Okehampton Business Park

CEEQUAL Excellent (79.5%) – Whole Project Award

Version 3, Jul 2008 | Okenhampton, England

Client: West Devon Borough Council
Development Partner: South West RDA
Design: Pell Frischmann
Construction: ROK

Assessor: Karl Pitman (Pittman Associates)
Verifier: Emma Jones (Environ)

Project Summary

An 11-hectare site on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, the Okehampton Business Centre comprises serviced plots for future industrial and business development and a visually impressive managed workspace building.

One of the aims of the scheme was to develop the greenfield site giving major consideration to environmental aspects. The building was designed to meet ‘BREEAM Excellent’ standards, using sustainable products and energy sources. Phase I was completed in September 2008.


Added Value

The multi-disciplinary in-house team adopted a holistic approach and used efficient evaluation and design throughout the project. Ground-profile monitoring was used to balance cut-and-fill and minimise material imports and exports, thereby also reducing construction costs.

In-house drainage modelling was used to reduce the frequency of flooding, without entailing significant cost.

The project was carried out in close liaison with all parties, including the architect (SMC Penrose), M&E consultants (Halcrow Yolles), PM and Costs Consultant (Cyril Sweett), contractor (ROK), local authorities, the Environment Agency, regional utility companies, Natural England and archaeologists.

Features of the project included (listed according to project stage):

Outline Design and Planning Stage, January – March 2006

  • Outline infrastructure design, including use of PDS 3D earthworks modelling tool to evaluate optimum positioning for plots and to balance cut-and-fill to avoid the need to remove or import fill material
  • Traffic assessment
  • Liaison with utilities to determine future capacity required
  • Geo-environmental assessment, site investigation, contaminated land investigation
  • Ecological baseline survey and specialist bat survey, environmental liaison with public bodies
  • Flood risk assessment
  • Attenuation ponds designed to limit peak flows to the 10-year greenfield and equivalent run-off.

Detailed Design and Tender Preparation Stage, April – September 2006

  • Detailed structural design of two-storey managed workspace building, comprising thirteen office/studio units and three workshop units with mezzanine floors, each of 280 – 1160 sq ft area.
  • Design of glulam timber portal frame supported by a precast concrete beam and block suspended floor on trench and mass concrete foundations.
  • Radon barrier included.
  • Traffic and transportation design to meet Devon County Council specification.
  • Detailed mitigation developed with DCC lighting design engineers and the Institute of Lighting Engineers (ILE) to develop a lighting system to minimise the impact to bats and also meet adoptable standards.
  • Liaison with EA to agree minimal impact to adjacent stream
  • Detailed design of 2000 m3 attenuation, hydro brake chambers and spillways.
  • Geotechnical design of embankments and groundwater drainage.
  • Detailed foul and surface water drainage design using micro drainage to meet standards adoptable by South West Water
  • Liaison with utilities to achieve connection for new building and for plots
  • Targeted with achieving an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. Managed workspace building using sustainable building services, including wind turbine, woodchip biomass boiler and photovoltaic cells.
  • Close liaison with architect and building services engineers throughout

Construction Stage, February 2007 – May 2008

  • Phase 1 of the scheme, including Roads 1 and 2, the ponds, one of the plots and the managed workspace building, was completed by ROK for an outturn of £4.3million woodchip biomass boiler and photovoltaic cells.

In addition to achieving a CEEQUAL ‘Excellent’, the project also won a number of regional and national sustainability awards. These include:

  • LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards – Best Sustainability Awards – National Winners
  • RegenSW – Sustainable energy agency awards – Best small renewable energy scheme 2008 Winners
  • BREEAM ‘Excellent’ score anticipated