of Selly Oak directly via the Goodmans Yard part of the development which is a new area of public realm space and walkthroughs direct from the Selly Oak Village Centre via a new Corten footbridge over the canal.


Stuart Nelmes

Stuart Nelmes
Regional Director
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