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WATERSTONES - 26 High Row, Darlington


Works Completed on time (August 2005)




As predicted our works were completed on time and the building was handed over to Waterstones to allow them to complete the shopfitting works with a planned opening prior to Christmas. 



New Ground Floor Slab (July 2005)


The new ground floor slab was installed using a unique tanking system and modern/futuristic concrete products. 


Voltex -

"The Voltex membrane, an award-winning combination of the superior properties of bentonite coupled with the flexibility of polypropylene geotextiles, is rugged in construction and highly resistant to site damage. Voltex is unique in offering ‘automatic’ mechanical bonding to concrete, the elimination of water tracking, all-weather installation, and application to all types of rough and uneven property line surfaces, including diaphragm walls, contiguous and secant piling and steel sheet piling."


The management team at VEST Construction researched the tanking system for the new basement and after looking at several alternatives they put forward the use of a Sika render system for the walls and Voltex for the floor. The use of these products speeded up the construction process and reduced the number of products used down to 2, thus eliminating several vulnerable inter-junctions which would have occurred had we elected to use the various other products available in the market.



Horizontal Concrete -

"Agilia Horizontal is a self-placing, self-levelling concrete which produces a superb surface finish. It has been specially formulated for work on houses, light commercial and industrial buildings, for either new build or renovation work."


Due to the site constraints, lack of access and lime slots available to pump the concrete into the building for the ground floor slab we decided to go for a modern self levelling, self finishing and self compacting concrete, Lafarge Agilia Horizontal Concrete. The use of this concrete allowed us to install 45m3 of concrete between 5.30am and 8.10am (Just over 2.5 hours from start to finish). The concrete allowed us to pour the slab in one go, eradicate the use of noisy plant out of hours, such as poker vibrators and power floats and minimise the amount of manual handing required to place the concrete.






Underpinning & Reducing Floor Levels to Create a Level Ground Floor (April to June 2005)


The client require a level ground floor slab. In order to achieve this:

  • The existing concrete floor slab had to be broken out. 

  • 70 linear meters of 1.5m high underpinning installed.

  • 1100 tonnes of spoil and broken concrete excavate by hand/mini excavator and removed via High Row. 

Strengthening Of Upper Floors (April to June 2005)


The upper floors were strengthened by installing approximately 10 tonne of new steel beams underneath the existing floor structure. All this steel had to be offloaded by crane, transported into the building by hand using trolleys and then lifted into position using hoists.