Brooks Dye Works

Brooks Dye Works

About this Project

Acorn Property Group

Halsall Construction


Wall System

St. Werburghs, Bristol

Designed for modern living

Brooks Dye Works delivered 113 one-, two-, three- & four-bedroom homes.

Dave Gittins, Construction Director, Acorn’s Bristol Region:

“Through careful planning, our teams worked to ensure the scheme aligned with our ‘different by design’ ethos, complemented the surrounding area, whilst also making improvements to the public realm.

“Designed for modern living, the homes have been built with sustainability in mind, coupled with our usual high standards of construction detail and thoughtful interiors.”

Tried and trusted supplier

Acorn appointed tried and trusted sub-contractor, Taylor Lane Timber Frame for the quality of their workmanship and the speed and accuracy associated with timber frame construction.

Taylor Lane worked with the main contractor to deliver all 113 properties.   The task was particularly complex at the design stage and during construction as the project included some intricate and site-specific details.

Complex roofs

Taylor Lane had to contend with a variety of substrates, building up from block and beam slabs, cast concrete slabs, and in some instances, over a steel frame for the underground carpark.  Different tolerances and settlement issues had to be factored in.

Also, some of the properties were near existing dwellings so appropriate products and methods had to be used to ensure compliance, particularly with fire regulations.

The development includes a mix of two- and three-storey terraced houses and apartment blocks.  Numerous roofs were designed to accommodate the different property types, including pitched truss, cut, and flat roofs.  There is a complex fall design for the apartment roofs.

To ensure the development blends well with its surroundings some properties have parapets, a popular and traditional architectural feature in Bristol.

Offsite construction reduces build time

Two blocks of six terraced houses enabled Taylor Lane to showcase its design skill and one of the many benefits of timber frame, offsite construction.

Each of the 12 properties features a pitched roof with vaulted ceilings on the second floor.  Taylor Lane engineered these so that the insulated roof cassettes could be fabricated offsite at its factory in Herefordshire and assembled onsite in around 10 days.  This reduced the build time, minimised working at height and omitted the labour-intensive process of insulating between rafters onsite.

Factory-formed floor cassettes were made offsite to create roofs for the apartment blocks.  Taylor Lane then constructed the appropriate falls using decked cassettes and firring.

Where possible, the roofs were formed at floor or slab level and lifted to wall plate level to minimise the requirement for working at height.  Even with restricted lay-down space, in some instances, the cassettes could be installed directly from the lorry bed to final position, such was the speed of installation.

Professional approach and delivery

The project was managed by Taylor Lane contracts manager, Colin Yardley.  As a dedicated site contact Colin provided consistency and reassurance throughout the project.

Dave Gittens, concludes:

“We were impressed with Taylor Lane’s professionalism and the quality of the installation.”

Now sold and occupied

Brooks Dye Works centres around the restored iconic chimney, with each property offering open plan, flexible living with parking and access to outside space.  The former Brooks Laundry dates to the 19th century when the site was used for industrial units by Brooks Dyers and Cleaners.

Each of the homes at Brooks Dye Works is now sold and occupied.

The site is regenerated with young professionals and young families purchasing the properties.  Improvements were made to the public realm, with pedestrian access to the neighbouring Mina Road Park extended opening up routes and spaces which had been lost since the 1950’s. The new Alfred Brooks square centres around the restored chimney and creates a focal point for the community.


Image credit: Acorn Property Group and Taylor Lane Timber Frame