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Marwell Zoo

highlighting dedication to the conservation of biodiversity and other natural resources

The Project

Intended to replace the existing Tropical World exhibit, the new Tropical House at Marwell Zoo aims to incorporate an Energy Centre using a sustainable energy source to power both the Tropical House, and other exhibits within the park. Animals such as sloths, monkeys and lizards will interact with visitors as they walk along a path through tropical themed environments of vegetation, waterfalls rock faces and aquariums.


Building Control

Oculus has been appointed by the main Contractor, Drew Construction to oversee the Building Regulations for the construction of the Tropical House shell. The elegant S-shaped design of the Tropical house incorporates a lightweight curved roof clad with a translucent EFTE membrane, supported by an exposed curved steel structure. A most unusual project particularly with regards to the implementation and scope for the Building Regulations.


Main image courtesy of Terence O'Rourke Ltd; side image courtesy of Marwell Wildlife

CASE STUDY
Airbus - AWIC

The new £40m Aircraft Wing Integration Centre is arranged to maximise opportunities for departments to share spaces, equipment and ideas and will provide an innovative, highly flexible and easily adaptable physical test environment that forms a proving ground for the future technologies. This includes Airbus’ Wings of tomorrow programme, part of which focuses on exploring how wings can be more efficient, lighter and easier to make and assemble, looking at the best materials to use, assembly techniques and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture. Covering 9,050m2 the scheme comprises hangar facilities including a 'Strong Floor' and relocatable ‘Strong Wall’, a high capacity hydraulic system to power multiple test rigs, three overhead cranes, laboratories, testing control rooms and open plan offices. As this facility is to be used to develop new technologies it was clearly important to build in flexibility for future uses. The delivery team was involved through this period and translated the design development into physical form with the same mind-set.

The ‘Strong Floor’ itself is 40 metres long by 18 metres wide and is housed within a building over 25 metres tall to allow the testing of full size wings from the largest Airbus aircraft including long term fatigue testing. A total of 1,440 cubic metres of concrete was used for the floor which took some 23 hours to cast to a total depth of two metres. The steel reinforcement amounted to a total of approximately 280 tonnes of rebar, estimated to be around 54 km laid end-to-end.

The 'Strong Wall' is 14 metres long, 10 metres high, 4.5 metres deep and has a total weight of 220 tonnes. It is made up of four modules and can be configured in two separate two module walls or a single four module wall. The mounting surfaces are machined to a close tolerance and when erected on the strong floor all points on the flange faces are within +/-1mm of a flat vertical plane. The structure is designed to cope with billions of load cycles so resistance to fatigue is the determining factor as well as its immense strength.

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CASE STUDY
Nevill Holt Opera House

Set in the Leicestershire countryside adjacent to Nevill Holt Hall the
stable block and courtyard, previously used as a theatre with a
temporary roof has been transformed into an intimate theatre to host
Nevill Holt Opera.

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CASE STUDY
Queen Mary University of London

Part of the School of Humanities, the 5-storey building contains a large auditorium, studios, teaching and administration facilities designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects Limited for Queen Mary’s University of London at its Mile End Campus. The new film and drama studio is clad in distinctive glass panels – digitally printed with artwork by the artist Jacqueline Poncelet.  QMUL is highly ranked amongst UK universities for the provision of arts and humanities courses.

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