HQ build gathers pace

After a very hectic July and August with ASDA breaking ground for us, and a hive of activity to get the groundworks completed and the base down, you would think that things have gone very quiet with the building during september. Well you would be wrong.

The building’s skeleton, the steel portal framework is being fabricated in Midbrook Steel Building’s factory in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. The structure is being created like a giant meccano set, ready to be loaded onto trucks and shipped to site ready for installation. The steelwork is due to start arriving on site in the next couple of weeks, and the site will burst into a hive of activity again. Once on site the huge beams will be lifted into place and bolted and bonded onto the base.

During the ‘quiet’ period the build team and exec have not been resting, but instead they have been addressing other areas that needed attention, such as electricity and sewage systems. To determine the type of sewage system we could have, we had to perform a percolation test, to check how quickly the water would soak away. Unfortunately the tests failed miserably, taking way over the 100 second limit. This meant we could not have a septic tank, and the options open to us were a cess pool or a packaged sewage treatment plant. We have opted for the latter, although it was over what we had initially budgeted for it will save us money in the long run, as it only needs the sludge pumped out every 3 to 4 years, instead of every 45 days with a cess pool.

As we opted for the packaged plant we looked into the possibility of discharging the treated liquid into the nearby canal. As we fall under the discharge rate of 5m3 per day, it was a viable option, and now we have an exemption certificate from the Environment Agency to do this. This also cuts down on the amount of excavation required on site for drainage, and lessens the impact on the woodland.

The electricity to site has been handled by Simon Loveland, he has negotiated a very good deal with Western Power Distribution, who will be running a 3 phase cable to the building. Although we will excavate the trench across our land to the building, they will do the rest. All being well the power will be installed as the building shell is completed.

Water to site is being installed by Neil Sansom. We have permission from Country Parks to run a pipe from the existing tap, located just outside of our boundaries. Richard Harrison, one of our Cub Leaders will be excavating all of the trenches for us, although where the water crosses the track we will have to dig this by hand, as two old 11,000V power lines cross our path.

Once we have the steels up and in place we then have to run a blockwork wall around the perimeter. This is to raise the internal floor level to give enough clearance for the insulation and underfloor heating to be installed. Russell Jenkins, a local builder has volunteered his services to lay the blocks, although we will need to have some labourers on site for him, to mix and carry materials, and keep him in tea.

Once the blockwork is in Midbrooks can carry on, with a huge push to fix the Kingspan insulated cladding, roofing, skylights, doors, stairs and rainwater goods. If everything goes according to plan, the building will be up and watertight by November. Then the massive push really starts!

Once the shell is completed we really have to call in as much help as we can. There will be thousands of jobs to do, building walls, cutting timber, painting, running cables and pipes, hanging doors, fitting sinks, toilets and kitchen cabinets, sweeping up, making tea, the list goes on and on. At this stage we are hoping that a lot of the internal fixtures can be donated by businesses in the area; already we have had 5 showers donated by Triton Showers and a new kitchen by Taylor Wimpey.

If you can help on site no matter how skilled or not, or if you wish to donate materials then please contact us at gsl@polesworthscoutgroup.co.uk