Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

Iain Tubby of CADS
Survey Case Study by Iain Tubby Survey Services Manager 08/04/2024

Our expert survey team provided a wide range of surveys to help Century Facades deliver a cladding replacement project, including measured building and setting out surveys, at Blackhorse Tower in North London.


Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

Surveying an office-to-residential building for Century Facades

Century Facades is a UK-based facade contractor which designs, procures and constructs complex facades for buildings across the UK.

The business was appointed by Chase New Homes to deliver a facade package for a well-known office-to-residential development in the popular area of Cockfosters in North London.

Previously known as Blackhorse Tower, the building – which was formerly occupied by Lloyds Bank – is undergoing conversion from office space to 226 one- and two-bedroom apartments and is located just 100m from Cockfosters tube station.

Soon to be known as One One Six Cockfosters, the building will be bringing a metropolitan blend of open spaces, easy commuting, and excellent residents’ facilities including two rooftop sky terraces with views of the landscaped courtyard or London city, a business lounge, work hub, concierge, gym and a cinema once complete.

To help deliver its facade package, Century Facades required measured building surveys and setting out services to obtain accurate building data and assist with the design and installation of replacement cladding.

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

Understanding Century Facades’ requirements for Blackhorse Tower

Our experienced survey team worked closely with Century Facades to fully understand their requirements and establish a scope for the project.

The project involved surveying two buildings on the site – a nine storey high-rise building and three storey low-rise building – to provide the client with accurate data to deliver the design and install the replacement cladding system.

Delivering a laser scan survey and capturing accurate measurements

Working initially on the low-rise building, our experienced survey team undertook a measured survey of the three floors and performed gridline setting out.

Following our work on the low-rise building, our team provided a measured survey of Block A – the high-rise tower.

Century Facades required vertical and horizontal measurements, so our team established a Ground Control Network, comprised of over 20 control stations covering the whole site and materialised by survey nails on protected locations to ensure durability throughout the construction phase.

The Control Network was linked to the Ordnance Survey National Grid for the horizontal coordinate system and the Ordnance Datum Newlyn (ODN) for the vertical coordinate system, for coordination purposes.

A coordinate transformation was introduced to revert the effects of the map projection, ensuring all distances were scale-free (ground distances) so they could be used by Century Facades’ design and fabrication teams.

This ensured that the relative positioning of all subsequent data was to an acceptable level of tolerance within the national grid coordinate system – and helped to make any future setting out works simpler too. Using a Trimble X7 3D laser scanner, we completed a laser scan survey of Block A, georeferenced to ground control network, then used the captured data to create an external floorplate drawing for each floor and overlay to access the building’s verticality.

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

Engineering surveys and setting out services

Investing in an engineering setting out survey ensures your property redevelopment stays within the legal boundaries of the site. Avoiding unnecessary expenses, wasted time, and potential legal conflicts by accurately translating design plans into the physical environment before construction begins.

Engineering surveys

We’re very pleased with the service and expertise provided by CADS throughout the entire project. Their diligent survey team not only delivered accurate data promptly but also accommodated our evolving requirements. The data provided by CADS has helped us deliver a high-quality facade package while adhering to stringent safety and compliance standards.

Luke Davies MCIOB, BSc (Hons) Contracts Manager - Century Facades
Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

Setting out Blackhorse Tower for construction

Using the data captured, we delivered a setting out survey to prepare the site for construction.

To transfer architectural details from drawings of the low-rise building onto the existing structure, we marked out the gridlines of the external elevations on all three floors, using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) to reach the upper levels.

For Block A – the high-rise building – we first expanded the ground control network and introduced a secondary control network inside the building, running throughout all nine floors to allow for internal setting out.

We then marked left and right gridlines to the edge of slab on the first three levels, for Century Facades to transfer up the building once the scaffold access was in place. Next, we marked in and out gridlines internally from the ground floor to level nine.

Extending the programme to facilitate design and installation

Further to the measured surveys delivered, Century Facades required 10No. sections to profile the external envelope of Blackhorse Tower, detailing slab edges and soffits, cladding, windows and openings. We provided the drawings in both dwg and pdf format.

Managing a comprehensive project and meeting client requirements

Our survey team expertly managed a complex project which required many services, a challenging site coordination and deliverables to meet our client’s requirements.

We also worked with our client to extend their scope, design a suitable approach and provide the data and deliverables the business needed to successfully deliver the design and installation of the cladding replacement.

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades
Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

The importance of accurate data for building cladding

Cladding plays a pivotal role in the architectural integrity, energy efficiency and safety of buildings.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, cladding acts as a protective barrier, shielding structures from harsh weather conditions and environmental elements.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 – where issues with cladding contributed to the spreading of flames – the significance of getting the design and installation of cladding right cannot be overstated.

Obtaining accurate data and setting out services not only helps make design and installation more efficient, but it can help to ensure the cladding delivered is based on correct information and compliant with the relevant Building Regulations.

An example of this is the Building Safety Act 2022 and the Cladding Safety Scheme 2022 (CSS). The CSS will meet the cost of addressing life safety fire risks associated with cladding on residential buildings over 11m in height, or 11-18m in height in London.

Obtain the site data you need with CADS

Here at CADS, we deliver a wide range of surveying services for clients across the UK. From measured building surveys and surveys for BIM, to Matterport surveys and GIS and asset mapping, we can deliver the services required to get the accurate and reliable information you need.

Speak to a member of our team today to find out more.

Measured survey and setting out services of notable Blackhorse Tower for Century Facades

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