Industrial: Print works, Hilsea, Portsmouth

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Industrial Hold the front page for steel A new extension to the Johnston Press works in Portsmouth required some hefty steel bracing to support a narrow and tall structure. FACT FILE Print works, Hilsea, Portsmouth Main client: Johnston Press Architect: Oxford Architects Structural engineer: McLay Collier Main contractor: Warings Contractors Steelwork contractor: ACL Structures Project value: £11.6M Steel tonnage: 900t What a building will eventually house often dictates Work commenced on site in July 2005 with the how the structure is constructed and what it will demolition of part of the existing structure contain- look like. Add to this the available space and quite ing an old press hall and service areas. often a new structure has to be engineered to fit a Prior to steel erection beginning, main contrac- number of important criteria. tor Warings had already built a long 5m wide rein- An example of this is the new Johnston Press forced concrete inertia block onto which the new redevelopment in Hilsea, Portsmouth. This large printing press equipment will sit. This inertia block extension, next to the existing Portsmouth News runs virtually the length of the new 60m long press building will eventually house the latest printing hall building and resembles a concrete trench. press technology with a capacity to produce more ACL Structures completed the majority of the than 80,000 newspapers per hour. steelwork in an eight week programme. But the “The building is tall because of the need to ac- The challenge was challenge, says ACL’s commodate an 18.2m high press, considerable ven- Site Supervisor, Jason tilation ductwork and a maintenance crane, together erecting the frame Berry, was erecting the with the need to house an internal erection gantry frame for the press hall for the press hall crane for lifting the presses into place. The width around the concrete was dictated by the available space and the need for around the concrete inertia block. a further framed and trussed structure for offices, “It had recently been inertia block. plant and a mailroom,” says Alan Rose, Partner of cast and we couldn’t structural engineers McLay Collier. run plant machinery over it, so we had to erect the The construction of the structure also had to take majority of the steelwork with 120ft reach cherry into account a requirement for a large truck turna- pickers and one 35t mobile crane positioned outside round area and storage space to the rear of the of the building’s frame so it could get the required building. reach,” explains Mr Berry. Johnston Press gained planning permission for What also necessitated the need for the large the project following an announcement in 2005 that crane was the overall height of the new structure it had secured a 15 year contract to print for News and the fact that the site was so tight, as it sits next International. This workload, in addition to the nu- to an existing building. merous local newspapers the company is already “Ordinarily we would erect the steelwork for a producing from its premises, meant a larger press job of this size from the inside,” says Mr Berry. “But hall was required. for the press hall that just wasn’t possible.” 14 NSC February 2007


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