CD Designs Blog

    Merry Christmas – A Winter Guide


    Merry Christmas from everyone at Complete Driveway Designs! We’re sure that lots of you were hoping for a white Christmas, but it seems that the weather reports were correct, and all we’re going to get is wet and windy. Should we get snow or ice in the future however, here is a quick guide for your pattern imprinted concrete.

    Don’t worry about the effect of snow on your driveway, it is perfectly protected. However if you do decide that you want to remove the snow, you must be careful when doing so. Using something heavy and hard-edged like a metal shovel or wooden broom may scratch the sealant or the concrete. It is best to use a plastic shovel, whilst trying not to scrape too close to the concrete.

    If your driveway becomes icy, you may consider trying to remove the ice. Don’t put salt on it, as the salt will make a mess of your driveway if there are any gaps in the sealant. You may also consider throwing some hot water over it to melt the ice, but in our experience the water just freezes again and you have the same problem. Anti-freeze can be used in watered-down, small amounts to defrost your driveway, and putting sand down can make it less slippery.

    If you want any advice don’t hesitate to get in touch, and stay safe!

    Our New Premises

    Premises 2

    Front Gate And Office Building

    Our apologies for the lack of updates for the last couple of weeks, but as we noted in this blog entry, we were due to move premises, and now we can announce that the move is complete! We have moved from our old base at Walmersley Road, Bury to our new offices at Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom.

    You might know the new place by sight if you live in or near Ramsbottom, as it is right next to the petrol station and just down the road from the swimming baths. You may remember it as the old Ellis Timlin yard, and you can see the location by clicking this link. It provides us with great links to the local area and easy access to the motorway for jobs further away.


    The Side Of The Office

    The new premises will also provide us with a lot more outside yard space, as well as more space to store equipment. We have refurbished the office which now boasts a reception and meeting room, and we are planning to build a showroom next year.

    As we move into our 10th year of business, all of us at Complete Driveway Designs are very excited about the prospects for the future, and hope that we can continue to build on the excellent service and customer satisfaction that we are known for.

    Tribute to Oscar Niemeyer

    Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer died last week at the age of 104. Widely regarded as one of the most influencial architects of the 20th century, he is best known for his work on the civic buildings of the Brazilian capital Brasilia.

    The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum Designed by Niemeyer

    The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro

    Niemeyer, full name Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1907. He graduated with a BA in architecture from Rio’s National School of Fine Arts in 1934, and went on to work at his father’s typography house. He also worked as a draftsmen in an architectural studio, even though they could not pay him, where he worked with Lucio Costa who he would later collaborate with on the Brasilia project and who created the plan for the layout of the city.

    In 1940 Niemeyer was commissioned to design a series of buildings in a new suburb that was being built in Pampulha, a residential area of Belo Horizonte. The Saint Francis of Assisi church is the best known building of the complex, and was considered revolutionary with its bold use of reinforced concrete. It was controversial however, and although it eventually became the first modern listed building in Brazil, the church was not consecrated until 1959, with the archbishop of Belo Horizonte Antonio dos Santos Cabral describing it as “the devil’s bomb shelter”.

    The Cathedral of Brasilia

    The Cathedral of Brasilia

    Building on the success in Pampulha, Niemeyer went on to design many prominent buildings in Brazil throughout the 1940’s and early 1950’s. In 1956 new Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek asked Niemeyer to help him with an audacious project, to build a new capital city for Brazil. He designed a large number of buildings for the city including the national congress of Brazil and the presidential residence, but the most famous is the Cathedral of Brasilia (pictured above), a hyperboloid structure utilising 16 concrete columns weighing 90 tons each.

    After his death on December 5th, tributes came from far and wide. The BBC’s obituary called him “one of the most innovative and daring architects of the last 60 years”, whilst noting he “built some of the world’s most striking buildings – monumental, curving concrete and glass structures which almost defy description”.

    Grange School, Manchester

    The Entrance Facade

    The Entrance Facade

    A new centre of excellence was opened in Manchester this year, which has been designed to educate children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related learning difficulties. The project has cost £14 million and is part of Manchester’s wider £500 million ‘Building Schools for the Future and Academies Programme’.

    Architects Ellis Williams asked masonry company Forticrete to supply diamond masonry in a textured finish and polished Florentine ivory masonry, as well as a Portland cast-stone commemorative stone, giving the building a great and very modern look, as you can see in the photo above. Architect Emma Mitchell said of the project “With Manchester fast becoming a centre of excellence for children with ASD, we wanted Grange School to become a hub for the local community. It was important to us that we created a bright finish that would not only sparkle in the sunlight, but be welcoming and make a visual impact on the area. It was essential that a high quality finish was achieved.”

    The school provides places for 150 children aged 4-19, and also has facilites for training, conferences and specialist therapy so that children from other schools around the area can benefit. Residential properties have also been built, giving ten long-term and ten short-term places for children with ASD and their families.

    McDonald’s Drive-Thru, Newbridge, Wales

    McDonald's Drive-Thru

    McDonald's Drive-Thru

    We were approached by the contractor building the new Drive-Thru to install the pattern imprinted concrete, as our reputation, guild of master craftsmen accreditation and commitment to CSCS made us prime candidates to undertake the works.

    Due to the volume of traffic that was expected on the site our specifications were changed slightly from our usual driveways, with 6 inches of concrete and steel reinforcement mesh being installed. At 5 metre intervals, contraction joints were prepared before pour, allowing the concrete slabs movement as they expand and contract during the colder and warmer months.

    Once poured the client requested the use of charcoal colour and London cobble pattern throughout the drive thru. On the corners of the drive thru we used border mats and turned the pattern to suit the corners perfectly. The size of the job and the fact that we were pouring the job in a colder working environment meant that we had to pour the job in two sections using a concrete pump wagon. The wagon was brought in because the steel reinforcement preventing us from using wheel barrows.

    Polythene was used to cover the kerbs to prevent the chance of staining the kerbs, and grills were removed from the aco drains which were also covered. Prior to completion we cleaned the drive thru and cut in the crack control joints, followed by another clean. The drive thru was then sealed using acrylic seal, and the drive thru was now ready to be used by the public.

    To see more pictures of this installation, take a look at the full case study.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    T: 01706 827180

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