Paradise Street, Liverpool

Type of works: design and installation of a complex drainage solution for a regeneration project.

ACO Building Drainage was recently involved in the design and installation of a complex drainage solution for Paradise Street, a major regeneration project in the centre of Liverpool. In addition to manufacturing a complete bespoke surface water drainage system, ACO provided excellent support and guidance throughout the ambitious project, playing a vital role in its success.

The Paradise Street development was a council backed initiative to regenerate an area of Central Liverpool, European Capital of Culture for 2008. The project would create an expansive new retail, leisure space and public facilities to encourage retailers and shoppers to the city centre. The area would be spread over 42 acres, feature 40 individually designed buildings in six districts, and provide over 1.6 million square feet of shopping space.

As the majority of access in and around the Paradise Street development was external, an effective drainage system was essential to ensure the vast walkways spanning the entire length of South John Street would remove the rainwater efficiently and quickly, as well as remain dry and therefore safe for shoppers. Building Services Consultants WSP Building approached ACO Building Drainage for a workable solution, having collaborated with the drainage specialist on a number of successful projects previously.

ACO began to develop a unique drainage system, following detailed architectural drawings showing where the drainage channels would be required, as well as working closely with the WSP and Crown House public health engineer to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and Client requirements.

Roger Brigham, Project Designer at ACO, commented, “The Paradise Street Development was particularly complex for a number of reasons. Firstly, the project incorporated a number of bridges. These needed to be integrated into the design of the drainage system to prevent possible flooding. The project’s designers also wanted a discrete solution that wouldn’t spoil the appearance of the walkways or pose any safety risks. And as high rainfall was common in the area, an effective drainage system was essential that could cope with intense periods of rainfall.”

Taking these requirements into consideration, ACO offered a solution that would be effective, safe and pleasing to the eye. The system was purpose designed and manufactured, made from 316 grade stainless steel and incorporating proven ACO AS301 drainage channels. Only visible to shoppers as a narrow slot in the ground, the solution met the project’s aesthetic requirements, while features such as heel safe grating addressed public safety.

Steve Ingle and Paul Angus, Senior Public Health Engineer’s for WSP, building services consultants on the project, were really impressed with ACO’s approach to the challenges posed by the brief. They explained, “There were various complex technical issues to overcome on the Paradise Street development. Roger Brigham and his design team colleagues at ACO were extremely efficient in creating a highly versatile and innovative solution. Working effectively under the tense programme constraints, ACO clearly put in the time and effort, which is demonstrated in the highly successful end result.”

David Green, Senior Project Engineer at Crown House Engineering managed the installation of the ACO solution. He summarised, “ACO were there to lend support when it was needed and make sure the drainage system met the necessary requirements. Everyone we dealt with was knowledgeable and helpful. You could tell they’d done their homework. Their attention to detail throughout the project and the quality of the ACO products made a big contribution to making Paradise Street such a success.”

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