Some of our clients have worked with us over many years. This project was a commercial extension to Oakwood Dental Centre in Derby, which we initially designed in 1990. Over the years we have extended it on numerous occasions, as our client’s business has grown.
This latest expansion was to increase the capacity of the surgery to include three further treatment rooms, a consultation room and additional waiting area to accommodate the increase in patient numbers.
Initially, we produced two feasibility schemes. The first was for a two-storey extension to the building, while the second was for a single storey extension over the existing car-park area – the remainder of the land around the building having already been used for previous expansions.
After discussing the two schemes with a highways consultant, it was deemed unacceptable to use the parking area for an extension, so the two-storey approach was taken forward.
Following a survey of the building and some further sketches to ensure that the client was happy, this feasibility scheme was amended, fully drawn up and submitted to the local planning authority for pre-application advice. Once this advice was received, the project was brought into line with the comments and filed as a full planning application, which was duly permitted.
Once approval was granted, we drew up the technical working drawings which would be used to obtain Building Regulations approval for the project, as well as by the contractors throughout the build process.
The image below shows the surgery before we designed the extension.
Keeping the surgery open
One issue we had to resolve was the need to keep the surgery open throughout the construction works. We achieved this by using carefully positioned engineered steel beams and supports, in conjunction with an external tented scaffold system. These allowed the existing roof structure to be removed without disturbing the ceiling timbers and, consequently, the treatment rooms and reception areas below.
Communication is key
Throughout this process, we remained in contact with both the client and the builder, answering any queries that arose and coordinating with other consultants (including the dental fit-out consultants) to avoid potential problems and conflicts during the build.
The result is an extension that provides all the additional space that our client required (and some extra). We have improved the visual aspect of the building by bringing the windows and external finishes up to date. All this was achieved while maintaining the opening hours of the surgery throughout the process.