Case Studies

Raised Access Flooring at Trowbridge County Hall

MERO-SCHMIDLIN provide a level playing field at award winning County Hall project

Front Elevation client MERO-SCHMIDLIN (UK) PLC played a very significant part in providing the design and installation expertise for a very challenging project in Trowbridge for Wiltshire County Council




The Mero Combi T Raised Access Flooring System was used to convert a multi level exterior courtyard into a level internal atrium.


Mero- Schmidlin worked alongside the Architects Stride Treglown and Main Contractors Kier Western on the £18m project.


The new space is part of a major construction project to consolidate the counties workforce in one cost effective facility built around the existing County Hall facility. The project has been programmed within two specific phases allowing the local authority to transfer staff from older uneconomical facilities into this more modern complex which will be far more flexible in addition to offering a more cost effective building model. The facility started with a very challenging brief for Stride Tregown centred around sustainability, running costs and hitting a minimum BREEAM standard of Very Good. Kier are in fact on target to achieve an excellent rating by the conclusion of Phase 

The existing exterior site consisted of paving at various differing levels which was to be transformed into a level courtyard in which all of the building services of the surrounding structures would be linked. The 'Plenum' beneath the flooring not only housed all of the major building control services but also needed to be airtight so as not to interfere with the air conditioned and naturally vented areas within the new courtyard.


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This image shows the complexity of the Mero Combi T system used to create a level floor which also acted as a plenum for the buildings ventilation


The height of the 'new' floor required a void in some areas of up to 900mm. this was to allow access to the plant and equipments as well as achieving a 'common level' within the new facility.With 1100 square metres of hollow flooring there were numerous requirements for precision cutting to allow for regular inspection access and air diffuser vents. With a large floor area within a E.T.FE. canopied building there were complex calculations within the design process to allow for expansion bearing in mind the differing temperatures between the above and below floor areas. Expansion movement joints were needed to be integrated within the raised flooring without spoiling the aesthetics of the overall surface.


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Due to the Solar Gain from the ETFE Roofing System is was identified that expansion and contraction of the flooring system would be far greater than the norm. MERO-SCHMIDLIN took this into account at design stage and supported joints with steel channel. These supports were imperative as the flooring also needed to be airtight.


Mero-Schmidlin are very experienced at this process as the floors within modern building projects are continually required to be accessed throughout the build programme. The latest technology in bonding materials is used to provide a significant level of factory finishing thus avoiding 'wet trades' on site so that areas were almost immediately accessible rather than waiting for compounds to cure or dry. A series of Mero Combi T36 Calcium Sulphate interlocking backing panels were employed together with factory fitted Porcelain Tiles which covered the whole floor area. With heavy plant and continuous high level construction taking place, it was imperative that a thorough protection system was put in place not only on the finished flooring but also for the 'listed' stone facade of the existing building.   


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 This is a picture of the Mero Combi T system being tested. It is quite usual for their Raised Access Flooring Systems to be subjected to these types of loads. Building programmes are now so tight that the flooring is used within hours of its installation. In almost all cases the buildings construction takes place simmultaneously with the flooring system. With Trowbridge the roof was being installed at the same time as the flooring. This required immediate 'put into use' status and the area was used for a variety of very heavy powered access systems.This image is of the MERO-SCHMIDLIN Combi T System being used at New Court, The Rothschilds Bank HQ. The system is identical to the system used at Trowbridge. However the below floor access void at Trowbridge was in excess of 800mm in places (Image courtesy of Szerelmey Ltd)


Greg Brock, Project Surveyor for Kier Western was very complimentary of Mero-Schmidlin within both the pre-contract process and their work on site. Their Can-Do attitude was very influential in the procurement process. whilst they had to offer a very competitive bid within the tender process, Mero-Schmidin provided a tour of several projects in the South East where they had completed similarly complex Raised Access Flooring Systems which were acclaimed by contractor and client alike. These personal inspections of completed projects were complimented by numerous written references to the quality of Mero-Schmidlin's work and problem solving, these instilled great confidence with both the contractor and the client that Kier were selecting the best partner for a project of this stature and complexity. 



"Mero-Schmidlin did tick all of the boxes. They were very easy to work with in terms of their Can-Do attitude and their approachability and were also competitively priced" Greg Brock, Kier Western



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The MERO Combi T Raised Access Flooring was being used as part of the projects ventilation system. By establishing a plenum the MERO-SCHMIDLIN installatin team had to precision cut ventilation holes and install grilles throughout the complete floor area. (Photograph by Paul Scott


Greg Brock went on to say


"As part of our Pre-Tender negotiations we received a number of references from contractors saying that Mero-Schmidlin were very pro-active on site and had a can-do attitude when dealing with any problems. We knew in advance that there was going to be 'issues' with the flooring and that it wasn't going to be a straightforward install. Their project managers worked with us on all of the issues on site and came up with the solutions."


" We have now moved on to Phase Two of the project and will certainly be considering using Mero-Schmidlin for this element of works, and again on future projects" Kier Western 15/3/2013


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The Raised Access Flooring was a prominent feature of the project not only aesthetically but also in providing the ventilation to combat the Solar Gain from the ETFE Roofing System. (image Paul Scott Front Elevation


Mark Butt of Wiltshire County Council said


"Having discussed the project in detail with the client, the architects and the main contractors it quickly became apparent that the flooring  requirement on this project was envisaged as "potentially problematical" but also that it formed a very significant contribution to the success of the whole £23m project. All parties were obviously concerned as to selecting a contractor and flooring system which could meet the challenge. Mero-Schmidlin were able to satisfy the concerns with a very impressive back catalogue of prestigious raised access flooring projects including the Rothschilds Bank HQ at New Court and personal visits to the recently completed £134m Land Securities, Park House project in the heart of Oxford Street."



Architects - Stride Treglown


Main Contractors - Kier (Western)


Raised Access Flooring Contractors

Mero-Schmidlin (UK) PLC


Front Elevation 











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