Structural Design | Keadby Lock Control Tower

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Key facts

Client: British Waterways
Project: Water Infrastructure Development
Contract Value: £0.2 million

Keadby Lock is a Grade II listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, giving it the same level of protection as Stonehenge. Met Consultancy Group (Met) provided a number of engineering services for the refurbishment of the site.

Met worked with British Waterways and Halliday Clark Architects to develop the Lock Control Tower as part of a £2.7M refurbishment of this very sensitive site.

The purpose of the Control Tower is to allow the lock operator to have uninterrupted views of both the River Trent and the Keadby Canal so that boats emerging from the canal into the river do so safely and efficiently.

Met carried out the foundation and superstructure designs for this bespoke and unusual structure.

The panoramic views from the upper floor of the building were achieved by providing a circular face to the building, creating an unusual roof structure. Roof timbers were set out around the centre point of the circular building face, forming support positions for the Brise Soleil over the feature window.

Met designed a special curved lintel around the perimeter of the curve, supported by structural posts hidden within the window mullions.

The main structural walls were constructed from load bearing masonry with additional steelwork supporting the full height slot windows on the rear elevation of the building. The upper floor was again formed in timber with integral steelwork projecting through the external walls to support the cantilever balcony adjacent to the curved window.

Met prepared all the structural engineering drawings for the works. As the building was positioned immediately adjacent to the lock wall, ground conditions were poor. Met designed and detailed the piled foundations and reinforced concrete ground beams that support the superstructure. The piling operation was hampered by a number of large obstructions, believed to be left over from previous developments of the site. Consequently, pile positions and ground beam details were continuously adjusted by Met during the works to accommodate for these very difficult ground conditions.

The Control Tower was successfully completed and, as part of the overall redevelopment, won an award in the Design and Construction Category of the prestigious Waterways Trust and British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) Renaissance Awards 2009.

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