New Structure Rising From The Ashes


Aldiss retail outlet housed within 31-35 Upper Market in the historic town centre of Fakenham was devastated by fire in May 2014, reported on local BBC News. Neighbouring properties were also severely damaged.

Work has now started on replacing the former building. The property, designed to blend in with the historic streetscape, will comprise of two separate properties a large retail unit to replace the original Aldiss retail outlet and an adjacent property comprising ground floor retail space with 4 new flats above.

The new structure will utilise a steel frame supported on a pile foundation. In order to blend the requirements of modern retail premises with the desired traditional appearance, we have utilised cellular beams composite with profiled metal deck floors to provide the necessary space for the services within restricted floor depths. The foundation structure was designed to be as shallow as possible from the outset, in light of the historic structures surrounding the site. We have also undertaken the drainage design including liaising with and seeking approvals from Anglian Water for the adjusted connections.

The variable soil and boundary conditions, numerous brick basements, adjacent shallow foundations and a desire to maximise open retail space has presented numerous challenges. Including the historic construction methods of adjacent buildings one of which, had clearly been constructed after the original Aldiss building, which was relying heavily on the now demolished building’s walls for both structural integrity and water tightness. This has required improvement and temporary support throughout the course of the works.

We also acted as the Building Owner’s Party Wall Surveyor for the site.