Kays Medical is a long-established Liverpool company, which was for many years based in Shaw Street, on the outskirts of the City Centre. It has been a market leader in the provision of medical supplies, first aid training and health and safety training to British industries. The company has developed its commercial partnerships and has also become the UK’s leading specialist supplier to the Occupational Health Industry – providing an array of medical supplies and equipment to this sector.
However, the Shaw Street premises were presenting logistical challenges in terms of limited parking/delivery facilities and not being able to meet growing warehousing requirements within the same site. For some time the owner, Ben Ludzker, had been seeking a new site to address these issues by providing the business with contemporary new build facilities to increase efficiency, whilst also offering opportunities for future expansion.
A brownfield site on the Speke Estuary Business Park, with excellent transport links, provided the ideal location. Architects Denovo Design, who had worked for the client on the refurbishment of his existing premises several years ago, were engaged to design the new building alongside contractors Williams Tarr Construction, with interior design collaboration via Sarah Morriss of Hunters Furniture.
Some 12 months later, the completed 50,000 sq. ft. development now provides Kays Medical with a contemporary showcase office with adjacent warehouse facilities, along with a new access road and associated car parking/HGV delivery area. Externally, the design is striking with its statement and unique tiled elevation, curtain walling and brise soleil. Internally, the open plan design of the office space supports the collaborative culture, which is at the very heart of the business, whilst also being easily adaptable to suit changing user requirements. The office space is light and bright and is punctuated with splashes of colour, including the vibrant and novel sound absorption ‘lollipops’, which as well as being practical, cannot help but to raise a smile!
Designed to maximise environmental efficiency, whilst providing a pleasant environment for employees and visitors alike, the building benefits from a temperature controlled indoor environment, with external solar shading reducing solar gain and super-efficient LEDs automatically adjust to optimise light levels.
Work on the development began in January 2017 and was completed in November 2017. During the tight eleven month build programme, the construction process did not come without its challenges. An unexpected pocket of previous building waste was discovered when the footings for the office block were being excavated. However, swift redesign of foundation type with a switch to a concrete pilling system resolved the issue. Site drainage was also an issue, particularly following recent changes in legislation governing outfall in the event of storm water surges. Close collaboration with the Structural Engineer and his detailed analysis of the existing drainage system concluded its adequacy when combined with the installation of water attenuation tanks. These will, in the event of heavy storms, store surface water temporarily, slowly releasing into the main drain. This will avoid potential for flooding.
Commenting on the project, Frank Olchowski from Denovo Design said: “This project has been extremely important to Denovo Design, especially because of the practice’s previous involvement with the client in the refurbishment of his current offices in Liverpool City Centre’s Shaw Street. It has been a pleasure to be involved in this second scheme in Speke, which will see Kays Medical enter a new and exciting phase in its commercial development. Kays Medical is a forward-thinking business, and the design of this high profile project provides a ‘statement’ to reflect the company’s business ethos.”
Aaron Clements, General Manager at Kays Medical added: “Kays now offer a fully-rounded occupational health and wellbeing service as well as supplying into the sector. We began this service at the start of this year and this new project not only gives us a base to manage our national service but also enables us to hold clinics and assessments for employers based in the North West.”