Sky Studios Elstree is the latest addition to the rich film production history of Elstree which dates back more than 100 years.
The 27-acre site had a varied history of former land uses including storage, maintenance, an engineering works with its own sports facilities and most notably as a training ground for SOE agents during WW2.
The development delivered 12 soundstages with 2 production support warehouses, an administration building and multi-storey car park. The existing site had complex levels which needed careful consideration in respect to the cut and fill engineering design to deliver the development plateau sustainably by keeping as much material on site including the crushed graded aggregate claimed form the demolition works. This site has had 14,500 square metres of solar panels installed on the roofs which on a sunny day is capable of generating 3MW of power. Ground improvement through use of cement stabilisation and Vibro Stone Columns enabled a ground bearing solution to be adopted.
The site was constrained by existing services (water mains, overhead cables) as well as roads to the west and east and water courses to the north and south, one of which required to be diverted to enable development opportunities. Surface water drainage requirements were managed through 5 separate networks each containing SUDS and attenuation elements prior to discharge to the nearby surface water courses. A new foul water sewer had to be constructed under the main road to serve the site. The soundstage blocks vary in size and height with a number having demountable division walls to provide greater flexibility in space to suit filming requirements.
The tenant’s sustainability ethos was a key driver to the engineering approaches with particular focus on embodied carbon reduction with detailed collaboration between the various stakeholders carried out to deliver the optimal results.