Hampshire targets trade growth and sustainable construction
MHA has started construction at Beacon Trade Park in Church Crookham, Fleet in the UK.
Acquired by MHA in 2015 , when it was occupied by Vertu as its factory and showroom, the mixed-use retail and industrial park will comprise 32,568 sq ft of retail space to be taken by Aldi and Home Bargain as well as four warehouse units totalling 38,238 sq ft - in addition to surface level parking provision.
Planning permission for the development, and its two principal units, was obtained in the latter part of 2019 by which time two pre-lets had been agreed with Aldi to take a 20-year lease for 18,568 sq ft and Home Bargains agreeing a 15-year lease for 14,000 sq ft. With limited existing supermarket provision and no current retail warehouse facility in the vicinity, both Aldi and Home Bargains will fill a much-needed void in the area.
Mitchell Design and Construction is the main contractor of the mixed-use development site, which spans 1.76 hectares, and is scheduled for completion in Q4.
Hossein Abedinzadeh, Founder of MHA London said: "We are pleased to have finally started construction of this important development project which will provide the area with much-needed retail and industrial space, in addition to significant employment opportunities. The pre-lets agreed with leading brands, Aldi and Home Bargains, will be a catalyst to the creation of a significant retail and warehouse destination."
Julian Mitchell of Mitchell Design and Construction added: "We are delighted to have been appointed by MHA to deliver this purpose-built development project which will undoubtedly contribute to Church Crookham’s growing economy. We look forward to working with all the project partners to provide attractive retail space and warehouse units for the local area."
Hampshire County Council has built a new recycling plant at Micheldever which aims to reuse old road materials for fixing roads, saving 40 per cent of CO2 emissions compared with the previous facility.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: "Hampshire County Council has made a commitment to focus on the climate change impact of everything we do, and we now have a dedicated facility operating which recycles material for re-use in road repairs – bringing back material taken up from Hampshire roads during repair, processing it cleanly and quietly, and then re-using it elsewhere on the local road network. With around 5,500 miles of roads to maintain across Hampshire this will make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon footprint, leading the way in sustainable construction."
Within a year, the Micheldever facility aims to deliver a net reduction in CO2 of around 67,500kg by reducing use of virgin aggregates, replacing some warm and hot mixes with cold lay materials and reducing the total miles travelled for highway construction.
In another project, the £1.6 million makeover of Andover Town Centre has provided new access to the Town Mills car park and made it more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists.
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.