Working as the Main Contractor for The National Trust, Owen Pugh undertook the following works to improve the visitor experience to Gibside Chapel and Estate and allow the restoration of the Historic Walled Garden.
The project comprised the construction of two new car parking areas, providing over 200 permanent and 250 overflow spaces. The car parks were both designed with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems and included significant stabilisation of poor ground conditions, using geosynthetics and gabion retaining structures. New surfacing was constructed using a combination of resin bonded surfacing and reinforced aggregate surfaces.
A new visitor reception building was constructed using the latest green construction techniques and comprises structural insulated panels (SIPs), cedar cladding and a living green roof. The new visitor centre and parking areas are connected to the existing estate by means of a timber walkway which has been constructed through the existing woodland. The timber walkway was constructed with a structural steel substructure and piled foundations.
The existing walled garden and hard standing areas were restored with topsoil recovered from the new car parks. Tree clearance works were undertaken with compensation planting to new verges and screening to parking areas.
This prime visitor attraction within the North East remained open to the public during the construction period. Close liaison with the Trust site and project management teams, together with external consultants, ensured a successful scheme was delivered to the highest standards and within tight programme and budget constraints.