Longbridge design helps Nolan Associates become an award winner

Birmingham-based structural and civil engineers Nolan Associates has won a series of top sector honours for some of the most high profile developments in the Midlands.

The firm was victorious in two categories and highly commended in a third in the Institution of Structural Engineers Midlands Region Awards.

The winning developments were Phase 1 design for the regeneration of Longbridge Town Centre and Network Rail’s new Operating Centre at Rugby.

The commendation came for the massive Monarch hangar at Birmingham Airport.

Nolan Associates chairman John Nolan, who is also Visiting Professor in Innovation at Birmingham University’s School of Engineering, said: “All three projects have been in the public spotlight and we are thrilled to have our work endorsed by our peers.

“We are proud of each – hopefully they make a statement while at the same time delivering quality facilities which meet the practical requirements of those using them.”

At Longbridge Nolan Associates were working on behalf of client St Modwen Developments and main contractor Morgan Sindall to help turn part of the old MG Rover factory site into a new town centre.

The development consisted of a Sainsbury superstore, various retail units, a 75-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, three storey office block and centre management suite, plus the formation of the new two acre Austin Park including the diversion of the River Rea. The company were responsible for the design of the steel frames and floors, foundations, below ground drainage, culvert for diversion of the existing river, new footbridge and external works.

The three storey Network Rail Operating Centre – also on behalf of main contractor Morgan Sindall – adjacent to the West Coast Main Line saw Nolan Associates responsible for the design of the super structure, the suspended ground floor, the pile caps, and the external works.

The Monarch scheme, for client Birmingham Airport and main contractor John Sisk & Son, was the second hanger Nolan Associates have designed there.

The brief was to accommodate two large wide body code aircraft such as the Boeing 777 300ER side by side with two storey office, storage and maintenance facilities at the rear.

Mr Nolan said: “Particular attention was given to the hanger slab design as the Boeing 777 had caused premature runway failure at other airports due to its very high wheel loads compared to similar sized aircraft.

“It is also worth noting that the hangar has a 140m by 80 m clear span roof which makes it one of the largest clear span buildings in the country – to provide comparison, a standard rugby pitch is 45.5m by 91m between the posts.”

Employing over 40 technical staff, Nolan Associates are large enough to handle most projects having secured contracts worth up to £200 million. It strives to attain cost effective yet innovative civil and structural solutions.