IPECO Southend

IPECO Southend


BWB were appointed by HBD to provide civil and structural services for the construction of a bespoke industrial unit at Airport Business Park Southend. ABP Southend is a large masterplan of flexible B1/B2/B8 use which is being developed as a joint venture between HBD and Southend Council to promote business investment in the area and boost job creation.

The 120000 sqft unit was developed for the purchaser IPECO who are a manufacturer of plane parts. The heavy industrial processes presented geotechnical and structural challenges which were overcome to provide a heavy duty flexible space fit for purpose and adaptable for future configurations.

The end user has since discussed building a similar sized second unit on the adjacent plot for future expansion which is a testament to the hard work and collaboration of the whole design team and contractors alike.

Key Challenges


As there was an incumbent engineer already developing the sitewide infrastructure at the same time one of the biggest challenges was ensuring our design was fully cognisant of the wider principles agreed at outline planning and coordinated with the ongoing infrastructure design. BWB and the incumbent engineers were transparent and honest with each other which allowed open communication to highlight issues, suggest design changes and ultimately deliver both packages of works to our valued client.

Social Challenges

Although full planning was granted at an early stage there were on going issues with neighbours throughout the project. Whilst everything we as a design team did fully upheld regulations and planning obligations the neighbouring property owner raised objections on a regular basis including legal threats and physical blockades. We worked proactively with the local authority to respond to any objections to ensure planning obligations were adhered to and the development continued on programme for the client.

Earthworks Strategy

When appointed, the existing sitewide earthworks strategy presented a deficit of approximately 25000m3 of material. By re-engineering levels on a third of the site, utilising stockpiles and arising and suggesting design changes to the infrastructure drainage, we were able to reduce this deficit to a net balance. This minimised the import of material to site saving the developer and council a lot of money in the process, not to mention greatly improving the environmental sustainability of the development.


Greg Nicholson

Greg Nicholson
Executive Director - Business Development
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