Public construction is always subject to close scrutiny, especially during times of austerity cuts and economic recession. Whether procurement is via public or private initiative, local authorities are in search of long-term value for money, starting with high quality design and durable construction. Basildon Sporting Village is no exception. The largest sports project in the Thames Gateway development, the Village provides state-of-the-art facilities for sports, leisure and education on 250 acres at Gloucester Park, Basildon. The multi-million pound, 25-year PPP contract was awarded by Basildon Council to Community Solutions for Leisure, with Morgan Sindall Plc as main contractor.
Boasting the only 50m international size swimming pool in the region, and located just 30 minutes from the Olympic Park, it was approved as a training camp for a number of Olympic and Paralympic events for 2012. As well as hosting athletics, boxing, fencing, gymnastics and judo pretraining, it served as the official base for the Japanese swimming team in the run up to the London Games.
Other facilities include an eight court sports hall with retractable seating for 480 spectators, regional gymnastics centre, multipurpose studio, 100+ workstation fitness suite, climbing wall and six floodlit 5-a-side football pitches. Outside, a new 750-seat grandstand has been built for the existing British Athletics Grade 1 eight-lane track, together with a synthetic turf pitch and netball courts alongside existing football pitches and cricket square. The international standard 8-lane swimming pool has a viewing area for 450 people and was opened by diving champion, Tom Daley, who took the very first plunge into its pristine waters. Champion swimmer Mark Foster also attended.
Tamdown Construction undertook construction of the main pool, learner pool and four service pits as part of a £3.8m civils and concrete package for Morgan Sindall. This also included piling, reinforced concrete and drainage works, and the installation of metal decking poolside.
Advantages of using PUDLO
The use of PUDLO waterproof concrete offered a range of advantages in meeting demanding construction tolerances and quality without compromising a tight project schedule. Close site support from PUDLO inspectors ensured that details such as kickers and waterbars, especially crucial on water-retaining elements like swimming pools, were correctly formed. As a result, the concrete passed the seven day test for leakage with no problems, avoiding delays and costs from test repeats and additional pool refills.
The PUDLO system and accompanying inspection also ensured a high standard of compaction around the many pipe penetrations through the pool slab, while eliminating the site work and challenges in achieving consistent application of membranes. With no surface cracking evident following the pouring of walls, the PUDLO concrete went on to meet a very tight 4mm tolerance over 7 days, including an allowance for evaporation and weather. PUDLO’s 20 year warranty of completed concrete is another benefit, especially for hyper-critical waterproofing applications like swimming pools, given there is usually little basis for come-back with conventional concrete systems.
The concrete installer may have some redress if the cube strength test fails, but beyond this, responsibility for subsequent problems remains with the contractor and client. The enhanced characteristics of PUDLO concrete and accompanying inspection of correct concrete placement and workmanship ensure the high technical standards essential to long, snag-free performance. And if a problem should arise, the contractor and client have the unique reassurance of technical support from the waterproof specialist under the 20 year warranty.