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PROJECTS: BUS STATION WALSALL, WEST MIDLANDS

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This scheme was won in open competition in November 1995. The construction budget has remained unchanged, but the design has since developed in response to a more detailed client brief, emerging site conditions, and continuing technical assessment of the project.

The 80m x 45m elliptical canopy, originally designed as a steel-framed structure, is now of in-situ concrete construction. This material, in combination with precastconcrete edge beams and roof cowls, is more suited to the irregular form of the canopy and avoids the need for expensive cladding to the soffit.

The steel tree columns of the competition scheme are retained, although reduced in number, and now work in combination with the two-storey fair-faced concrete core of the concourse building which acts as the lateral shear structure for the entire canopy.

The canopy is to be protected with a proprietary 'green roof ' system which requires little maintenance and which brings the environmental benefits of protection to the roof membrane, reduction in carbon monoxide levels and consequent increase in oxygen levels, improved humidity levels and lower levels of pollution and dust.

The form and siting of the concourse building have been radically revised to avoid the need for costly services diversion below ground, which at competition stage accounted for one-fifth of the overall construction budget.

The design of the bus islands has been developed to reflect equally the requirements for bus movement and pedestrian security. A full-scale mock-up of the bus-lane geometry was carried out on a vacant site in Dudley to test and prove the optimum bus-lane configuration.

Confirmation of full funding has recently been received and tenders are due to go out in April 1998, with a start expected on site in late summer.

CONTRACT VALUE £6.5 million (including land acquisition and professional fees)

CLIENT Centro (West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority)

ARCHITECT Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

CIVIL ENGINEER Clark Smith Partnership

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Atelier One

SERVICES ENGINEER Atelier Ten

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Jonathan Watkins Landscape

QUANTITY SURVEYOR + CDM Appleyard & Trew

PUBLIC ARTISTS Kovats and Hartley

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