Modern Methords of Construction in Supermarkets

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1.0 Client Brief
We have been approached by a large supermarket firm to advice on the suitability of various Modern Methods of Construction systems for the use on a potential flagship store. The initial brief from the client is that the new store must be sustainable, energy efficient and carry low maintenance / operation costs. The proposal is to construct a large retail space of approximately 5,000 m2 for sale of food and household goods. It is intended to be highly energy efficient and sensitive to the local environment.

2.0 Why Modern Methods of Construction?
Modern methods of construction (MMC) are needed in the industry because of a growing number of factorts that are effecting our built environment and the way we live. MMC’s can aid in solving these issues that traditional methods of construction would not be cable of or would be too inefficient to carry out. Some of these isssues could be: * The global demand on building materials is ever increasing and can’t be sustained. MMC’s can utilise materials efficiently with minimum waste. * The increasing performance requirements that are needed from our building would be unachievable with traditional techniques. * Modern Methods of Construction can provide a faster, safer, more controlled construction process with improved quality over traditional methods. The way we construct our retail buildings could benefit from the further involvement of MMC’s. Importantly, the speed and predictability of the construction process can be very valuable to supermarket retailers as every week could potentially cost tens of thousands of pounds in sales. MMC’s can offer a faster and more predictable construction process than the use of masonry or other traditional techniques. Another motive that MMC’s can be beneficial to retail is that systems such as timber or steel frame can offer more flexibility within the buildings shell so the retailer can operate and change accordingly. Although modern methods of construction are already widely used in retail construction supermarkets are becoming under increasing pressure by planning authorities to deliver more sustainable buildings and bring improvements to their local area. ‘BREEAM’s “very good” has now almost become the minimum standard for any new food store scheme (Langdon, 2011).’ With the utilisation of MMC’s achieving these standards can become easier and more cost effective.

3.0 Potential construction Methods
Traditionally supermarket buildings were built using heavy masonry construction (Langdon). Though this conventional method of construction has been moved away from by supermarket chains and they are now commonly constructed by steel frames with profiled metal cladding and an aluminium roof. A supermarket’s design is generally driven by cost and programme reduction to reduce the initial capital costs and maximise the return on profit. However, many supermarket stores that are built with the conventional construction method of steel frames and poor insulation, that are often described as steel sheds, are very energy demanding and carry high operation costs. We are to analyse and compare other potential methods that could be used to construct supermarkets that would be more energy efficient but will not compromise too much on other factors such as construction speed or capital costs. We have looked into various MMC’s that could be potentially used to construct a structure with the required functions. The two main MMC’s that we have shortlisted that are to be evaluated and compared are timber frame, and steel framed construction. The analysis of other systems has been briefly looked into to see if they could be beneficial in specific parts of the building. 4.1 Timber frame

Timer frame construction is one of the potential MMC’s that could be used to construct this retail unit. Timber has many benefits which are now being seen by top retail companies and incorporated into many of...
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