Factory no.1, Bedminster, Bristol

We are helping transform a historic factory site into a comfortable contemporary living space, in a key area of regeneration in Bristol.

Factory no.1, Bedminster, Bristol

Hydrock is providing multi-disciplinary engineering services on a historic factory site in Bristol. The ongoing project will transform an overlooked part of a key high street in the city while retaining its industrial heritage.

The existing Victorian buildings, Consort House and Regent House, on Bedminster’s East Street, were originally built in the 1880s as offices for the Imperial Tobacco Company factory on the same site. Our client, City & Country, purchased the buildings in 2014 and renamed it Factory No.1.

The £40 million development will convert the existing offices into residential space, creating 247 homes in total. It will include six new apartment blocks linked together with a landscaped podium deck, with stepped community gardens and concealed parking for the residents.

Our engineers have risen to the challenge of retaining the existing building’s distinctive original exterior while updating the interior for modern residential living. We have provided structural, civil, mechanical and electrical, and geotechnical services for Phase 1 of the development, which updates Consort House and introduces one of the new build blocks, as well as part of the podium deck.

Phase 2 will see the restoration of the existing Regent House building and construction of the second new build block. Hydrock’s involvement has been crucial throughout Phase 1 of the project and will continue to be vital throughout the remaining phases.

During pre-planning stages, our Civils team negotiated with both the local water authority and the city council to agree a surface water discharge rate that acknowledged the site’s brownfield classification. This significantly reduced the volume of attenuation required.

Our flood risk team carried out a full assessment of the flood risk posed to the site. Working closely with City & Country and the Environment Agency, we devised a number of measures, including the innovative use of automatic retractable flood barriers which provide protection while also blending seamlessly into the scheme when not required.

Our geotechnical team provided in-depth analysis of the site conditions and the existing building foundations in order to develop a scheme that was both viable and suitable for maintaining the site’s heritage.

Since planning was obtained in 2016, our engineers have collaborated with City & Country to develop the design of the new apartment blocks and the refurbished buildings. Our structural engineering team have provided an efficient design solution for the new build and led co-ordination on various aspects of the project. The design is sympathetic to the prevailing buildings and incorporates the existing structure where possible.

In order to deliver an efficient and cost-effective scheme for our client, the design team replicated core design principles within the new build blocks, limiting the volume of drawings and detailing work required. This also allowed the contractor to repeat construction processes for added efficiency. Working closely with façade and steel fabricator sub-contractors allowed us to refine the design and remove the need for costly additional masonry support.

This redevelopment, which will retain the historic features of the listed buildings while transforming the site into an attractive residential and commercial prospect, is an important component of wider plans to regenerate this part of south Bristol.

For over 20 years Hydrock has delivered award-winning engineering projects across a wide variety of sectors. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.