Long Eaton-based BEM Services has completed a £6,000 mechanical and electrical (M&E) contract with New Forest District Council, as part of a £1.3m Heritage Lottery funded project. The works are aimed at bringing a new lease of life to the Eling Tide Mill in Totton, Hampshire.
The new ‘Eling Experience’ project encompasses an 18th century tide mill and a new visitor centre which is to undergo a major restoration and refurbishment programme that will complete this summer. Eling’s tide mill dates from c. 1785 and has Grade II listed status, it is one of only two working tide mills that produces and sells flour in the UK.
The overall project includes essential conservation of the mill, extending and developing the existing heritage centre to create a learning facility housing local artefacts and a new 28 seat café totalling 215 sqm. The aim is to allow more visitors, particularly young people, local community organisations and schools to access the tide mill and take part in hands-on learning as part of the re-developed attraction.
In April this year BEM Services was invited by the main contractor, international design consultancy Haley Sharpe Design to tender for the M&E design services required for this project. BEM Services was chosen due to its proven design expertise in the delivery of recent high quality public and private sector projects; together with its ability to commence the work quickly and within budget.
Mark Boardman, Managing Director, BEM Services, explains: “We are delighted to be assisting in the delivery of this unique industrial heritage project. By working with the main contractor’s interior and lighting designers for example, we have ensured the correct lighting levels are specified in all areas of the building, specifically in the exhibition room where greater flexibility was required to cater for a busy gallery programme. Therefore the ducts, pipes and cable trays had to be visible throughout the space and as a result, are of a high quality specification.
“The design also had to take into consideration more unusual criteria – for example, the mill’s stone walls are half a metre thick so they retain heat well in the winter and keep the building cool in the summer. This meant careful consideration had to be given to the heating and cooling design. While the building itself is less than 6m from the marina and sits at sea level, so where possible services need to be kept at a high level too.”
BEM Services were required to deliver specialist M&E design work right from initial concept through to RIBA stage 4; prior to the tender for the next stage installation contractors. As for the future, BEM Services has submitted a further proposal to oversee the programme of works.