The London Taxi Company’s recently opened, state of the art research development and assembly plant at Ansty Park Coventry, incorporates several interesting features including advanced energy saving methods and rain water harvesting.
Additionally, Winvic Construction, who built the factory for Geely, the Chinese car manufacturer, used a different methodology for below ground construction. The base for the vehicle conveyor system, which is over 75 metres long, was prefabricated off site in steel modules and then joined together to form one unitary assembly. The bases for the WAHA (wheel alignment) and the rolling road were also prefabricated off-site. Installation of all structures was completed in four weeks – using traditional concrete methods would have taken at least 10-12 weeks.
Manufacture and installation of the structures was carried out by Premier Substructures. In addition to considerable time savings, their approach offered several other benefits over in situ and pre cast concrete techniques, including tighter tolerances, reduced environmental impact plus better and safer working conditions.
Having worked with Premier Substructures before, as well as sister company Premier Pits on the installation of vehicle maintenance pits, Winvic are well aware of the benefits of this type of prefabrication. Mark Cross of Winvic stated, “our belief in this revolutionary approach made a significant contribution to ensuring the building was completed on time, thereby helping LTC to start production of their new low emission hybrid taxis later this year”.
Premier Substructures’ managing director Mel Burrell stated, “we were pleased to work with Winvic on the very successful adoption of prefabrication on this interesting project”. He went on to say, “we believe that prefabricated substructures make a significant contribution towards improving construction productivity and quality”.
As a result of this successful project the taxis, once only synonymous with London, will be coming off the production line in a few weeks time for use in major cities around the world.