This project consisted of the refurbishment of an existing steel framed and cladded agricultural building to form an exhibition and conference centre in Maidstone, Kent.
The exhibition area consisted of a redecorated and altered structural frame to form an insulated unheated space of 48m x 37m, with a new concrete reinforced floor slab construction capable of giving access and loading for artic lorries for events. The building was constructed with new half-height perimeter walls and insulated cladding. Access was allowed by an electrically operated roller shutter door and six aluminium fire doors.
The conference centre construction was housed within the refurbished agricultural building as described above (size 12x 37m). This comprising of an independent structure insulated and heated to current requirements.
Ground floor construction consisted of new foundations with block wall construction plastered and finished to form a kitchen area, accessible toilets, a reception, and two-storey workshops accessed by single roller shutter doors.
The first-floor construction was formed using an eco-joist system of floor support insulated to the required standard with access from the reception and main exhibition hall by means of timber and steel stairways. Disabled access is by means of a hydraulic lift running from ground to first floor. The first-floor walls were constructed using a mixture of metal stud and timber partitions, finished with plasterboard, insulated and fireproofed as required to satisfy local authority requirements. Suspended ceilings and lighting arrangement to satisfy the client’s requirements and use of the facilities. The first-floor area consisted of the kitchen void, boiler-room, toilets, two meeting rooms, a workshop void and viewing area.
Heating to the office areas was by means of an oil-fired central heating system fed from an external storage tank, positioned adjacent to the kitchen. Heating to the workshop area provided by means of high-level electric convection heaters controlled from the main boiler room.
A burglar alarm system and fire alarm system were installed covering both the exhibition hall and office facilities to work with their existing systems.
External ramps had been introduced to provide access to the building at various points and have been constructed in accordance with local authority’s required standards. Outdoor surfaces were reinstated to match the existing surrounding areas using tarmacadam.
Surface water drainage has been installed using the existing surface water drainage system previously serving the building, with the addition of surface water channels at door entry points and French drains at the West end of the building to deal with exiting ground level configuration. Foul drainage is discharged to a new septic tank situated at the Northwest end of the site.