Lu's Place Cafe

A New & Vibrant Venue Nestled in the Holme Valley.

Lu’s Place is a new and vibrant venue located in the Holme Valley. SGL were appointed as the civil and structural designer for the project to develop a new multi-function venue on what was at the time a brown field site with a host of complex underlying challenges. Lu’s place its self forms one of three buildings on the site which were designed in house.


The site is located on a hillside which had previously been levelled with made ground, with a steep embankment to the valley below. It was not possible to stabilise the ground by grading due to several trees on site with Tree Protection Orders (TPO’s). Various options of geotextile soil stabilisation were reviewed as well as soil nailing techniques and traditional retaining structures, although none were viable due to the complex site constraints. The solution came in the form of a ground beam inter-linked piled retaining wall which resulted in minimal environmental impact while providing stability to the site.


Due to the challenging geotechnical conditions, ground beams & piles were used to form the foundations of the buildings. The superstructures were required to be two storey open plan buildings with the ability to be clad according to their clients’ needs with large uninterrupted openings for glazing, bifold doors and access. This design requirement was achieved by employing the use of efficient steelwork portal frames.


Further geotechnical challenges existed in the form of contaminated land with VOC’s present. The risks of gaseous VOC contamination within the buildings was mitigated with the use of ventilation voids at foundation level, coupled with barrier membranes. These measures were coordinated with the Architect JG-D to ensure the visual appearance of the structures remained in keeping with the client’s expectations.

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