Manchester Cathedral

Since 2010 John Prichard has led a team of consultants in the design of the replacement heating system at Manchester Cathedral.

Over several phases between the 1950s and 1980s the Cathedral has utilised areas of its floor as a means to provide warmth to the building’s interior. In recent years the heating pipe work cast in the floor had begun to fail resulting in water coming up through the floor.

The project addressed the following:

Work to replace the under floor heating across the Cathedral

The replacement of the timber dais with a mechanical dais that will rise from the new floor

The relocation of important statues moved after the bomb strike during the Second World War which caused substantial damage to the north east end of the Cathedral

The introduction of Ground Source Heat Pumps designed to draw heat from the ground via purpose drilled bore holes that run below the Cathedral.

The design of the proposed floor aimed to minimise the depth of excavation that would be necessary to accommodate the new floor. Minimising the depth of excavation limited the potential for encountering ground not disturbed since the 1880s when the whole floor was last replaced. The avoidance of undisturbed archaeology was an important consideration for the project for both time and cost constraint reasons.

The design team included Ramboll UK Limited as services engineers, Blackett‐Ord Consulting Engineers as Structural Engineers and Lloyd Evans Prichard as Lead Consultant.

Lloyd Evans Prichard Architects worked in close consultation with Norman Redhead, Cathedral Archaeologist, in order that the possible disturbance of archaeology could be minimised but where encountered was appropriately handled. The detailed and careful resolution of the designs required a lot of time to be invested by the Cathedral Chapter and the Design Team to ensure the proposals took account of as much as could be known of the Cathedral as possible.

The site works progressed well and were completed in 2013 on time and on budget.