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Friday, 28 November 2014

Cumbrian steel firm shows its mettle

Border Steelwork Structures has supplied the steel for what is arguably the most striking petrol station in the UK.

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Striking: The Tesco petrol station at Corby, Northamptonshire, which is in line for a national award

Two giant cantilevered steel canopies were required when planners demanded a landmark entrance feature for a new Tesco store at Corby in Northamptonshire.

Contractor Barr Construction turned to Carlisle-based Border to fabricate the 100 tonnes of steel required and fit cladding. The contract was worth £400,000.

The larger canopy, measuring 44 metres by 26 metres, spans the filling station forecourt while the smaller one – 41 metres by 24 metres – covers a kiosk and car wash.

The store opened in May and now the filling station is under consideration for the Structural Steel Design Awards. These recognise high standards in the use of steel in structural and architectural design, and its potential in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics and innovation.

The canopies presented technical difficulties.

Ian Elliott, senior project engineer at Border, said: “This was one of our most challenging projects, technically and erection wise, as all of the steelwork is bespoke and individual.”

The smaller canopy is supported by conventional vertical hollow-section columns. But the larger canopy has four pairs of distinctive eight-metre raking columns.

The steelwork for the wedge-shaped roofs includes a series of cantilevered beams.

Border erected the small canopy first. The larger one required temporary propping because of the substantial cantilevering steelwork.

Stuart Airey, the company’s senior contracts manager, said: “The larger canopy had to be erected in a certain sequence to allow the columns to act against each other in balance.

“Once the canopy was fully erected, the frame became stable and temporary works were removed.”

Border is also providing structural steelwork, and wall and roof cladding, for the £18m Albion Square office complex in Whitehaven, which Morgan Sindall is building for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Once complete in mid-2014, the offices will house 1,000 staff who will move from Sellafield.

Other contracts include waste-handling facilities at Hespin Wood near Carlisle, Dumfries and Barrow, for Shanks, and the expansion of St Nicholas Gate Retail Park in Carlisle. Border also supplied steel for Greggs’ new bakery in Penrith.

The company employs 50 people at its head office in Warwick Road, Carlisle, and at a factory in Annan.

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