Bath lido team turns to technology to meet restoration challenge

The construction team delivering the £6m restoration of Britain’s oldest lido, Cleveland Pools in Bath, has turned to Topcon Positioning to meet the challenges it faces.

All the pools and buildings on the site are listed, and so rebuild and refurbishment works must be completed in line with strict legislation.

Offgrid Surveying, appointed by main contractor Beard Construction, is carrying out regular topographical and as-built surveys, creating 3D models of the site and is involved in setting out works.

Billy Northcott, Offgrid Surveying MD, explained: “There are two pools, a curved bath stone building that was originally used as changing cubicles, and flag stone floors, and everything we do to restore these must be done using specific techniques and materials in line with the legislation around listed buildings.”

To ensure accuracy and efficiency throughout, Offgrid is using a Topcon GT-500 Robotic Total Station, HiPer SR GNSS receiver and the FC-5000 Field Controller to take precise measurements across the site. Magnet 7, the latest release of Topcon’s survey and construction software suite, is also being used to help streamline workflows across the positioning tools. Using cloud-based connectivity, the software is designed to improve accuracy and efficiently manage data and collaboration, updating project teams in real-time (see main image screen grab above).

Northcott explained: “Using the combination of hardware and Magnet 7 software, we’ve been able to overlay our surveys and the designer’s plans to ensure they both align correctly. It’s already allowed us to identify and rectify some potentially expensive and time-consuming errors before they even happened, with updates being made in real-time.”

Cleveland Pools lido in Bath: bordered by housing on the left and the River Avon on the right (photograph courtesy of Beard Construction)

Dating back more than 200 years, Cleveland Pools was a place for the local community to enjoy, but closed to the public in 1984. Since 2003, the Cleveland Pools Trust has sought to restore the lido back to its former glory and secured a £6.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Following the closure of the lido, which was originally fed by the nearby River Avon, houses were built on the hills surrounding the facility, meaning access to the site is limited. The only way to access the site is via a pedestrian walkway between two houses, so all construction deliveries (plant and materials) need to be made using a barge on the river, fed from a temporary materials compound set up approximately one mile down the river at the Avon Rugby Club.

Northcott continued: “The Cleveland Pools is literally at the heart of its community and the only way for us to access the site with our equipment is via the walkway or using the barge on the river, and there’s no room for parking either. That’s not impacted our ability to carry out the surveys though, as Topcon’s equipment is easy to transport.

“We’ve been using Topcon since I set the business up in 2014 and we’ve always found the technology to be easy to use and understand, and it’s been no different this time. The project is historically and logistically interesting, and we’re excited to see the fully refurbished lido open to the public next year!”

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