Following on from our services on the Michelin development Andy was given overall Civil and Structural Engineering design leadership for this massive chocolate factory (thought to be the largest in the world at the time).  The 2-storey production hall and goods inwards warehouse combined were about 450m long.

This project introduced six ‘firsts’ for the region;

  • The low-lying site was considered to be at risk of flooding; storm drainage and flood defence were achieved using swales‘engineered fill’ from 600mm to 3.5m deep with a raft foundation, constructed ahead of the design of the manufacturing process, proved capable of accepting foundation loads which escalated by 250% after the raft had been cast. The use of geotextile and geogrid layers meant that, contrary to local custom (and stern warnings) the substructure works were undertaken right through the monsoon season; testing proved the fill to have a safe net bearing capacity of 1000kN/m², with a FOS of 2, which was an exact match to the design.
  • An open oil interceptor suitable for use with swales was devised (believed to be a world first).
  • Plastic collapse analysis was used for the steel design.
  • The main production hall was designed with a 9m x 9m column grid, using a hybrid steel frame with precast prestressed concrete floors.
  • This two-storey hall can be extended whilst the chocolate production continues, requiring only a 24-hour cessation to open the connection into the new building.