Parsons Depot and Vehicle Workshop

Project Summary

The development of an existing facility in Washington to provide a strategic multipurpose depot

The redeveloped Depot allowed the rationalisation of the council’s existing workshop functions and service provisions. A commercial vehicle MOT facility and private vehicle MOT facility were also provided as were vehicle wash and refuelling facilities. A primary aim was to significantly contribute towards Sunderland City Council’s ambitions for carbon neutrality and as such the facility boasts extensive photovoltaics with battery storage to power the future fleet of electric refuse wagons and general fleet vans.

Our Approach

Feasibility designs were produced at the earliest stages, with Portland taking responsibility for the site layout. the process required iterative design and costing exercises to be undertaken to ensure the brief could be met while also
providing cost efficiency.
  • The existing hard standings were retained to satisfy the requirement of sustainability
  • In addition, the footprint of the proposed new building was kept as close as possible to the previously demolished depot building.
  • Close collaboration with the Architectural team to produce innovative designs and layouts to meet the specific forecourt requirements to store the requisite number of vehicles.  Numerous iterations of the scheme were necessary, including various parking configurations and building layouts (e.g. length, width, height, number of floors.)
  • Devising a one-way system with drive-in/drive-out parking bays where possible.  This was achieved despite the added complication of charging points restricting the movements in and out of the bays.


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