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Extensions and Alterations to ForFarmers

Type: Major alterations Location: Sowton Industrial Estate, Exeter, Devon

We are the lead Structural and Civil Engineers for a major upgrade to the Exeter ForFarmers Mill involving a number of extensions and major alterations to the existing building. This involves liaising with ForFarmers and Subcontractors who are supplying new feed bins, silos, various plant and machinery.

The work in the existing building is complex with heavy steelwork required to deal with high loads from new bins and silos. Some of the works have an effect on stability of the main building so we have had to deal with this by introducing stability frames.

The new bulk storage extension is a very tall structure housing storage bins extending to a height of 28m. We were faced with having to resist uplift forces in our foundation design for overturning due to wind forces and while it was tempting to rationalise the design of foundations, for economy we designed each individual pad to suit the loads to save on cost on excavation, concrete and reinforcement. The excavation needed to be kept to a minimum as all excavated material needed to be removed from site (a costly exercise).

The work involved strict review for Health and Safety with regard to methods of construction, integrating with the operation of the Mill, the building in use and future maintenance.