Waitrose, Warminister

Project: Waitrose, Warminister

Big Foot Systems, has supplied bespoke supports for rooftop chillers at a new Waitrose store in Warminister. The chiller installation was part of a £4.5m project which involved Henry Boot Developments redeveloping a key town centre site in Warminster into a new 1,858 sq m Waitrose. Designed by Boyes Rees Architects, the building services were installed by Jehu Group.

Vital to the project’s success was effective public consultation which resulted in a unanimous vote for planning application submittal. With the location of the new Waitrose store within close proximity to a residential area it was essential for the project team to ensure chiller noise was kept to a minimum. The team were therefore set an acoustics challenge on how to achieve this on a flat roof installation.

Chiller installation caused a further difficulty for the project team since the chillers were set to be installed on a warm roof finished with a single ply membrane. Traditionally penetrative supports are used for chiller installations on flat roofs but it was feared this would damage the roof while penetrations in the single ply membrane would risk both potential leaks and thermal bridging. In addition, there was also a concern regarding the distribution of load on the roof.

Following considerable discussions between the project team, Big Foot Systems was asked to design bespoke supports for the project. Big Foot visited the site to assess the installation, and designed all the frameworks for the plant in 3D CAD. The resulting drawings were issued by Big Foot and approved by the project team before the frames were manufactured. Once manufactured the systems were delivered flat packed, for quick and easy assembly before the delivery of the chillers.

Carl Golding, Associate at Boyes Rees Architects explains; Chiller noise reduction was key to a successful project. To achieve this, a louvre screen was installed on the roof. However, to meet agreed noise limits, lowered supports were required to ensure the chillers were sited no higher than the maximum permitted height beneath the louvre screen, as set out by the acoustic engineer. Big Foot therefore designed and manufactured some bespoke non-penetrative low level supports as solution.

“Not only did Big Foot System’s supports help overcome chiller noise they also spread the load evenly across the roof without damaging the single ply membrane. In addition, this removed the risk of potential leaks and thermal bridging that may occur with traditional penetrative supports.

Offering specifiers a comprehensive range of freestanding systems, Big Foot’s products are designed and manufactured by the company for a wide variety of applications, including HVAC, solar units and safe access equipment. The product portfolio provides complete, simple, safe and secure non-penetrative, prefabricated roof support systems negating a need for time consuming and costly penetrations through the roof.

Big Foot Systems’ products and systems are quick and easy to install ensuring project cost and time clarity, thus reducing the need for complex, time-consuming and expensive detailing. Offering improved roof aesthetics, Big Foot Systems provides engineered solutions that are innovative in design, robust and repeatable. Big Foot combines market leading products and services, which include system design and on-site support. Available to install in all weathers utilising familiar componentry, all systems are designed with safety, security and simplicity in mind. Finally Big Foot Systems offers short manufacture and delivery lead times to help a project meet its schedule and stay within budget.