Howe Green access covers are just the ticket for London Bridge Station

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Howe Green’s high quality access covers have been installed in the concourse at London Bridge Station in a phase of works forming part of The London Bridge Redevelopment Scheme.

By 2018, London Bridge Station will be fully transformed with new platforms, more trains, a new concourse, bigger facilities and better connections for passengers. These improvements are being funded by the Thameslink programme – a £6bn Government investment in rail. Eventually, the new concourse will be bigger than a football pitch, but in the first phase of the four-phase flooring project, new granite paving and screeding was required throughout the existing concourse area. The installation was carried out by the specialist contactor DMC Contracts Ltd for the engineering and construction giant Costain.

Howe Green’s heavy duty 1050 Series access covers were specified and fitted above mechanical and electrical services feeding the ticket line. The run of covers spans more than 25 metres and will ensure that, when routine or emergency maintenance is needed going forward, gaining access to essential service points will not be a problem.  DMC inlaid the surface of the covers with a ‘flamed pink’ granite paving matching the existing flooring within the concourse and providing an uninterrupted flooring surface for the best possible aesthetic finish.

Howe Green manufactured the covers to order, without any adverse time or cost implications. They were fabricated in 316-grade stainless steel and with a deeper capacity to accommodate a thicker granite floor covering, a standard feature of the 1050 Series. The panels sit flush with the surrounding floor to prevent slips and trips and are double sealed, ensuring optimum hygiene.  Importantly, they are also tamper-proof for increased security, an imperative feature in a critical hub location with over 50 million passengers a year.

Making sure the station remains open is one of the key challenges facing Network Rail as the London Bridge Redevelopment Scheme continues. The logistics and methodology had to be precisely planned and documented by DMC for quality assurance and safety. Detailed Work Package Plans (WPP’s) and Inspection and Test Plans (ITP’s) were required for every task and each aspect of the process, from manufacturing to the installation, was closely scrutinized to meet Network Rail’s exacting standards.

Howe Green’s access covers were ideal for this project,” commented Conor McCann of DMC Contracts. “They make an excellent quality product, which in turn makes it easier for us to set slabs into the cover inlay quickly and efficiently. This is just the first of four phases and for us, the job will continue for at least the next 18 months. Reliable access to services will be needed throughout London Bridge and we know from experience that Howe Green can deliver what’s needed to get the job done properly”.

The 1050 Series was designed for the most demanding internal and external environments. Capable of accepting heavy and sustained traffic – up to 6 tonne pneumatic tyre loads – the hatches are just the ticket for the highly trafficked London Bridge station, the fourth busiest in the country. Frequently specified for the most demanding schemes, Howe Green’s access panels prove a popular choice with architects, specifiers and contractors alike, for a wide range of projects where reliable performance and service is essential.

Howe Green’s powers the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery at the British Museum

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Architects chose a bespoke Howe Green access cover solution for The Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery at The World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC), which opened earlier this year with an exhibition devoted to the Vikings (supported by BP). 

The WCEC designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) and constructed by Mace is one of the largest redevelopment projects in the British Museum’s 260 year history. Located in the north-west corner of the Museum’s Bloomsbury estate, the £135 million Centre provides a new public exhibitions gallery, state-of-the-art laboratories and studios, world class stores for the collection, as well as facilities to support the Museum’s extensive UK and international loan programme.

RSHP needed a reliable access cover solution for the interior scheme to provide a series of service points at regular intervals throughout the gallery’s 1,100sqm floor area.  With aesthetics and performance of equal importance, Howe Green manufactured a circular access cover in 316-grade stainless steel to provide a stylishly discreet solution capable of withstanding a 40kn load.  Each box section had built-in cable access and voice/data plug-in points and slotted steel lids were made for when in use.  The access covers also accepted coloured polished concrete inserts made to match the surrounding Ed Lazenby floor and provide an uninterrupted floor finish when required.

The WCEC building consists of five pavilions (one of which is submerged below the ground) and the design is sensitive to the British Museum’s existing architecture, connecting to the historic building whilst maintaining its own identity.

Following in the fierce footsteps of the Vikings will be Ming – an exhibition exploring a golden age in China’s history. Ming opens on September 18th.

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