Electric Park, Manchester

General Projects
Structural, Civil and Transport Engineer
Commercial Buildings
Active travel
New buildings
North England
Construction Cost

We are providing civil, structural and transport engineering on the outstanding and dynamic workplace development at Pollard Street in New Islington, Manchester. The development proposals include 350,000 sqft of high-quality modern workspaces for businesses of all scales and sectors as well as exceptional public space to define a new standard of social impact in the city of Manchester.

Situated alongside the Ashton Canal and straddling the existing Metrolink network, the campus will deliver over two acres of new public space, as the area benefits from a £5m investment into the landscape and green space to create a better, healthier and safer environment.

The sustainable credentials of the Electric Park project will be underpinned by its car free policy, low carbon transport links and an innovative low-carbon approach to construction and operation.  Over 50 new trees will be planted on site and 550 bike spaces will be provided as the development delivers a 30% net gain in biodiversity.

The architectural design of buildings takes inspiration from Manchester’s industrial past and has been influenced by Civic Engineers strategy to combine function and form.

An external steel frame is proposed for the two central buildings of the development flipping the conventional form of a building. In this instance the structural steel frame not only provides structural integrity but also contributes to the facade and envelope of the building to celebrate form and provide a nod to the sites former use as a mill and foundry.

To respond to this unconventional structural form a variety of structural framing solutions have been explored in detail with timber construction also being considered to respond to the low-carbon aspirations of the development.

To further interrogate the sustainability credentials of the structure Civic Engineers have drawn on our computational engineering skills to develop a carbon calculator tool and assess the embodied carbon of these structural forms and materials with a focus on implementing our Climate Charter.

The development proposals have responded to a series of challenging site constraints. This includes interfaces with archaeologically classified buried structures forming Pollards Mill (cotton) and the Soho Foundry (steam engines) which were some of the largest of their kind in Manchester. Further constraints include existing Metrolink tram cuttings and platforms as well as the Ashton Canal adjacent to the development. Civic Engineers’ Civil and Structural solutions have been devised in coordination with the relevant technical stakeholders to avoid negatively impacting these existing assets.

Although classed as a Brownfield site due to the sites historic use as a mill and foundry, for the purposes of Urban Infrastructure design the site is classed as Greenfield. Civic Engineers have therefore designed Pollard Street to adopt 100% Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) through close collaboration with the Design Team. This has been possible by incorporating intelligent engineering solutions of surface water attenuation into the generous public space provision. Surface water is proposed to discharge into the adjacent Ashton Canal. This has been possible through Civic Engineers’ detailed negotiations with The Canals and Rivers Trust and our demonstration of the canals ability to accept this.

Our scope also includes Transport Engineering services. This has been invaluable in demonstrating the prospect of delivering a 100% car free development. Early engagement between our Transport Engineers and the Design Team has allowed efficient servicing strategies and infrequent (fire tender, refuse) vehicular access requirements to be achieved through compromise and without sacrifice to the building and public realm proposals.