Caunton Engineering completed the structural steelwork for the new Derbyshire Cricket Academy. This new development constructed by locally based but nationally operating contractor Bowmer and Kirkland provides state-of-the-art cricket training provision.
The building is at maximum three storeys high and comprises three distinct zones; the cricket hall, the community zone and the terrace block. The main cricket hall, the focal point of the Academy of course, is 24 m wide and 43 m long. It is a double height column free space generated by 24m- long N-type steel trusses at 7.2 m centres. It houses five cricket training lanes and can be utilised for both training and indoor match-play. It is clad in polycarbonate strips which are translucent, affording views of the silhouette of the steelwork within. This utilises the feature of steel's relative slenderness through its high strength to weight ratio.
With this in mind, engineer Buro Happold and architect Fluid came up with a most unusual form of bracing, which they christened "Christmas tree bracing", and this is repeated along the length of the facade. This provided a combined solution to the need for stability against wind loads and the desire to make a strong aesthetic statement.
Caunton coincidentally supplied the steelwork for Derbyshire's cricketing neighbour, Nottinghamshire for their Radcliffe Road Stand. So once again Caunton have passed a cricketing test.