We have just finished one the most complicated jobs the company has ever attempted; building a temporary market hall on behalf of Chesterfield Town Council, which wanted somewhere to house 14 traders while the town’s existing hall undergoes a £3.6m facelift.
The hall has been built on an open space called New Square but, thanks to the Square’s cobbled surface, historic plane trees and sloping surface, the installation process was far from straightforward.
Scott Jameson, director of sales, said: “You couldn’t get a much more difficult site for a temporary building than New Square.
“Not only did we need to protect the cobbles, the site was hemmed in by trees which had preservation orders on them, so we knew we’d have to be careful during the build and that we couldn’t go higher than 3.2m at the eaves.
“A scan also showed that there were a host of fibre optic cables and utility pipes buried beneath the surface – meaning we couldn’t sink supports – while the slope fell away by 1.6m over the course of a 20m run. It was quite a task.”
Our first step was to lift the historic cobblestones and move them to a place of safety. Then we cast a series of concrete pillars, each one metre thick, of varying heights and all slightly embedded into the ground.
There were 20 pillars in all, to which we fixed a 300sqm platform floor, creating a level surface.
The next step was to erect the aluminium frame, followed by steel and uPVC wall panels and, finally, a double skinned inflated thermo roof system for the roof and gables.
It took three-and-a-half weeks to erect the building, by the end of which time the traders were ready to move in.
One of the traders, Tara Kreeger, of market stall Venus Footwear, said: “I must admit we were a bit worried about what the temporary Market Hall was going to look like, but I think it’s a terrific solution.
“We’ve been telling all our regular customers to come and see us in the new premises and hopefully new customers will be intrigued to also come in and shop.”
Mr Jameson added: “We are very proud of our staff for taking on such a challenging build and completing it on time and without a hitch.
“However, since it’s the traders who will have to occupy the building and earn their living from it over the next few months, we’re very pleased that they like it.”