The DVSA employed Kier through the Scape framework to construct under a Design & Build Contract a vehicle inspection building incorporating an internal inspection pit with associated roller brake testing facilities, landscaping and ancillary works at the existing High Risk Traffic Inspection (HRTI) site at Ashford, Kent. The development is intended to improve the working conditions on the HRTI site, providing ‘fit for purpose’ inspection facilities to enable safe and comprehensive inspection of vehicles intercepted on the adjacent M20 Motorway and Trunk Road network. The development will support the identification of most road safety related defects and offences, in particular manipulation devices and braking defects. The new facility provides for a likely increase in vehicle checking anticipating Britain’s departure from the EU.
The new inspection building was designed to match the existing office building already situated on the site and was part of the conditions of the planning approval. The design has been enhanced to give a more contemporary look.
The building has been designed so an articulated lorry can be inspected inside a controlled environment. Consisting of a one way pass through layout, it has large opening roller shutters at both ends and an inspection pit running down the centre with permanent stepped access and emergency escape hatch. There are 4no pedestrian entrance/exit doors around the building to give alternate exits when a vehicle is stationary over the pit. Separate areas are 1no accessible toilet, plant room, RBT (Roller Brake Test) cabin and open storage areas.
An insulated metal panel system forms the envelope of the new building supported by a steel frame construction. To aid inspection and reduce power consumption during daylight hours (the facility is operational 24hrs), low and high level windows along with high gain roof lights have been used to give an excellent quality of light. The building is predominantly classed as an unheated space except the toilet facilities which are heated for staff and driver comfort through the winter as the roller shutter doors will be open most of the time.
The external works consist new RBT unit, exit road, pathways, crossings, line markings and associated soft landscaping. The project team worked well together with a goal of achieving a tight programme set by the client.