Construction underway at Howbery Business Park

Construction of HR Wallingford’s £3m development has started at Howbery Business Park following the contract being awarded to Kier Construction. The new development makes Howbery Business Park one of the few business parks in the UK to see a new building commissioned amid a challenging economic climate.

The world-renowned civil engineering and environmental hydraulics company, HR Wallingford, is extending its Froude Modelling Hall by 17,000 sq ft to house the company’s new 70-metre long wave-current-sediment flume, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, along with its state-of-the-art ship simulation centre.

The unique facility will allow engineers to accurately model the erosion around bridges and other water-based structures. It will also feature an electronics laboratory, where the company’s wavemakers and instruments will be made.

“The development is fantastic news for Howbery Business Park and HR Wallingford,” comments John Ormston, Chief Executive, Howbery Business Park. “Howbery Business Park has outline planning consent for further pre-lets and we hope our latest development will inspire other thriving Oxfordshire and Berkshire businesses to follow suit and add to our growing community.”

The HR Wallingford development will become Kier’s third project at Howbery Business Park following the successful completion of two award winning sustainable office buildings in 2004 and 2009, occupied by the Environment Agency and HR Wallingford.

Kier Construction Director Glyn Salmon said, “We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with HR Wallingford and look forward to working collaboratively on this next phase of the park development.”

The extension to HR Wallingford’s existing 250,000 sq. ft. plot will include environmentally friendly features such as permeable paving system, which helps alleviate flooding as allows groundwater to disperse naturally into the ground rather than through a piped drainage system into the river. Work is expected to be complete by April 2014.

Howbery Business Park is the UK’s first solar-powered business park and prides itself on taking a forward-thinking approach to creating a contemporary working environment, while ensuring the park’s success remains uncompromised by the recession.