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Envirochannel iG Recycled And Recyclable...

Envirochannel iG recycled and recyclable heavy duty forecourt drainage units installed at Spar/BP Retail/PFS outlet - Shandon Park, Belfast

Client: Henderson Group - Newtonabbey

Whittaker & Watt Architects - Belfast

Contractor - McGaffin Contracts - Belfast

Shandon Park, Belfast

The Story So Far 

Henderson Property Group's Retail Division currently operates over 80 state of the art SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO retail outlets in Northern Ireland. Most sites are constantly trafficked and finding an effective low cost, low maintenance system of drainage has always proven difficult. In March 2011 PDS were asked to look at providing a greener, more robust, cost effective and fully comprehensive solution that would suit all sites.

To date and from the very start of the design process our simple guiding principle has remained throughout, that is;

'To provide a system of drainage that acts as, and performs within, the surface structure.'

For a fully integrated system we identified the necessity for all parties (Client, Architect, Engineer, Contractor & Stockist) to be involved giving us a much greater understanding of the different processes and challenges each face. We found that the hydraulic functions are relatively simple to get right however, performing those functions within the built environment without effect to the store's operation were the greatest challenges for a system and the key to longevity.

The Spar Retail/PFS at Shandon Park, Belfast (Completed Feb 2013) is just one example of where our product has provided a fully comprehensive solution. What we have learnt over the last two years has given us a flexible working framework we can apply to all future projects, see below for more detailed/technical information.

Points of Note on Design & Installation (What we have learnt so far)

1/8 EU - Compliance

As a starter and for any project we have to demonstrate compliance. As a CE marked product covered by a harmonised EU standard (EN1433) compliance is assured. This means our products can be used in any EU-country.

Shandon Park2, Belfast

2/8 - Establishing the Project's Requirements/Function                                            

It is important to look afresh at every project, establishing the project's requirements are a first step in the design process. The system of drainage for Shandon PFS had to perform three functions;

A - Provide surface water drainage across site.

B - Drain and contain foul water in wash areas.

C - Collect, contain and discharge any potential leak/spills around canopy.  

To achieve maximum longevity and performance the system must work within, act as and become part of the structure. This has always been the guiding principle behind the design advice/installation method and manufacture of Envirochannel iG.

3/8 - Design Hydraulics - Primary Catchment (Getting fluid into the system)

Efficent catchment from the surfaces was essential for this project especially around the bunded canopy. Envirochannel iG provided and enhanced catchment having both trans-linear and cross-width slots preventing skip-over of fluids. Levels were also optimised so each run of channel was fixed at the most effective position.

Shandon Park3, Belfast

We also supplied newly developed same-width grated access points that enabled a simpler construction for the fully bunded area. 

4/8 - Containment, Collection & Discharge

Once the fluids are collected within the channel they must be delivered to outlet at the required rate. All runs were designed with the capacity to deliver all collected run-off to outlet without surcharge. In addition, Envirochannel iG 380 deep sections discharging into high capacity gully outlets were installed around the canopy and designed to cope with any potential spillage or failure.

5/8 - Installation Method

A Henderson Group 'best' method of installation was agreed with all parties as early as June 2011 however we now understand that there must be some flexibility for the contractor, especially with re-furbs. We have also learnt that there isn't necessarily a 'best installation' that suits all. All plorts may be similar but every one is different. All parties involved were aware of the historic problems apparent on forecourts and all were commited in helping to solve these issues. Each project therefore is looked at afresh and points of note or differences from earlier projects are highlighted and all information/amendments/improvements are circulated before tender/construction. 

In this way the method of installation is controlled without being too restrictive for the contractor, or too open for interpretation. The do's and dont's are clearly understood by all parties.

6/8 - Installation Detail

Installation detail depends on the structure and chosen surfaces of the plot. On this project it was agreed that a full concrete haunch should be used. Contraction/Expansion within the surround and/or structure are common factors in the failure of a system. As a full haunch was used here, a cage and re-bar was installed to restrain movement in the surround. This can be installed as a U- cage with re-bar for both exposed haunches, or on one side only, if bordering a separate flexible structure.

Shandon Park, Belfast4

Envirochannel's unique material properties and one-piece design ensured a solid, keyed-in installation. Envirochannel works within the surround without load transfer/vibration from grate to body. Envirochannel has a balanced compressive, flexural and impact strength essential for heavily trafficked installations. As a result the integrity of the surround is kept and maintained and total integration is realised as on this project and others.

7/8 - Future Projects

As result of the hard work, time, effort and attention to detail afforded to each process of construction, PDS have a flexible framework that can be taken from project to project ensuring;

1 - The right product is chosen.

2 - The optimum deisgn is realised.

3 - Installation is controlled.

4 - Total integration is achieved.

8/8 - Envirochannel's role in the process  

Attention to detail, design, installation methods and control are important but Envirochannel's inherent strength and load performance is key.

Envirochannel's actual load performance on site is unique. If needed you can part install and traffic without fear of damage allowing for better access of plant and machinery as the build progresses. The lightweight nature and strength of unit mean easy handling on site without damages.

With forecourts the widespread problems generally tend to stem from failure in the installation/surround/joints and/or compounding damage at the interface between channel and surround during normal operation. Envirochannel's material and design help to maintain the integrity of the structure.

Enviochannel has achieved much greater load performance on industrial/infrastructure projects across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Another key to integration is the Envirochannel flush joint. Most traditional concrete/grated systems have a male/female joint and a sealant can be applied after the channels are laid. The joints are not mechanical or load bearing but simply a horizontal face to face contact. Any serious movement in the joint can lead to cracking and failure and this can then compound from channel to channel.

Envirochannel's flush joint allows each unit to be hammered into line and level, thus fully compacted. The seal is applied to the vertical face to face contacts and the next unit is installed tight against ensuring a watertight seal, tested and stipulated under EN1433.

This enables a much more robust construction with little or no movement within the structure under load, so the seal within and along the channel entry is maintained.

Our product will also perform equally in flexible surfaces. In this way the problems with contraction are eradicated. Unlike most traditional concrete/grated systems, surfaces can be rolled right up to the channel edge ensuring a tight joint and free water entry without the fear of damage. We have many proofs of this. See below projects where other traditional concrete systems with full haunches have been used within a plot. To gain access all traffic mus travel across the Envirochannel in the flexible road surface positioned outside the plot.

It is always best to design as simple as possible however that is sometimes difficult due to obstacles, existing services or levels etc. Envirochannel enables a flexible approach to design. Being a simple rectangular block means that corners, intersections, splay angles can be easily made on site with standard equipment and a high aesthetic finish can be achieved. The material means you can easily core, splice, even shape without compromising strength.

Shandon Park PFS is the latest Henderson Group Property where our product has been used successfully.

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