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Roma Publications

Volume 13 - Issue 5

WIND FARMS A golden opportunity for our construction industry


The UK’s most exciting motorway services project


A modern transport hub for one of Britain’s biggest towns

DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY SCHOOLS PPP Revising expectations of education construction




Volume 13t*TTVF5

This month’s edition of Premier Construction highlights the latest advances made by Britain’s wind farm developers. Our lead feature on the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) is backed up by extensive coverage of a raft of current wind farm projects, providing key insight into the skills and specialisms required on today’s wind energy building schemes – ensuring you’re up to speed with every aspect of Britain’s turbine industry. Gareth Platt, Editor

Wind Farm Focus

London and South East

How the BWEA is driving Britain’s turbine industry‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.................4 Castle Pill wind farm set to reach 3MW capacity‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...........‌‌..8

Oxford’s West End ready to take centre stage once again...........................46 Contractors putting finishing touches to monumental service area in Beaconsfield.............................................................................50

North West Renaissance project reawakening Chester’s timeless treasures‌‌‌‌....10 Parrenthorn project on track for completion‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.............‌..16

North East and Yorkshire

Scotland World-class companies flocking to Clyde Waterfront.‌‌‌...............‌‌..72 Smarter schools for Scotland: Dumfries & Galloway PPP‌‌‌...................75

Sweeping improvement programme reinforcing Durham’s World Heritage status.‌.................................................................20 Watkin Jones approaching the summit on Pinnacles project.......................22




Royal Shakespeare Theatre undergoing stylish refurb‌‌‌...............‌....34 Trains returning to Corby after 19-year absence‌‌‌‌‌..........................36

SERC creating a new nucleus of learning in Lisburn.‌‌‌......................‌94 All the latest on the Drehid Waste Management project‌‌‌..............‌...96

South West


SouthGate: a modern counterpart to Bath’s Roman majesty.......................44 Tregarne gets a makeover for its 40th birthday..............................................45

PestEx: a preview.‌‌‌‌‌...........................................................................102 An update on Historic Scotland‌‌‌‌‌....................................................115

The rebirth of Merthyr Tydfil.‌‌‌‌...........................................................‌90 Carillion leading crucial M4 widening project.‌‌‌‌‌.........................‌.92

Subscribe to Premier Construction‌‌‌‌‌‌......................................‌.119 Trade Associations‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌..........................................................122

Managing Director:

Marcus Howarth


Gareth Platt


Stephanie Harrison

Production Manager: Danielle Burgoyne Advert Co-ordinator: Kelsie Howarth PubMJTIFECZ

Roma Publications Ltd. t: 01706 719 972 f: 0845 458 4446 e: w:


Š Roma  Publications  Ltd.  All  contents  are  copyright.  All  rights  are  reserved. No part may be stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in  any form without prior written permission from the publishers. Whilst every  effort  is  made  to  ensure  accuracy,  no  responsibility  can  be  accepted  for  inaccuracies  however  caused.  Contributed  material  does  not  necessarily  reflect the opinion of the publisher. the editorial policy and general layout  of this publication are at the discretion of the publisher and no debate will  be entered into. No responsibility can be accepted for illustrations, artwork  or  photographs  whilst  in  transmission  with  the  publishers  or  their  agents  unless a commitment is made in writing prior to the receipt of such terms.

Renewables firms clearly see the benefits of alignment with the BWEA.


a gathering force for wind and marine power 5IF #SJUJTI 8JOE &OFSHZ "TTPDJBUJPO #8&"  XIJDI DFMFCSBUFE JUT UIJSUJFUI CJSUIEBZ MBTU ZFBS  IBT XFMM BOE USVMZDPNFPGBHFBTBOVNCSFMMBCPEZGPS#SJUBJOTXJOE BOE NBSJOF SFOFXBCMFT JOEVTUSJFT 5IF "TTPDJBUJPO OPX FODPNQBTTFT NPSF UIBO  DPNQBOJFT BDUJWF JO UIF SFOFXBCMFT TFDUPS  BOE JUT SPMF BT B DIBNQJPO GPS SFOFXBCMF QPXFS TPVSDFT CFDPNFT JODSFBTJOHMZ QSPNJOFOUXJUIFBDIQBTTJOHZFBS In its early years the BWEA purported to provide advice, guidance and support to its members, and offer a directory of the UK’s leading renewables firms. Then, in 2004, the Association decided to expand its mission to embrace a more public position, and become a figurehead for wave and tidal energy. Over the past five years the Association has lobbied tirelessly for the promotion of renewable energy, and is now recognised as a font of facts and figures illustrating the benefits of wind and marine-based power. The BWEA’s findings have earned a stream of support in high places. Last October the Association published a report emphasising that the wind industry is one of Europe’s highestgrowth sectors, and arguing that wind, wave and tidal energy projects could drive job creation and stimulate sectors of the economy crucial to delivering the country’s 2020 renewable energy targets. In March this report received the backing of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the Association believes his endorsement will pave the way for firm action on renewable energy in the months ahead. In addition to publishing research about the benefits of wind and marine energy, the Association is now a familiar presence in the corridors of the Houses of Parliament, holding regular gala



receptions. In January the BWEA held its first parliamentary reception of 2009, featuring a keynote speech from Huw IrrancaDavies MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who has Ministerial responsibility for the Marine bill. The event was attended by several ministers and shadow ministers, including the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, financial secretary to the treasury; Richard Benyon MP, shadow marine minister; and Lord Teverson, climate change spokesperson and whip for the Liberal Democrats. As well as working closely with the Government and senior politicians, the BWEA endeavours to build firm relations with regional bodies and local authorities throughout the UK, as well as the business community, the media and the public. The Association organises a series of annual conferences as well as the industry’s annual conference and exhibition, BWEA31, and runs a series of networking events, BWEA Connect, which are free for members. These flagship occasions are augmented with regular meetings and informal workshops, and the BWEA lends its support to a host of conferences and exhibitions run by other similarly prominent umbrella bodies. Each activity is conducted with openness and accessibility; indeed all information provided by the BWEA on behalf of the renewables industry is made freely available on its website (, which has won awards for presentation and content. Renewables firms clearly see the benefits of alignment with the BWEA. In 2007 the Association’s membership grew by 15% - a rate of increase that compares favourably with any other umbrella trade body in the UK. In the same year the BWEA’s executive complement increased from 14 to 21 staff, almost

entirely devoted to policy and communications – reflecting the Association’s commitment to getting its point across and hitting the right audience with each message. 5IFGVUVSF The BWEA is committed to cementing its position in the vanguard of the UK renewables industry through a raft of events over the coming months. At the end of this month the Association is spearheading the inaugural International Small Wind Conference, the first ever global event for small wind system providers ever held in the UK. Taking place on the 22nd and 23rd of April, the event is being co-hosted by the BRE, a world leader in sustainable development, and is being held at the BRE’s offices in Watford. The conference will include seminars, educational sessions and networking opportunities, and will bring all constituents of the global sector together with a common focus on renewable energy policy, international markets, technology awareness, technical research, and educational issues.

Attendees will be drawn from the international microgeneration industry, national government bodies, policy making agencies, the financial sector, the construction sector, academia, the media, as well as consumers and businesses interested in generating their own clean green renewable energy. Then, on 30th April, the BWEA will host the world’s largest event dedicated to wave and tidal stream energy. Known as BWEA Wave and Tidal 09, the event will take place and Bath with sponsorship from the South West Regional Development Agency. Over 300 government and industry professionals will attend and over 25 companies will be on display at the accompanying exhibition, which has just been extended due to demand. A networking reception the evening before the conference, at Bath’s historic Pump Rooms, will provide an early opportunity for attendees to meet, socialize and bounce ideas of one another, and create a melting pot for new theories and initiatives. 'PSJOGPSNBUJPOPOUIFTFBOEPUIFSFWFOUTQMFBTFWJTJUUIF #8&"TXFCTJUFPSQIPOF

West Durham wind farm to complete this summer 5IF MBTU UVSCJOF IBT KVTU CFFO FSFDUFE BU UIF OFX 8FTU %VSIBN 8JOE 'BSN  BOE DPNNJTTJPOJOH XJMM CFHJO OFYU NPOUI PO UIF TQSBXMJOH .8 SFOFXBCMF FOFSHZ IVC OFBS 5PX-BX $PVOUZ%VSIBN The development, which is set to open in June, houses a total of 12 turbines and will serve 15,700 homes – almost half of all residences in the Derwentside region. All power generated by the site will be procured and managed by EON, one of the world’s leading energy providers. The wind farm has been built on the site of an old colliery by local developer HJ Banks, with day-to-day construction led by Hanson Contracting. The project began last May and the building work has progressed on schedule over the last ten months. Although the old open-cast coal mine had been backfilled before work began last spring, the ground was still soft and riddled with old shafts above a base level of sandstone. The unpredictable nature of the ground necessitated extensive grouting, and a varied approach to the design of the foundations. Seven of the twelve turbine bases were built using gravity reinforced concrete structures, founded directly on sandstone at normal ground level. Each of the remaining five turbines is anchored by 36 steel tubular piles - a design solution which had never previously been applied to a UK wind farm. The 340mm-diameter steel tubes, installed by Aarsleff, were specifically intended to punch through the unpredictable backfill, with its obstructions, boulders and voids, to toe into the underlying sandstone bedrock. Each tube is a recycled oil well casing manufactured from high-grade steel; this

solution is particularly stiff, and was less likely to deviate in the backfill than the other foundation options. The infrastructure of the new wind farm comprises granular fill hardstanding areas, gravel tracks, and a 66kv substation. The control building houses monitoring units for the electrical distribution team, and has been built using traditional masonry with a slated pitched roof. Meanwhile the 66kV substation has been constructed in an external compound on external RC footings. All 12 turbines are being supplied by REpower, one of the world’s fastestgrowing wind energy specialists. The MM82 model has a rotor diameter of 82m, and a tip height of 100m. Each turbine incorporates a variable speed generator and electrical single-blade adjustment, and the technology is renowned for its reliability and adaptability. Rob Williams, Renewables Projects Director at HJ Banks, said: “Investing in renewables infrastructure like this will not only help make ‘green’ energy easily available to homes and businesses in the North East, but also helps to demonstrate the evolution of Banks as a business, from what began in Tow Law in 1976 as a surface mining company to a 350-strong organisation which operates successfully across a range of sectors and which has become a major player in the UK renewables market. “Once operational, the West Durham Wind Farm will enable County Durham to achieve the targets for zero carbon generation they were set in the regional planning strategy, making them the only North East county, and one of only a handful of places across England, to do so. “We’ve had a lot of support from local

The wind farm has been built on the site of an old colliery.... people and community leaders for this project, and are pleased to be playing a part in cementing Tow Law’s growing reputation as an energy generation centre.� ROMA PUBLICATIONS


the south east target of 20% of electricity to be generated by renewable energy by 2020

Little Cheyne Court turbines now in full swing "MMXPSLTBSFOPXDPNQMFUFBU-JUUMF$IFZOF$PVSU8JOE 'BSNUIFNPTUQPXFSGVMPOTIPSFXJOEGBSNJOUIFTPVUI PG&OHMBOE Turbine supplier and main contractor Nordex completed the installation of all 26 turbines on the Romney Marsh site in October last year, and all commissioning works have now been done. The site is now up and running, and electricity generated by the turbines is being fed into the National Grid. The 26 turbines will generate clean electricity equivalent to the annual electricity demand of three quarters of the homes in the Shepway District Council area. The wind farm will make a valuable contribution to the south east target of 20% of electricity to be generated by renewable energy by 2020. The area is open and windswept, providing suitable conditions for an efficient wind farm. As the nearest dwellings at least 940 metres from the turbines, the development will provide no disruption to Romney Marsh residents. In addition to the turbines, the site also houses two Met masts, built by Danish firm Carl C. The turbines will be used to gather valuable information on the output of the new wind farm. Regional Development Manager Simon Holt said, “Little Cheyne Court is a landmark project for Kent, the south east and the UK. Every year it will offset the release of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide, making a valuable contribution to the fight against climate change.� A habitat management group, which includes representatives from English Nature and the RSPB, was established during the project, and a community liaison group, made up of local residents, met regularly to discuss the construction. Shepway Friends of the Earth, who supported the wind farm development, said: “Congratulations to the npower renewables team for overcoming the many obstacles that might have stopped this wind farm from getting the go ahead. We supported you from the onset and I am proud to say that the Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm has been the most important and successful campaign we have ever been involved in.�












Pendine wind farm set for summer extension 'PS UIF QBTU FJHIU ZFBST UIF WJMMBHF PG 1FOEJOF  JO $BSNBSUIFOTIJSF  IBT QMBZFE B QJPOFFSJOH SPMF JO UIF 6,T SFOFXBCMF FOFSHZ ESJWF " GJWFUVSCJOF XJOE GBSN  XIJDI PQFOFE JO   IBT QSPWJEFE B DSVDJBM TPVSDF PG QPXFS UP UIF MPDBM HSJE BOE TIPXDBTFE UIF CFTU PG BMUFSOBUJWF UFDIOPMPHZ JO UIF QSPDFTT /PX EFWFMPQFS /VPO 3FOFXBCMFT JT QSFQBSJOH UP MBVODI BO FYUFOTJPO UPUIFTJUF JODPSQPSBUJOHTJYMFBEJOHFEHFUVSCJOFTGSPN (FSNBONBOVGBDUVSFS&OFSDPO Each of the six E48 turbines is rated at 800KW, and they will give the site sufficient overall capacity for almost 5,000 homes. Work on the extension is now at an advanced stage, and Nuon expects the new turbines to be fully operational by the end of August, less than twelve months after main contractor Raymond Brown broke ground on site. The existing wind farm is built on land rented by Nuon from three prominent local farmers. This arrangement always offered considerable potential for expansion, and the large farmers’ fields provided ideal ground for construction; Raymond Brown inherited a site which was already flat and clear, and the project has required little enabling work apart from the widening of existing access tracks, using stone sourced from local quarries, and the creation of reinforced concrete bases for the new turbines. The Enercon E48 has a rotor diameter of 48m and an 80m tip height, and this model offers a number of high-end technologies; each machine is a direct drive variable speed machine, which obviates the need for a gearbox and significantly reduces manpower and maintenance requirements. Christopher Morris, Head of Commercial and Contracting for Nuon Renewables, said: “The E48 is the Rolls Royce of the turbine market – it’s a high-quality, highly reliable machine with an excellent track record of performance. Enercon is one of world’s leading turbine manufacturers, and we are delighted to have partnered with them on this project.� Alongside the turbine erection works, the contractors have had to build a substation in reinforced concrete with block and render, and carrying out several environmental works to attenuate possible damage to local plants and wildlife. An initial environmental assessment demonstrated the need for a cohesive habitat management strategy, and Nuon and Raymond Brown have carefully co-ordinated a consistent, sustainable scheme for the retention of all local species. The project team will be planting a new hedgerow along the periphery of the site, and has already installed boxes on the side of the substation for bat roosts. Site personnel have created a footpath in order to help facilitate a link between the existing

coastal footpath at Pendine to the nearby hamlet of Laugharne. As part of the scheme Nuon is also creating a community fund to the value of ÂŁ2,000 per megawatt, to be used on local community projects. It is hoped that the new wind farm reaches out to the local community, particularly youngsters. Christopher Morris explains: “We hope that the Pendine wind farm will remain a valuable educational resource for years to come. We regularly receive school visits to the original wind farm and we hope more schools will come and have a look now the site is bigger and better.â€?

ABOUT NUON Nuon is a Dutch utility company owned by Dutch Municipalities, and is currently one of the leading development players in Wales. The company’s UK development portfolio currently exceeds 700MW, and all sites are located on shore. Nuon is working in partnership with various local authorities and the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure each of its projects offers a wider benefit. Last year the developer won a concession to develop a 300MW project on Forestry Commission land – this scheme is set to go to planning in the summer. ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Renewables specialist


"O JOOPWBUJWF  SFTPVSDFGVM BOE GPSXBSEUIJOLJOH BQQSPBDI JT IFMQJOH SFOFXBCMF FOFSHZ TQFDJBMJTU *OGJOFSHZUPUSBOTGPSNBOPQFSBUJPOBMXJOEGBSNBU$BTUMF 1JMM  1FNCSPLFTIJSF JOUP POF PG #SJUBJOT NPTU FYDJUJOH BOETJHOJGJDBOUQPXFSHFOFSBUJPOIVCT Infinergy is working with main contractor Raymond Brown Cymru to move the site’s existing 500KW wind turbine three miles away, and install three state-of-the-art 900KW turbines which will optimise the site’s potential. The three new turbines, which are set to be operational next month, will feed directly into the Western Power Distribution grid and will provide sufficient energy to power approximately 3,000 homes. Once the existing turbine has been moved to its new location, it will be connected up to the main Castle Pill site to provide total capacity of more than 3MW. This huge project was facilitated by an extensive enabling phase, during which Raymond Brown and its sub-contractors increased the length of the access road to accommodate the new turbine positions, and excavated the ground to a depth of 2m to create additional access tracks. The local grid system has also been upgraded prior to receipt of power from the new turbines. Raymond Brown and its sub-contractors have already completed one of the huge reinforced concrete foundation bases for the new turbines, and are making excellent progress on a second. The existing wind 500MW turbine has just been taken down and will be re-erected in its new position once its base is complete. During the planning stage the developer took particular care to select a site which would be ideal for wind farm construction. The Castle Pill site was already operational, and had been levelled before the installation of the original 0.5MW turbine. This ensured optimum conditions for the installation of new turbines, and enabled the construction team to make a flying start when the current construction programme began in November. Project director Chris Gould said: “When selecting a site for development we try to minimise the amount of excavation required, and find a flat area which can accommodate the large cranes used to erect the turbines. Because Castle Pill had already been developed, we didn’t have to do much enabling work apart from slightly extending the site. “The project has gone extremely well so far.� Once the bases are complete the turbines will be erected in a process which should take only two or three days. This stage will be followed by extensive commissioning and testing to ensure the turbines are fully functional and ready for use. Each of the new 900MW turbines is being supplied by EWT,



a global provider of wind energy solutions. All three turbines use direct drive technology, a ‘first’ for the UK market by EWT; the direct drive system will eliminate the need for gearboxes, significantly reducing maintenance costs and noise emissions. Each turbine will be operated by a Programme Logic Control system, backed up by hydraulic safety equipment and an emergency stop. Chris Gould continued: “The direct drive technology will significantly reduce on-site maintenance requirements and improve the efficiency of the Castle Pill wind farm. As well as being more powerful than the single 0.5KW turbine they are replacing, the new EWT turbines are more efficient, more reliable and more user-friendly.�

"CPVU*OĂ˝OFSHZ Infinergy works throughout the UK and has its headquarters in Wimborne, Dorset. In order to have a regional presence and work more efficiently, the company has set up a Welsh office in the Technium in Pembroke Dock, being the first tenant there, and is currently in the process of setting up a Scottish office in Inverness. In addition to Castle Pill, Infinergy has already secured consent for a 10MW wind farm in Wales and a huge 51MW development in Scotland. The company’s current project pipeline has a total capacity of 450MW, and its planning team are currently investigating a raft of potential projects with combined capacity of 500MW. Infinergy’s managing director Esbjorn Wilmar said: “The future’s brilliant for our company. We’ve developed a fluid, proactive business model by building up a strong team of in-house experts and avoiding over-reliance on external consultants – this gives us the expertise to react quickly to changes in the market. Because we’re a small company we’re able to adopt a personal approach to customers and the markets, and respond quickly to meet their needs. “We’ve also developed strong links with our construction partners – Raymond Brown has been brilliant on the Castle Pill project, and we have worked particularly closely with them to ensure an efficient, joined-up approach. They’ve been really reliable and productive throughout the project and it’s great to work with such a forward-thinking and ambitious company.â€? Regarding the company’s future strategy, Esbjorn says small sites will play a crucial role: “A lot of the larger sites have already received consent or been zoned out in England, so we’re currently concentrating on small sites and fine tuning our development process. With a small site we can tailor the project to the local environment, and adopt a ‘lean and mean’ approach to cost control.â€?

..a maximum capacity of 18MW – giving the combined site an overall capacity of almost 60MW.

Coomacheo set for eight-turbine extension 5IF HJBOU $PPNBDIFP XJOE GBSN  XIJDI BMSFBEZ PGGFST NPSFUIBO.8DBQBDJUZBOETVQQMJFTDMFBOFOFSHZUP NPSFUIBO IPNFT JTTPPOUPCFBVHNFOUFEXJUI BÊNJMMJPOEFWFMPQNFOUDVSSFOUMZCFJOHCVJMUCZ4*"$ The new development will be known as Curragh Wind Farm, and will effectively serve as an extension to Coomacheo. The two sites will be located side by side near Millstreet in Co. Cork, and both will be operated by Airtricity, a world-renowned supplier of wind energy solutions. Curragh will house a total of eight turbines and offer a maximum capacity of 18MW – giving the combined site an overall capacity of almost 60MW. Pre-construction work on the new extension began last January and construction work commenced in October. The site was previously used for grazing and local peat activities, and the project was preceded by extensive site investigations and ground stability reports. Each of the eight turbines is a Siemens 2.3-82 VS, with a tip height of 80m and a blade length of 40m. This product offers host of key advantages – for example the blades, made of fibreglass reinforced epoxy resin, are produced without weak points and avoid the potential for water ingress. The gearbox is a custom-built 3-stage planetary helical design, mounted on the nacelle with flexible rubber bushings, thereby providing a compact high-performance construction and the lowest possible noise level. The generator rotor construction and stator windings are specially designed for high efficiency at partial loads, and the generator is fitted with a separate thermostat-controlled ventilation arrangement. By ensuring a high level of cooling efficiency, the generator can be operated at temperatures well below the normal level of the standard insulation class, thereby providing the best possible lifetime of the winding insulation. The wind turbine operates automatically, selfstarting when the wind reaches an average speed of about 3–5 m/s. The output increases approximately linearly with the wind speed until the wind reaches 13–14 m/s. At that point, the power is regulated at rated power. If the average wind speed exceeds the maximum operational limit of 25 m/s, the turbine is shut down by feathering the blades. When the wind drops back below the restart speed, the safety systems reset automatically. Each of the turbines will sit on a 19.5m base, manufactured using traditional excavation construction methods. Around 70 deliveries of concrete have been made for each base.

Everything on site is geared to the highest standard of health and safety, in accordance with Airtricity’s standards. The company has introduced a number of compulsory conditions for those working on site – for example reverse parking is mandatory at all times, and handrails must always be used. A spokesperson for Airtricity said: “Our company is committed to the highest standards of health and safety and this is reflected in the practices we have adopted at Curragh. We are confident this extension project will enhance what is already one of Ireland’s most exciting wind farms, and provide further clean energy while minimising carbon dioxide emissions.� ROMA PUBLICATIONS


N o r th We s t

Profile: Chester Renaissance Almost two thousand years after it was founded as a Roman fort, the city of Chester stands as a captivating compendium of architecture through the ages. A plethora of historical landmarks, from the Roman walls to the medieval castle, and on to the Victorian town hall, have been woven together to create one of Britain’s most distinctive cities, an evocative hotbed of creative expression which entices millions of tourists to the North West each year.

But now, as Chester approaches its third millennium, the city is undergoing a sweeping programme of refurbishment. Behind the brooding Roman walls, contractors are reenergising the city centre with premier retail sites, affordable housing, luxury accommodation and top class restaurants. The project will remain loyal to the city’s heritage by preserving its ancient cornerstones, and adding tasteful, sensitive and stylish designs to dovetail with the older buildings. Known as Chester Renaissance, the programme is being delivered by a throng of public and private partners, with funding from various sources. The new developments will help Chester achieve its goal of becoming a “must see European destination” rivaling other leading Northwest retail centres, and will shape a bright new future for the city.

Projects The Renaissance Masterplan includes the



following specific projects: Town hall. Built in the late 1860s, the town hall is one of the finest examples of municipal construction in the country. However this gorgeous Victorian building is now in urgent need of improvement, and must be updated if it is to serve as the fulcrum of the new Chester. With this in mind, the Executive Members of the Council agreed to commence with a substantial scheme of improvements, comprising the following works: s s s s s s s s

Repairs to the roof - all sections apart from the Assembly Room and Tower; Replacement of rainwater goods; Repairs to the balustrade and some external stonework; Electrical update; Window repairs; Repairs to the sub station roof located on the landing to the main entrance steps; Repairs to some internal stonework including waiting hall and foyer area floors; Redecoration and refurbishment of the Assembly Room and Council Chamber and redecoration of additional areas within the building.

The works have taken place over three phases, and the final phase is set for completion within weeks. The first phase comprised re-roofing of the Magistrates Court Room together with minor masonry and window repairs. Phase 2 followed on

immediately and comprised re-roofing the remainder of the building with the exception of the Assembly Room and Tower, which have both previously undergone repair work. The internal redecoration and refurbishment programme began as soon as all the external works have been completed. This included refurbishment of the impressive oak-panelled Council Chamber, reflecting its prominence as a uniquely prestigious facility, and redecoration of the Assembly Room with new curtains and lighting. Additional disabled and services access has been provided, along with a new lavatory, kiosks and shops. These refurbishments, led by Greenough & Sons Roofing Contractors Limited, will reinforce the Council Chamber’s position among the most popular civil marriage rooms in Cheshire, and give the Assembly Room a new lease of life as a performance, conference, banqueting and event space. Northgate. The town hall will serve as a central pillar in the wider Northgate Development, which will create a new, vibrant quarter for the people of Chester and enhance the city’s historic townscape. Worth around £400 million, the Northgate scheme will foster new shops and restaurants, a new bus station and car park, new homes and offices, a new library and new public spaces. The project will occupy almost one quarter of the area within the city walls - about 4.6 hectares. The new development will provide over



N o r th We s t

60 shops and will dramatically improve the range and diversity of outlets within the city. In addition there will a new House of Fraser deparment store and a new maket hall with better facilities and more efficient layout. Visiting motorists will be able to park up in a new 625-space multistory car park, and those who prefer alternative modes of transport will benefit from a new bus station, bicycle and motorcycle parking, along with 25 shopmobility spaces to replace the existing blue badge provisions in Trinity Street. Meanwhile a new performing arts centre will provide a new modern venue for a wide range of cultural activities. This new facility will be flanked by restaurants, cafes, and a new library twice the size of the existing facility. And, perhaps most significantly, 123 new homes will be built as part of the Northgate development, including 33 affordable or low-cost properties. Delamere Street A major investment of £34m will transform the site of the old Delamere Street bus station, plus a section of the Gorsestacks car park, into a vibrant new quarter providing homes, offices, retail opportunities and a new public car park. The Delamere Street will be spread over three prime sites. Site one will house 356 underground public car parking spaces, accommodated over two basement levels for Chester City Council; 106 private residential parking spaces, accommodated over one basement level; seven retail / commercial units at ground floor level; a public courtyard / circulation area at ground level; and 133 one and two bedroom apartments from first to fifth floors.



The ground level of the second site will house two retail/commercial units and 15 private residential parking spaces, and 25 one and two-bedroom apartments will be housed between the first and fifth floors. Site three will incorporate 18 private residential parking spaces at undercroft / ground level, and 54 one and two bedroom apartments from ground to fourth floors. The original bus station has already been demolished to make way for the new development, and work to build the new Delamere Street is now well underway. Castle Gateway. The area around Chester’s stunning medieval castle will soon be home to a remarkable mixed-use development, comprising the best in office, leisure and retail construction. The new Castle Gateway will feature the first ABode hotel ever built in North West England, which in turn will include a Michael Caines fine dining restaurant with views over the Welsh hills. The site will also include 66,000 feet of office feet, and a cluster of 35 luxury apartments topped by a chic penthouse. Thought to be worth £60 million, Castle Gateway is due to be completed in Summer 2009. Railands & Chester Station Gateway. This £10 million project will regenerate Chester station and its surroundings to create a key gateway into the city and enhance other historically important buildings along Brook Street and City Road. The programme will improve the travelling experience for bus and rail

passengers and increase retail and commercial activity in the areas around the station. The project is being delivered by the Gateway Partnership which includes: Arriva Trains Wales, Cheshire County Council, Network Rail and Virgin Trains. Their combined efforts are expected to yield an improved environment, enhanced retail and commercial space, better facilities for passengers, the conservation and enhancement of a grade II-listed station building and the restoration of vacant and derelict buildings to active use. Key improvements to the stonework, brickwork and glazing are now largely complete, and a series of essential repairs to the station’s East Wing are due for completion in June. The project is due for overall completion in 2010, three years after work began. Grosvenor Park Chester City Council is working hard on a lottery funding bid which, if successful, could grant between £250,000 and £5 million to rejuvenate the historic Grosvenor Park and its surroundings. The council has developed proposals for Grosvenor Park, the Groves and St. John’s, which include restoring historical features, creating new facilities and offering opportunities for training and community participation. Further news of this project will be released shortly. Further information For more details on Chester Renaissance, please visit the project website http://



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The National Trust leaving no stone unturned on Dunham Massey project Built almost three hundred years ago, Dunham Massey Hall and Park is one of the proudest surviving examples of Georgian architecture in the UK. The Hall, situated on the border of leafy Altrincham in the heart of Cheshire, houses the finest collection of Huguenot silver anywhere in Britain, and leads out onto a 250-acre country park which harbours an ancient temple and a deer herd dating back to the fourteenth century. Given these attractions, it is unsurprising that Dunham Massey is one of the most popular country estates in the country, attracting 500,000 visitors each year. Until recently the perpetual flock of tourists exerted a huge strain on the estate’s infrastructure, particularly the car park. This strain was exacerbated by the perennial problems of heavy rain and mud, which rendered the grassed parking areas unusable for several months of the year, and caused frequent traffic bottlenecks on the narrow roads around the estate. But now a £1.3 million project funded by the National Trust, which manages Dunham Massey, is equipping the estate with the facilities necessary to maximise its incredible popularity for years to come. Renowned contractor English Landscapes will deliver an extension to the hardstanding car park and a brand-new overspill area, enabling the National Trust to keep all parking berths open throughout the year, and relieve the congestion on the surrounding roads. The design of the car park, prepared by Nottingham-based consultant Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates (HTLA), will also help safeguard an eighteenth century avenue of lime trees - one of the finest arboricultural boulevards anywhere in the UK, which has come under pressure from parked cars in recent years. Cycle and motorcycle parking will be significantly improved, and the National Trust is

introducing new planting within the main car park area. The project was preceded by an extensive archaeological dig, which uncovered several structures and artefacts of interest. The archaeologists unearthed a number of brick foundations to deer barns, a large brick kiln and other archaeological relics dating back to the seventeenth century, providing a tantalising glimpse of Dunham’s halcyon days. The new extension is based on a tarmac surface, with a tarspray and chip coating on top, while the overspill area will be given a loose stone finish for a softer appearance. The stone for the overspill is a classic Marches product called brown beech, sourced from mid-Wales – evidence of the National Trust’s determination to deliver the best possible quality at Dunham Massey. Work on the car park extension began in January, and the National Trust is confident that the project will be complete by the end of the year. Steve McGlade, regional building manager for the National Trust, North West Region, said: “The current project will solve the problems of access following heavy rain and in muddy conditions, and alleviate the congestion caused when the current grass overspill parking areas are too wet to use. “The new design protects and enhances the historic park and its ecology. By following the existing contours of the site the visual impact of the development is reduced and the work can easily be reversed if future demand changes. “Dunham already receives half a million visitors each year, and this figure is likely to increase as a result of the new Winter Garden, which opens in November. It’s vital that we put facilities in place which will cope with demand and preserve Dunham Massey’s reputation as the preeminent country house in this region.�

Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates Ltd Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates Ltd. was commissioned by the National Trust to lead the design team for a car park at Dunham Massey, Cheshire. The challenge was to create new, accessible, facilities - sympathetic to this beautiful Grade I site - for many thousands of visitors. Research into the character of Dunham was essential. It was quickly apparent that one major priority was to relieve the historically significant Lime Avenue of parking, in order to avoid damage to the trees. There were also wonderful, veteran trees in urgent need of protection from vehicles. If trees needed to be removed, wherever possible those that were crowded or unhealthy were selected. The site was inevitably full of archaeological and ecological interest. Archaeology revealed exciting new evidence of a deer barn and brick clamp, and these have been recorded and protected. New specimen lime and oak trees will help soften the relationship between the car park and historic features, such as the ancient temple. The drainage of the car park will be managed by a sustainable drainage system (SUDS), which helps prevent pollution, flooding and ecological damage. In Spring 2009, the first phase of this project is approaching completion. The second phase will shortly follow.

Manchester BSF: update for Easter 8PSLJTQSPHSFTTJOHTUFBEJMZPOUIF.BODIFTUFS#VJMEJOH 4DIPPMTGPSUIF'VUVSFBOE"DBEFNJFTQSPHSBNNF UIF CJHHFTUFEVDBUJPOQSPKFDUFWFSVOEFSUBLFOJOUIFOPSUI PG&OHMBOE The contractors are rebuilding or refurbishing 33 secondary or Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools in the city, at a total cost of more than £500 million. Seven of the new schools will be specialist academies supported by Manchester-based sponsors which include Manchester Airport, The Manchester College, Co-operative Group, BT, Bovis Lend Lease, Laing O’Rourke and



Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s Hospitals Trust. Construction will begin on five of these academies in the first quarter of 2009 with two open by September 2009 and the rest by 2010. The programme is split into several phases, with the first phase carried out by a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke, Aedas Architects and Ellis Williams Architects. With the Easter holidays fast approaching, Premier Construction takes a look at four of the most important current projects:

)JHIFS#MBDLMFZ&EVDBUJPO7JMMBHF (incorporating Our Lady’s RC, North Ridge and Meade Hill)

This project, due for completion next June, will deliver a brand new facility with a state of the art learning resource centre containing a library and IT facilities, with specialist facilities including Science, Humanities and English. The school will be home to 750 co-educational places, 110 specialist educational needs (SEN) and 25 emotional, social and behavioural difficulties (ESBD) places and will have a school and community health suite including hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy room, changing facilities, toilets and hygiene room. The project will be occupied in stages with Our Lady’s RC High School and North Ridge SEN occupying the building by January 2009, followed by Meade Hill ESBD in July 2009.

$BTUMFýFME)JHI4DIPPM Castlefield High School will benefit from a £4million investment which will see the building of a brand new school with state-ofthe-art facilities to help young people overcome their individual difficulties and reach their full emotional, social and educational potential. The project, which began last November, will see a new 55 place educational, behavioural and social difficulties (EBSD) High School built on the original site, after which the old building will be demolished. The Castlefield Campus will have facilities for joint provision training, multi-agency, meetings, parent/carers

meeting room, extended school provision and community use. The project is due for completion this summer, enabling pupils to move into their new premises at the start of the 2009/10 academic year.

#VSOBHF.FEJB"SUT$PMMFHF Work has just begun on a £17 million new build and refurbishment development known as Burnage Media Arts College. The oldest part of the existing South Manchester secondary boys’ school was built in the 1930s and will be demolished to make way for a new three-storey college that will see the number of boys on roll increase by 80 to 1,050. Improvements at the school will include an extension and alteration to the sports hall, the creation of an all-weather sevena-side football pitch, more parking space and pedestrian access from the main road to the college. Many of the facilities will be available to the community outside school hours.

#VHMBXUPO)BMM Work has now started on the £6.5 million rebuilding and refurbishment of the Grade II listed Buglawton Hall in Cheshire to provide a full suite of modern teaching facilities. Investment works will include the refurbishment of the main hall and teaching block, which will be enhanced with state of the art technology and new learning spaces. A brand new residential block will be constructed together with associated landscaping.



N o r th We s t

Parrenthorn project on track for completion early next year $SVEFO$POTUSVDUJPOIBTKVTUDPNQMFUFEBNVMUJNJMMJPO QPVOE FYUFOTJPO BOE SFGVSCJTINFOU QSPKFDU BU #VSZT 1BSSFOUIPSO )JHI 4DIPPM  FOBCMJOH UIF TDIPPMT  QVQJMTUPCFHJOVTJOHBSBGUPGOFXGBDJMJUJFTBUUIFTUBSUPG UIFVQDPNJOHTVNNFSUFSN Thought to be worth around £7.5 million, the project has delivered a total of 18 new classrooms as well as an assembly hall and music suite, and a host of dedicated teaching facilities befitting Parrenthorn’s status as a specialist technology college. Meanwhile the school’s existing features have been updated with a string of like-for-like enhancements. The 18 new classrooms are housed directly alongside the assembly hall and music suite, in a stylish extension designed by architects from Bury Council. The building is underpinned by a proprietary system designed by Scape System Build Ltd, which comprises a lightweight steel frame, a brickwork outer skin and a metal roof, with beam-and-block flooring at ground level and insitu concrete decking atop concrete decking on the upper floor. The Scape system is specifically designed to provide maximum flexibility in both initial design and future refurbishment. A cluster of composite panels have been fitted at high level to create a distinct visual signature, and the roofline curves upwards from single-storey height at the front of the building, above the music suite, to dual-storey height at the rear, over the assembly hall. This dramatic parabola provides a striking contrast with the main building and encapsulates the fluid, dynamic versatility of the new facilities. Within the main school building, Cruden and its sub-contractors



have knocked down existing walls and remodelled the layout to create new changing rooms, food technology units and a replacement dining area. The building’s original roof has been stripped and relaid in the same felt material, and new curtain walled aluminium windows have been fitted in sympathy with the new build. Meanwhile the existing infrastructure has been enhanced with new wiring and M&E fittings, ensuring the building remains fit for purpose in the 21st century. Alongside the main construction work the contractors have added a new playground and introduced extensive landscaping, ensuring the school continues to provide a welcoming, relaxing and inspirational atmosphere for students. Cruden has worked with Parrenthorn pupils to design a set of gates for the front to the school, and plan a new central courtyard to provide a communal space at the heart of the building. Parrenthorn’s business manager Andrew Morley recently spoke about the benefits of the project, saying: “Parrenthorn is already a high performing school, and exam pass rates have recently gone up by 10%. The new space and facilities we are creating will deliver even better results. “The school was first built in 1974 and was starting to show its age. A lot of existing spaces are too small, and portakabins have been brought to ease congestion in the main building. This project will create a more integrated, professional environment which gives each student the space and confidence to fulfil their potential.�

Thought to be worth around ÂŁ7.5 million, the project has delivered a total of 18 new classrooms...

Sheltered project opening up new opportunities in Oldham *U IBT CFFO TBJE UIBU i*G FWFS UIF *OEVTUSJBM 3FWPMVUJPO QMBDFE B UPXO GJSNMZ BOE TRVBSFMZ PO UIF NBQ PG UIF XPSME  UIBU UPXO JT 0MEIBNw 8IJMF UIJT TUBUFNFOU JT PQFO UP EJTDVTTJPO  JU JT DFSUBJOMZ USVF UIBU NVDI PG 0MEIBNTIPVTJOHTUPDLEBUFTCBDLUPUIFMBUFUIBOE FBSMZUIDFOUVSJFT XIFOUIFJOEVTUSJBMCPPNHBWFSJTF UPIVOESFETPGTUSFFUT UFSSBDFTBOEHJOOFMT Large tracts of this housing stock have received little modification since they were constructed, and as a result significant chunks of Oldham’s dwellings have become outdated and unsuitable. The problem has been particularly stark for those seeking sheltered accommodation; until recently, elderly people in Oldham seeking a sheltered home were faced with an alarming paucity of viable options. But this situation is now changing rapidly, thanks to a ÂŁ430 million sheltered housing programme pioneered by Oldham Council, in conjunction with national accommodation specialist Housing 21. The Private Financial Initiative 2 Sheltered Housing Scheme, which will transform more than half of all councilowned sheltered homes in Oldham, improving more than 1,400 designated sheltered council-owned properties including 854 bungalows and 19 group schemes. The project is the biggest single Private Financial Initiative (PFI) ever created specifically for social accommodation, and is a key part of the Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder strategy to reinvigorate the local residential offering.

5IFQBSUOFST Under the terms of its contract with Oldham Council, Housing21 will manage this part of the Council’s sheltered housing stock for a period of 30 years. There will be an initial period of five years for the building and refurbishment work and this is being carried out by locally-based contractor Bullock construction. The Cooperative Bank, which was founded in neighbouring Rochdale, has joined forces with Allied Irish Bank to provide financial support towards the substantial cost of the programme. Bullock is delivering raft of essential services to improve the internal layout of existing properties, and create level, unencumbered access throughout. This will include improving internal layout to allow wheelchair access to some properties; improved accessibility through lifts to some flatted schemes; new, state of the art door entry and warden call systems; replacement doors, windows, heating systems, kitchens and bathrooms (to include level access showers); and essential environmental and security work. Redevelopment projects completed last year include a new build of 14 flats at Lees House and Holland Close in Delph, which was completely refurbished to provide 24 flats in modern sheltered accommodation. In addition, Bullock and its sub-contractors are building a total of 99 new properties through a raft of ambitious construction projects to complement the refurbished stock. One of the most exciting current projects is taking place at Rochdale Lane, Royton, where Bullock is building a total ROMA PUBLICATIONS


N o r th We s t of 59 specially adapted flats on three floors, complete with a restaurant, shop, hairdressers and day centre. The project, known as Tandle View Court, is very much a flagship site for the overall scheme, and it clearly demonstrates the PFI’s commitment to provide wider regeneration through the creation of organic, multi-faceted residential communities. The scheme will ultimately cover 16 different districts across Oldham – Alt, Chadderton, Coldhurst, Delph, Failsworth, Greenfield, Grotton, Hathershaw, Hollinwood, Holts Village, Lees, Primrose Bank, Royton, Shaw, Springhead and Waterhead.

-PDal labour The PFI was set up to revitalise Oldham’s economy as well as its housing market, with particular emphasis on the creation of local employment opportunities. Bullock has recently joined forces with J21, an agency which champions local labour in construction, and engaged in a firm commitment to provide 67 construction-related jobs for young people in Oldham who wish to learn a building trade. Nick Young, construction team leader at Bullock, recently said: “Collaborating with J21 is an excellent example of how partnership working can provide real benefits to the local community. As well as improving sheltered accommodation in the area, we’re supporting local suppliers and businesses and providing training and employment opportunities for the people of Oldham.â€? Meanwhile a throng of local firms including Westfield, John Abbot Flooring, Lostock Roofing, First Choice Homes, Dew Piling, have secured fresh orders through the PFI tendering process. In one three-month period, the sheltered housing PFI scheme put more than ÂŁ2.25 million into the local ecomony; in one year, 2006, the project provided contracts worth a combined total of ÂŁ8.5 million to over 40 local firms. A spokesperson for the project recently said: “This project is a national milestone in so many ways. We hope that the newbuild and refurbishment programmes will open people’s eyes to what is possible in a public-private partnership, and provide a vital stimulus to the overall drive for renewal in Rochdale and Oldham.â€?

Enterprising strategy bringing vast improvement to Warrington’s roads *OGSBTUSVDUVSFBOETVQQPSUTFSWJDFTTQFDJBMJTU&OUFSQSJTF JT OPX JO UIF TFDPOE ZFBS PG B UFOZFBS SPBE VQHSBEF DPOUSBDU GPS 8BSSJOHUPO #PSPVHI $PVODJM  BJNFE BU SFQBJSJOH BOE JNQSPWJOH IJHIXBZT JO BMM QBSUT PG UIF IVHF $IFTIJSF UPXO 6OEFS UIF UFSNT PG UIF DPOUSBDU &OUFSQSJTFJTQSPWJEJOHFTTFOUJBMTFSWJDFTUPJNQSPWFUIF TBGFUZ PG SPBET BDSPTT 8BSSJOHUPO  BOE BMTP NBLF UIF SPBEOFUXPSLNPSFMPHJDBMBOEDPOWFOJFOUGPSUIFUPXOT UIPVTBOETPGNPUPSJTUT Enterprise is responsible for carrying out both day-to-day improvement works and planned maintenance schemes. The day-to-day projects are assigned in areas where Warrington Council’s inspectors have identified an immediate risk to public safety; improvements in these cases typically involve pot hole repairs. In addition the contractor is working hand-in-hand with the Council to deliver around 20 planned resurfacing projects per year, and the two parties are also working in partnership to deliver the innovative ‘Look at the Borough’ Scheme, which aims to provide non-essential safety and serviceability improvements across Warrington on a ward-by-ward basis.



The Look at the Borough initiative has just entered its second year, having achieved considerable success over the initial twelve months. In the first year Enterprise delivered a raft of fundamental improvements to five key wards; these improvements included pothole repairs, signage upgrades and the creation of new road markings, as well as a series of environmental improvements delivered in partnership with Streetscene. Each project has received a positive response from both residents and Council board members, and the work carried out by Enterprise is helping the Council enhance neighbourhood links and enhance the layout, and character, of each ward it serves.

4QFDJýD4DIFNFT IIn addition to these general improvement programmes, Enterprise is also engaged on a number of projects specific to Warrington’s various areas. One of the most major recent projects has delivered a key improvement to the Latchford Gyratory, a one-way system which runs through the village of Latchford on the edge of the Manchester Ship Canal. Under the terms of the gyratory project Enterprise has

Each project has received a positive response from both residents and Council board members..

reconstructed the footpaths around the gyratory, introduced new lay-by parking and reinvigorated the existing street furniture. The adopted highway section has been significantly widened, and Enterprise has inserted new linear drainage channels and Marshall’s block paving to improve the overall experience for pedestrians passing through Latchford. Enterprise is using sandstone blocks reclaimed from a previous improvement scheme, at nearby Lumb Brook, to create a landscape area at one end of the gyratory.

Keith Sanders, who has masterplanned the gyratory scheme on behalf of the council, said: “Enterprise’s work on this project has comprised both essential safety improvements and long-term modifications to ensure Latchford remains accessible for both pedestrians and motorists alike. “The contractor has done a professional job from start to finish, and we’d like to congratulate them on the professionalism, dedication and resourcefulness of their staff.”



N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re

A vital Vision for Durham Durham City Vision is a pioneering partnership set up to deliver radical change across Durham over the next eleven years. By 2020, Durham will be renowned as one of the UK’s liveliest and most diverse modern cities – blending ancient grandeur with the best of modern design. Durham already boasts a UNESCO a World Heritage Site, based around its stunning Norman castle and Cathedral. The challenge for Durham City Vision is to preserve these precious bastions, and to create new landmarks which will dovetail with their historical counterparts to form a cityscape which is at once consistent, contrastive and versatile. Although the partnership is still in its infancy, it has already mapped out a number of fascinating the projects. One of the most aesthetically pleasing will be the creation of Durham Necklace Park, a stunning riverside tract spanning 12 miles. The Necklace Park project, initiated with the help of local people, will join up distinct and often distant constituents to create a singular, accessible amenity destined to support the ambitions of the partnership. A prized environmental asset showing that the appeal of wildlife and wild places can be instrumental in steering an inclusive course of urban regeneration. The concept of the Necklace Park was part of the Durham City Vision Masterplan and it has already recorded several milestones, including the successful Mapping the Necklace project and, in partnership with Durham County Council, the construction of the Kingfisher Bridge across a tributary of the River Wear, upstream of the City centre. The trusted use of a cultural events programme to add vitality and set the tone for economic and physical regeneration has also been integral to Durham City Vision’s progress. A vibrant and colourful series of concerts, street performances and exhibitions culminated in the multiple award winning Enlightenment: Durham International Light Festival last November. Working in partnership with Durham City Arts and Isis Arts, this was a celebration of the city’s religious and industrial heritage as seen through the eyes of different cultures, two of the artists commissioned hailing from Calcutta.



Meanwhile, on the key gateway route from the railway station to the city centre, plans are being developed to transform the street into a high-quality pedestrianfriendly shopping street which will lead visitors into the Market Place and draw locals across the ancient Framwellgate Bridge to new retail and leisure opportunities. Plans are also in place to redevelop the bus station into a high-quality public transport ‘gateway’ to the city centre for bus users, with improved passenger facilities. £5.25m has been secured to redevelop Durham’s iconic Market Place and Vennels (the network of narrow streets and alleyways that criss-cross the city centre). Design work is already well underway, and plans have recently been showcased at a design workshop hosted by TV design guru John Grundy. The plans, which were previewed by a small select audience prior to a more extensive public consultation exercise, encompass physical streetscape improvements, including lighting and signage, and shop front improvements to the Market Place and Vennels, enabling the area to become the most important commercial asset in the City. A dedicated sum of £5,000 has already been set aside to pay for a thorough examination of the Lord Londonderry statue with a view to carrying out any necessary repairs. In addition, key pedestrian routes, such as those around the river and Peninsula, will be reinforced through new high quality surfacing utilising natural materials, and appropriate way marking. The Vision team is also helping negotiations between the three major landowners at the key North Road redevelopment site and representatives of the City Planning Department and Durham County Council Highways Management Team to draw up a design brief for this gateway site, much of which was acquired on behalf of Vision for £3.4 million by One North East last year. This brings a tremendous opportunity to improve links between the railway station, the bus station and the City centre and so breathe new life into this part of Durham. The people of Durham have cited the former ice rink site as perhaps the biggest blot on the City Centre landscape.

Durham Vision has been able to broker a dialogue between City of Durham Council’s Chief Planning Officer and the site owners enabling the production of a design brief for this landmark site, so the way is now clear for progress. Another key City centre location includes the Claypath area, near Gala Theatre, where there are exciting tourism and leisure opportunities to be explored as part of the redevelopment of this key cultural area. Development Design Briefs for both the Ice Rink and Claypath sites are available to download on the Durham City Vision website. Elsewhere, Vision helped broker the £4.24 million acquisition of Durham University’s Old Shire Hall administration building on Old Elvet. This will help the university’s process of relocating its administration, while also creating a future boutique hotel development opportunity.

What is Durham City Vision? Durham City Vision is an ambitious public-private partnership dedicated to ensuring that North East England’s premier historic city fulfils its tremendous potential as key driver of the regional economy. The Vision project was set up in response to the perception that Durham had not been punching to its weight in recent years and the Vision Masterplan was published in its final form last year, following lengthy, in-depth public consultation process. It sets out an exciting vision for the regeneration of the City by 2020, which will raise economic competitiveness by making Durham a more attractive place in which to live, work and shop, to have an evening out or to visit as a tourist. The Durham City Vision Partnership includes City of Durham Council, Durham County Council, ONE North East, Durham University, Durham Cathedral, and the North East Chamber of Commerce. The project has funding support from One North East through the County Durham Sub-Regional Partnership. 0191 301 8300



N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re

The Pinnacles ticks every box for a successful, sustainable city centre development.

Watkin Jones reaches Pinnacles in Sheffield "MM BDSPTT 4IFGGJFME  EFWFMPQFST BSF SVTIJOH UP TFJ[F VOPDDVQJFEUSBDUTPGGPSNFSJOEVTUSJBMMBOEGPSDPOWFSTJPO JOUP TIJNNFSJOH PGGJDFT  USFOEZ VSCBO BQBSUNFOUT BOE MVDSBUJWF SFUBJM PQQPSUVOJUJFT 5IF DJUZT QSJNF QPTJUJPO JO UIF IFBSU PG UIF DPVOUSZ  JUT FYDFMMFOU SPBE BOE SBJM DPOOFDUJPOTBOEJUTWJWJEBOEWBSJFEIJTUPSZIBWFDSFBUFE UIF JEFBM DPOEJUJPOT GPS OFX EFWFMPQNFOU  BOE BMNPTU FWFSZ TRVBSF NJMF PG UIF DJUZ DFOUSF JT OPX BCV[[ XJUI OFXDPOTUSVDUJPO One of the most eye-catching recent developments has taken place on Broad Street, the main access route into Sheffield city centre. Watkin Jones has recently completed a huge mixeduse development known as the Pinnacles, which comprises a student accommodation block for Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Universities, 45,000 sq ft of office space and 39 luxury apartments. Stretching across four acres, the Pinnacles is sure to become a cornerstone of Sheffield’s Park Square district, which is already a nucleus of bars, cafes and commercial outlet. The project has been specifically designed in consultation with Sheffield City Council, with the aim of creating a vibrant environment for its



student, residential, business and retail community. The new buildings have made a significant impression on the Sheffield sky line, and have already captured the local imagination. Since Watkin Jones completed work on the development last August, all 666 student bedrooms have been fully let, and tenants have been secured for 90% of the new apartments.

4QFDJýDT The Pinnacles stands on the site of a former car park, which was purchased by Watkin Jones using internal funding with additional support from HBOS. The construction programme began in September 2006 following completion of an intensive archaeological investigation, which found evidence of buildings dating back as far as the medieval period, along with a number of 17th century structures. The archaeologists recorded each aspect of the dig meticulously, and photographed the findings to give the site’s current and future users a glimpse into the lives of their ancient predecessors. The student accommodation block was based upon a steel frame and metal decking, and the external envelope was clad in zinc and traditional masonry. The 666 students bedrooms are arranged in 146 clusters, with plentiful communal areas comprising kitchen, dining and lounge facilities. Laundrettes and common rooms add to the sense of community, and each bedroom has en suite facilities and a full raft of study furniture. The development incorporates a plethora of sustainable features, including a captivating sedum green roof which will assist the flow of rainwater to adjacent water courses. Like the student accommodation building, the mixed-use block has been built around a steel frame and a metal deck, and the elevations are enhanced by glistening curtain walls, a hallmark of 21st century commercial construction. Several areas of the elevations are embellished with zinc panels and masonry infill, creating a varied, dramatic facade. ROMA PUBLICATIONS


N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re

The result is a balanced, eye-catching development Both aspects of the development are served by two levels of on-site basement parking, and there is also scope for additional parking on the adjacent Stepney Street site. A spokesperson for Watkin Jones said: “The Pinnacles ticks every box for a successful, sustainable city centre development. It is ideally located for both Sheffield and Hallam Universities and is well served by local transport networks – with adjacent tram stations and nearby rail and bus connections providing quick and convenient access for busy professionals on their way to work. “Working with architect O’Connell East Architects, we have endeavoured to maximise the potential of the site through a design which chimes with its surroundings and offers a plethora of ‘green’ features. The result is a balanced, eye-catching development which perfectly encapsulates the dynamic, openminded character of Sheffield today.”



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Wakefield Council grabs Bull Ring by the horns

Wakefield’s historic Bull Ring, which for generations has been a focal point of the West Yorkshire town, is getting a well-earned makeover from Wakefield Council. The project aims to regenerate the Bull Ring and create a more open, attractive and welcoming public space, which will provide a key focal point for Wakefield city centre. The Bull Ring improvements programme also aims to embrace in later phases nearby Teall Street, Brook Street, Westmorland Street and The Springs, creating an attractive pedestrianfriendly district at the heart of Wakefield. Notable improvements will include a central water feature, wider pavements, improved

seating and a range of new lighting. Less cars and more pedestrian-priority crossings will be key aspects introduced as part of the measures to create a safer city centre environment for citizens. Phase 1 of the refurbishment is fully funded through a combination of Wakefield Council, Yorkshire Forward, and Section 106 planning contributions from city centre developments. Key works include installing a water feature and feature lighting, improving road and pedestrian links to the new Trinity Walk retail scheme, the market hall, bus stations and existing shopping centres. Upon completion of phase 1, a series of later phases will be delivered over the next three years, subject to funding. The concept design for the area was developed for the Council by the Leeds-based landscape architects Estell Warren. Council contractor Jackson Civil Engineering (JCE) is leading the Bull Ring project as main contractor. Cllr Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s deputy leader with responsibility for regeneration, said: “There has been a lot of work put into this

scheme and once completed, it will mark another key stage in the Council’s co-ordinated plans for the regeneration of the city, linking in with Merchant Gate and Waterfront developments as well as the stunning new market hall.� Dave Custance, Assistant Director of Urban Renaissance and Property at Yorkshire Forward, who are supporting the project, said: “High quality public spaces help to create a place by linking buildings, providing places for people to meet or rest. “This improvement to one of Wakefield centres public spaces will add another dimension to the renaissance of the city.�

New children’s centre in Wakefield " OFX b  4VSF 4UBSU $IJMESFOT $FOUSF IBT CFFO PGGJDJBMMZ PQFOFE JO 6QUPO  8BLFGJFME CVJMU CZ (FPSHF )VSTU  4POT -UE  UIF OFX GBDJMJUZ QSPWJEFT B SBOHF PG FBTJMZ BDDFTTJCMF BOE GMFYJCMZ UBJMPSFE TFSWJDFT GPS DIJMESFO BOE GBNJMJFT  GSPN QSFHOBODZ VOUJM UIF BHF PG GJWF Services include integrated early years provision and health services for children and the new facility is an integral part of Wakefield Council’s initiative to provide more services and support for children and parents across the community it serves. The new building is known as Upton Children’s Centre, and is an extension to the existing Upton Primary School on Waggon Lane. The new building features a multi-use space which is to be shared by the main school and the new children’s centre, and also features a brand new crèche which will offer sessions for children and parents, including stay and play, as well baby massage, parenting and physical exercise classes. The new centre was opened officially in February by television presenter Harry Gration, after Wakefield Council commissioned NPS Group to develop the project last year. Mr Gration, who describes himself as a ‘family man’, said: “I can already see what this place means to you, and the great thing about it is to see parents working alongside their children, that transition from nursery education to school is so important.â€? Wakefield Council has introduced their initiative of providing improved facilities and services, encouraging children to flourish. Tina Powell, integrated service’s co-ordinator, said: “We are here to support families who may need a little bit of extra help. Our ROMA PUBLICATIONS


N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re aim is to help children achieve and aspire.� The Council remains committed to providing a first-class service for children across Wakefield. Last December the annual Ofsted performance assessment gave Wakefield Council the highest possible score for its contribution to improving outcomes for children and young people, and the assessors were particularly quick to praise the variety, and scope, of the participation and consultation activities provided for local youngsters. Speaking at the time of the award, Cllr Pat Garbutt, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The Council takes its responsibilities for children and young people extremely seriously. We put children at the heart of what we do and we are striving to constantly improve the services and support we provide.�

"CPVU(FPSHF)VSTU4POT George Hurst & Sons Limited offers a range of services from build-only to design and build of new buildings, refurbishment and extension of existing buildings and external works. The company’s projects range from small domestic plumbing and building jobs to projects of £5 million in value. Clients include Local Authorities, Health Services, Education, Social Services, Housing Associations and private clients. George Hurst is firmly committed to the delivery of excellence in every aspect of its work. This is achieved through: t A common focus on meeting all customers’ needs; t A team of highly experienced and skilled people;

Dearne Highgate school set for vital extension .BJODPOUSBDUPS5SJUPO$POTUSVDUJPOJTDVSSFOUMZBEEJOH B  TR N FYUFOTJPO UP %FBSOF )JHIHBUF 1SJNBSZ 4DIPPM POFPGUIFCVTJFTUBOENPTUSFTQFDUFETDIPPMT JO#BSOTMFZ The new extension, which has been designed by Michael Hyde & Associates Ltd, will house three new classrooms as well as staff room, kitchen and toilet area. A new school entrance will be housed within the new structure. In addition to these principal works the contractor is also demolishing the existing kitchen/dining block and community facility building, refurbishing the existing building to deliver a clearer, more stylish courtyard space. The project includes extensive landscaping around the periphery of the Dearne Highgate site. The landscaping works will deliver a new car parking bay and updated teaching/gathering spaces,



t t

Long standing partnering relationships with key suppliers and sub-contractors; Adoption and maintenance of the highest professional standards across all business transactions, backed up by industry accreditation.

and will make the entrance area safer for students and staff. Work on the extension began last November and the build programme is due for overall completion on 4th September, just in time for the start of the 2009-10 academic year. It is believed the programme is worth a total of £1.1 million. Triton Construction Limited is a general contractor providing construction services across Yorkshire and Lancashire on projects varying between £100,000 and £4 million in value. The company’s experienced, dedicated team of construction professionals offers a wealth of knowledge across a variety of construction sectors, including: t t t t

Residential Commercial Industrial Education

t t t t

Leisure Public Sector Retail Healthcare

Triton staff pride themselves on a positive ‘can do’ attitude, and the firm’s growth strategy combines the old-fashioned principles of honesty and fairness with modern management systems, controls and up-to-date technology.

Hard graft pays off at new Endeavour centre 'PVS ZFBST BGUFS JU DMPTFE UP UIF QVCMJD  UIF /PSUIFSO MJCSBSZJO)VMMJTBCPVUUPSFPQFOBTB-FBSOJOH3FTPVSDF $FOUSFGPS&OEFBWPVS)JHI4DIPPM5IFCVJMEJOHIBTCFFO FYUFOEFE BOE VQEBUFE PWFS UIF MBTU UXFMWF NPOUIT CZ SFGVSCJTINFOU TQFDJBMJTU 4BOHXJO -UE  BOE XJMM QSPWJEF *5 FRVJQNFOU BT XFMM BT SFBEJOH BOE TUVEZ TQBDF GPS &OEFBWPVSTQVQJMT The building’s enduring original features have been retained without damage or alteration, and the refurbishments have focused on giving the old library a modern, more efficient infrastructure. Floors have been taken up to install new damp proof coursing, and specialist contractor HI-Tech has supplied a complete suite of IT, data and power systems. Decaying plaster has been stripped and replaced, and the classic slate roof has been re-tiled. The existing library building was largely open plan, and this layout has remained largely unchanged. The existing facilities will be complemented by a two-storey extension, which will house a break room and kitchen area for staff, as well as unisex and disabled WCs.

In accordance with listed building regulations, the extension comprises the same brick-and-block construction as the original building, and an identical set of external treatments. The elevations are clad in brick and render with elements of stone coping, and the annexe is roofed in slate. A host of sustainable features have been woven into the fabric of the building. Future users will benefit from passive ventilation, sun pipes and high efficiency boilers, which will cut down on the building’s carbon footprint and provide a more pleasant environment for students and staff alike. Construction of the new Learning Resource Centre is a vital step forward for Endeavour High School, which opened in 2001 as an amalgamation of two existing schools. Its staff and governors are striving to achieve Specialist Status in ICT and Digital Media, and Endeavour is already a designated Media Arts College. The first-class ICT facilities housed within the new building will enable Endeavour to push for further recognition in each of these areas, and will facilitate the sharing of best practice and the provision of new technologies – two key pillars of the school’s mission statement.



N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re Construction News

Call our news team on 01706 719972

New recyclables hub for Yorwaste at Tancred Five years after it opened for business, the Tancred Quarry Transfer Station now has a dedicated facility for the collection and distribution of recyclable household waste. The new facility was built by Mott-McDonald Bentley Ltd on behalf of Yorwaste, the firm which owns and operates the Tancred site. The Station already houses a waste transfer unit for general waste, and the new building is designed to complement this existing facility. Anchored by a concrete floor slab, the new building is dominated by a steel envelope comprising frame, cladding and roof. The internal layout is broken up by segregation bays, built using concrete A bays, and push walls have been installed on three sides of the building. Local authority refuse buildings will stop at one end of the building, and deposit materials into the segregation bays. A loading shovel will then be used to compress the material and load it

onto lorries, which will transport the waste to specialist recycling treatment centres. As part of the development Yorwaste has also built new office and welfare facilities for the Tancred staff, ensuring the site continues to grow and develop in years to come. About Yorwaste Yorwaste Limited is a company based in North Yorkshire specialising in creating environmentally sound waste management solutions for a variety of customers. The company aims to offer sustainable, innovative and economical waste recycling solutions wherever possible, and this objectives

are firmly enshrined in the Tancred site. Its staff offer a comprehensive collection service and a wide range of local in-house waste processing solutions, which uniquely provides customers with an uncomplicated and transparent audit trail.

Barnsley Hospice bigger and better than ever 4JODF PQFOJOH JO   #BSOTMFZ )PTQJDF IBT CFDPNF The new extension covers two storeys with a floor area of 100 POF PG UIF CVTJFTU IPTQJDFT JO 4PVUI :PSLTIJSF 5IF sq m. The two new beds are housed on the ground floor of the CVJMEJOH QSPWJEFT TQFDJBMJTU QBMMJBUJWF DBSF GPS BEVMUT building, while the first floor is devoted to administrative offices. XJUI MJGFMJNJUJOH UFSNJOBM JMMOFTTFT  BOE PGUFO PQFSBUFT Each aspect of the new extension has been designed in BUGVMMDBQBDJUZ sympathy with the main hospice building. The structure is To ease the strain on facilities and provide an even better service for patients, the hospice’s management team has teamed up with renowned local contractor George Hurst and Sons to deliver a major extension project – the fourth and final stage of the building’s development. The ÂŁ550,000 project, which reached completion just a few weeks ago, has increased the hospice’s capacity from eight to ten bedrooms, and facilitated extensive internal reconfiguration which will enable the hospice to provide a more personal, private and bespoke service in years to come.



underpinned by piled foundations and a brick-and-block envelope, and is roofed in classic slate tiles. The envelope is completed with timber-framed double-glazed windows, and the interior is anchored by a concrete floor slab. Explaining the design of the extension, Ian Carey, chief executive of the Barnsley Hospice, said: “With its bold facing brickwork and deep roof overhangs, Barnsley Hospice is one of the most modern in this area. We were determined to ensure the new extension matches this facade wherever possible, and so like-for-like materials have been used wherever possible.�

Both new bedrooms have been fitted with en suites, and both have been furnished in the style of a high-quality hotel, with soft furnishes and oak trimmings to doors and windows. In addition to the extension project, George and Hurst and its sub-contractors completely remodelled the interior of the main building, breaking a four-bedroom ward into four individual rooms by installing new blockwork partitions. All ten rooms now have en suite facilities, six of the rooms have a shower, and each resident will enjoy direct access to the outside. The existing drug room has been modified, and the patient services office has received considerable improvement. Diana Gibson, Patient Services Manager, said: “This latest development is a real improvement for patients and relatives as all the rooms are single occupancy, which has greatly enhanced privacy and dignity; factors that are so important in the care we provide. “The old four bed ward was nice, but the new rooms are so much better. We also have an improved kitchen for relatives, which is much appreciated, especially by those who are here for long periods.� Frank Carter, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said: “We have always aimed to provide a hotel like environment for our patients and relatives and this recent work has added to the ambience with a very high standard of finish. We have also been able to improve the working environment for staff and volunteers with an enlarged drug room and Patient Services Office. “The doctors and nurses were previously cramped into a room not much bigger than a broom cupboard, but now they have a good space in which to do their important work, which has improved the already high standards of care. I am grateful to the Department of Health for investing in Barnsley Hospice, which is a great benefit for local people.� The build programme took around five months to complete, and funding was provided by the Department of Health.

Fieldhead improvements set for completion this year 4JODFJUTJODFQUJPOJO 4PVUI8FTU:PSLTIJSF.FOUBM )FBMUI /)4 5SVTU IBT NBJOUBJOFE B DPOTUBOU TUSFBN PG UXPXBZ EJBMPHVF XJUI QFPQMF XIP VTF JUT TFSWJDFT BOE TUBLFIPMEFST  BOE VTFE UIFJS GFFECBDL UP DSFBUF B QFSTPOBMJTFE BQQSPBDI UP NFOUBM IFBMUI BOE MFBSOJOH EJTBCJMJUZ TFSWJDFT 5IJT JODMVTJWF BQQSPBDI JT SFGMFDUFE JOBSBGUPGSFDFOUDIBOHFTUPUIF5SVTUT'JFMEIFBETJUF JO 8BLFGJFME  XIJDI IBT CFFO USBOTGPSNFE JOUP POF PG UIFDPVOUSZTNPTUDPNQSFIFOTJWFBOEGPSXBSEUIJOLJOH NFOUBMIFBMUIIVCT In the summer of 2007 contractors, from Interserve Project Services, completed work on a brand-new medium secure facility for people with learning disabilities at the heart of the Fieldhead site. The new service replaced Fieldhead’s old Heath Unit, and provided ten additional beds which enabled people who were being cared for out of the area to receive specialist attention closer to home. The new medium secure service comprises 20 beds across three wards (Appleton, Chippendale and Moore) and has become a key part of the Yorkshire Centre for Forensic Psychiatry over the past two years. People who need to receive NHS care in a low secure environment have also benefited from new facilities that opened on the Fieldhead site in 2008. The Bretton Centre- the result of an £8 million investment to convert four vacant buildings - uses modern innovative design and provides assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. It includes a pre discharge unit and access to a dedicated therapy and recreation centre.

2008 also saw the opening of two further specialist services on the Fieldhead site. The Trust expanded the PICU (psychiatric intensive care unit) and took the opportunity to install purpose built en-suite facilities into each of the existing bedrooms as well as the newly created bedrooms. The ‘Trinity suite’ also opened, for those held under Section136 of the Mental Health Act. Before it opened at Fieldhead the only Section 136 place of safety in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield where assessment could be carried out was a police cell. The Trinity Suite now provides an alternative. Building on the success of the last couple of years, the Trust is about ROMA PUBLICATIONS


N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re

NHS care in a low secure environment have also benefited from new facilities to launch a new specialized pharmacy service at Fieldhead to provide more personalised care for those with mental health problems and learning disabilities. The new pharmacy will formerly open in April. Built as a replacement for an existing facility at St Luke’s in Huddersfield, the Fieldhead pharmacy will offer a centralised, integrated service run solely by the Trust. Staff will administer drugs and provide expert advice to the in-patient wards at Fieldhead, as well as all the community based services across the organisation. Finally, the Trust will soon begin redeveloping an existing building on the Fieldhead site to provide expert support for patients with learning disabilities, who are currently receiving care in the Newhaven Unit at St Luke’s, Huddersfield. This project is currently at the planning stage and it is envisaged that the move from Newhaven will take place in late 2009. Speaking about the investment on the Fieldhead site, Steven



Michael, Trust chief executive, said, “Obviously most people want to be cared for at home or in community settings wherever possible. But when people need to be in hospital it’s important that they are cared for in buildings that are modern, that have the right facilities and that support therapeutic activity. Our capital programme is really helping us improve the services we are able to offer to local people to support them to return to better health as quickly as possible.”

New repair unit set for completion at Alexandra Dock this month "UFBNPGDPOUSBDUPSTMFECZ"5PSO$POTUSVDUJPOFYQFDUT UPDPNQMFUFXPSLPOBOFXCPBUNBJOUFOBODFCVJMEJOHBU )VMMT "MFYBOESB %PDL CZ UIF FOE PG UIJT NPOUI  BU BO PWFSBMMDPTUPGBQQSPYJNBUFMZb  Known as the Marine Engineering Support Unit (MESU), the building will span 23m with an eaves height of approximately 9m. It will house a general maintenance workshop and paint shop, and will be used to repair buoys, floats and pilot launches associated with the River Humber. In addition the project will provide seven berthing and service points for vessels along the existing quay – three more than the existing facility includes. The MESU will be linked to the dock via two 16m ‘finger’ piers projecting into the dock, supported by tubular steel piles 18m long driven into the dock bed. A mobile boat hoist will run along these piers, plucking boats from the water and transporting them to the new workshops. Both piers are being built by A Torn under the overall MESU contract. The new unit will replace an existing maintenance shed, located at Albert Dock. Once the current construction project is complete the dock’s owner, Associated British Ports (ABP), will hand over the land to regeneration specialist Yorkshire Forward. A Torn won the MESU contract in November, after impressing AB Ports with its alternative designs during the tendering stage. AB Ports’ initial design for the MESU was based around

an L-shaped facility; A Torn amended this to a square, which significantly reduced the build cost and brought considerable savings on space. In addition, A Torn created an alternative structure for the piers, utilising a composite steel and concrete design, supported on the piles and the existing quay. This made the installation more economical and required far less piles than the structure originally designed by the client. The contractor started on site on 7th January 2009, taking over a site which had previously been used for general cargo storage. The project team began the construction programme by removing the existing tarmac surface and introducing new ring beam foundations, and a concrete floor slab. The new building is based on a steel frame, with insulated cladding panels supplied by Broadley Roofing; the roof is a composite system, while the walls are a built-up sheeting system. The workshops will be left as large, airy open-plan shells with a seven-tonne overhead crane, bordered by a small section of offices, welfare facilities, workshop and storage. Light will be permitted via translucent sheeting to the roof and elevations, and the offices will be enhanced with plastered ceilings. Meanwhile the piers are being built using lightweight steel tubular piles, driven into the bed of the dock using a floating crane barge. The piers were fabricated off-site before being lifted into place in sections, ensuring a quick, efficient installation



N o r th E a s t & Yo r ks h i re programme. Furthermore, by reducing the number of piles included in the initial design, A Torn has significantly curbed the risk of contamination in the dock bed – a major benefit for AB Ports. Alexandra Dock is a key constituent of the Port of the Hull, and provides a number of vital services including aggregate and dry-bulk handling. The dock also houses the huge Euroterminal, operated by Harding Cargo Handling Ltd; this facility is dedicated to a variety of cargoes including grains, animal feeds and bulk soda ash.

"CPVU"5PSO$POTUSVDUJPO A Torn Construction has established a prestigious client base with repeat business the core of their success. Turnover has now grown year on year and they already have an order book bulging for 2009 with turnover set to increase yet again. Recent projects include a 20,000T Bulk Material Store for Singleton Birch, an Amenity Block and refurbishment for DHL Logistics at Blyth, a high quality 3600Sqft office extension for Bennett Associates, Rotherham and a 50m multi-span bridge in Surry for Burhill Golf Club. A Torn Construction is a nationwide construction leader, specialising in a variety of key services including civil engineering, commercial building, marine, bridges and structures. A key strength is overcoming the technical challenges of unusual projects. The manager’s experience and expertise enables them to look at any obstacle and develop economic alternative solutions and methodology for achieving the goals required. The company commands more than 20 years’ experience and is renowned for its ability to deliver high quality design-and-build projects to clients who require first-class service and continuous two-way communication. A Torn’s growth strategy is built on the development of close relationships with clients by delivering projects on time, while maintaining quality and high safety standards.






At the heart of the project will be a new auditorium, seating around 1,000 people.

A new home for Shakespeare In the list of greatest ever Britons, William Shakespeare has a strong claim for top spot. His plays have inspired billions of people around the world over the past four hundred years and he is widely regarded as the finest writer ever to emerge from these shores. But the bard’s ‘home’ in Stratford-upon-Avon has never really lived up to his incredible reputation; the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST), built in 1932 at a time when movies were enjoying a meteoric rise in popularity, has all the trappings of an everyday cinema and lacks the grandeur and gravitas of the world’s best playhouses. Thankfully work is now underway to transform the theatre into an intimate performance space befitting the status of the man who inspired it. A team of contractors, led by the Royal Shakesdpeare Company’s construction managers, Mace, is currently working feverishly to improve public spaces both inside and surrounding the theatre, and create a more welcoming place for both visitors and local people. The redevelopment project includes a new theatre tower with viewing platform, a theatre square for outdoor performances, a linking foyer to join the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres for the first time and improved cafe, restaurant, access to the building and facilities. At the heart of the project will be a new auditorium, seating around 1,000 people.



The auditorium’s stage will thrust into the audience with theatregoers seated on three sides; the aim is to improve the relationship between the audience and the actor by bringing them closer together and creating a more intimate theatre experience. The furthest seat will be reduced from 27 to 15 metres from the stage, bringing each spectator into the heart of the drama unfolding before their eyes.

Programme The first phase of the project was the building of the temporary Courtyard Theatre, on the site of The Other Place studio theatre on Southern Lane. The theatre, which took only 11 months to complete, is the Company’s main theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon during the transformation of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and surrounding site. The auditorium for The Courtyard Theatre provides a working prototype for the size and scale of thrust stage auditorium that will be in the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Phase two involved a series of new spaces around the theatre; these spaces will house the RSC Nursery, rehearsal rooms and staff who previously worked in the theatre, enabling specialist teams to come in and commence the redevelopment work. New rehearsal facilities were created just outside the town centre, a new

administration hub was erected at Chapel Lane and a children’s nursery, previously housed at the site of the temporary Courtyard Theatre, was relocated. The main body of the project – the transformation of the RST – has been concentrated in phase three. This stage has already involved comprehensive demolition, enabling and foundation works, and a comprehensive remodelling of the internal structure using large amounts of concrete and steel. The project began in 2007 and is on course to reach overall completion late next year.

Design The new Courtyard Theatre, which opened in 2006 with a rare performance of Henry VI, incorporates a new 1,048 seat auditorium, while the existing Other Place auditorium houses the theatres foyer space, cloakroom, bar areas, dressing room and rehearsal space. The development is built on a concrete slab and steel frame, with walls manufacturered using ‘Corten A’ steel sheets - creating a soundproof auditorium to meet the RSC’s high acoustic requirements. This recyclable material, embellished with a cornice line, was chosen so that its red colour blends with the surrounding buildings. Demountable materials have been used wherever possible, facilitating a quick and efficient dismantling programme once the new

RST is ready for action. The Courtyard Theatre was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, which can claim credit for some of the world’s most captivating buildings including the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art in Madrid, the Leipzig Glass Hall and the Spire in Dublin. The team of contractors was led by AMEC and included quantity surveyor Gardiner and Theobald LLP, engineer WSP Buildings Ltd and project manager Drivers Jonas. The new stage will sit atop a seven-metre basement, which has been built using steel capping beams, a secant pile wall with concrete facing and spiral staircases in precast concrete to ground level. The integral structure of the main theatre will be based on reinforced concrete beams

and a concrete frame, with a varied outer leaf comprising brickwork, external cladding and curtain walling, and embellished by sections of the original art deco facade, which will be sensitively restored. A series of steel strusses will be erected over the main auditorium to carry the weight of the roof, the fourth and fifth floors and the scenery loads that will be flown over the main stage; meanwhile the new tower, a centrepiece of the design, has been designed using a tapering, twisting brick outer leaf with an inner steel core. Timber floor decking will be provided throughout the development, and the main lift is being built using traditional concrete with a brick skin. The construction of the Royal

Shakespeare Theatre is being led by Mace and carried out by a raft of specialist contractors including Hewden Stuart Plc, Wingate Electrical, Cementation Foundations Skanska, Billington Structural Steel and Deepdale, a specialist supplier of curtain walling.

Progress The project has already reached the significant ‘topping out’ stage, with a high-profile ceremony carried out late last year. Other key milestones include the completion of excavations for the basement, demolition of the structures which previously stood on site, and associated works such as the erection of bat boxes to preserve the ecology surrounding the site. ROMA PUBLICATIONS



Trains stopping at Corby once more 6OUJMKVTUBGFXNPOUITBHP $PSCZIFMEUIFVOFOWJBCMF QPTJUJPOPGCFJOHUIFMBSHFTUTFUUMFNFOUJOUIF&6XJUIPVU B SBJMXBZ TUBUJPO 5IF UPXOT PSJHJOBM SBJM IVC DMPTFE BMNPTUUXFOUZZFBSTBHP BOESFTJEFOUTXJTIJOHUPUBLF UIFUSBJOGBDFEBKPVSOFZPGNPSFUIBOGJWFNJMFTUPSFBDI UIFOFBSFTUTUPQ This unfortunate situation was made all the more unpalatable by Corby’s spectacular growth; since the closure of the old station in 1990, the town has re-established itself as an industrial hotbed thanks to government promotion, the creation of an Enterprise Zone, substantial EU funding and the relocation of thousands of families from London and the South East. Yet the lack of an appropriate transport hub put off thousands of commuters who might otherwise have moved to Corby, and cut the town off from millions of pounds of potential outside funding. But now, finally, the problem has been addressed. Network



Rail’s brand-new station and transport interchange, with links to bus and taxi services, opened in Corby in late February, and East Midlands trains is currently operating a single daily service between Corby and London St Pancras. More trains will come on stream between now and the end of the year; as this happens, the number of rail services will increase. By the start of next year Corby will have an hourly service to London, and a pilot service to Oakham to the north. The North Northants Development Company predicts that the new railway station will unlock more than £200 million of future investment in Corby, and create more than 1,200 jobs. The interchange is already helping to ease congestion and make Corby’s commercial business district more accessible - indeed a new, high-quality business zone incorporating town centre living is earmarked for land surrounding the station itself. The new development is also a huge boost for Corby’s current



Midlands ‘More in Corby’ marketing campaign ( which has already attracted housebuyers from London and other parts of the country to the borough. The new service will mean that Corby is only one hour from St Pancras International and 3½ hours from Paris.

1SPKFDUIJTUPSZ Plans for a new station in Corby were first discussed at the start of the new Millennium, but in 2001 Northamptonshire’s rail operator Midland Mainline decided against the idea. Then, in 2003, urban regeneration company Catalyst Corby announced plans to build a new station in 2011. These plans were given substance in 2006, when the Department for Transport (DfT) informed bidders for the new East Midlands rail franchise that they would have to include a price for a new station in Corby in their plans. In April 2007 Network Rail announced it had allocated £1.2 million towards the reconstruction of the station as a response to local jobs growth and housing demand. The North Northants Development Company and English Partnerships submitted plans for the design of the station in late July 2007, and detailed planning permission was granted by the Council in November. The new station is built directly alongside the site of the old one, on vacant brownfield land. Essential site clearance began last winter, and the main construction programme began in the summer, with the works parcelled into distinct contracts. Mainland Construction was charged with delivering the infrastructure works and the new transport interchange, while Dean & Dyball Rail, an established Network Rail contractor, was awarded the main railway station project. Although Mainland Construction was replaced by Lodge Park Contractors halfway through the infrastructure project, the works soon got back on track and completion was reached in December, at an overall cost of just over £3 million. The speed of the build programme was achieved by an expert project team comprising drainage and groundworks contractor CLS; infrastructure architect and site supervisor WYG; health and safety consultant Jacobs; DSP Architects, which designed the main station building, and Corus Infrastructure, which provided a bespoke design for the steelwork.

%FTJHO Spanning a 12m x 12m floor area, the station includes a twostorey development comprising the main office area, and a single platform stretching 237m. Outside the main station area, the transport interchange includes a bus area, drop-off and pick-up areas, a taxi rank and car park. Corby is the third station to be built to Network Rail’s new modular design, which will soon be rolled out across the country.



In April 2007 Network Rail announced it had allocated £1.2 million towards the reconstruction of the station

A prefabricated core, comprising four columns and the Corusdesigned roof, was lowered into place in the autumn and erected in less than a week. Around this central fulcrum, the contractors fitted blue tinted glass and terracotta tiles to the elevations, and built the platform using blockwork laid by CLS. The roof has been fitted with UV panels for additional solar generation, and the station platform is sheltered by a huge glass canopy, providing a dramatic visual signature. Recycled materials have been used wherever possible to enhance the development’s sustainable credentials. A spokesperson for the project said: “Each aspect of the new station has been carefully designed for its eye-catching appeal. The off-white colour scheme, bordered by blue tinted glass and blue vertical wall tiles, is particularly beautiful, and the soft white finish of the Corus steelwork encapsulates the light, refreshing and welcoming atmosphere we have tried to create. The canopies in the platform are also hugely impressive. “All the contractors worked magnificently, and the different trades worked in complete unison from start to finish. CLS worked really well during the initial works, and their work to lay the blockwork for the platform was really impressive. The other contractors followed their example and it was a pleasure to arrive on site every day. “As a company, Dean & Dyball Rail looks for contractors who can bring solutions, rather than problems, to the table. We think this stance has been vindicated by the professionalism and expertise of those who have carried out the Corby station project, and we’re proud to have led such a superb team.” Bob Lane, Chief Executive of NNDC, said: “The station will ensure Corby is a destination in its own right and will drive the town’s future vitality as well as the viability of new commercial investment. To deliver this key objective of the Regeneration Framework is an outstanding achievement and I would like to thank everyone who has backed the Corby rail campaign.” Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Pat Fawcett said: “The real winners in this are the people and businesses of




According to government statistics, levels of acquisitive crime within Corby, Northants are significantly above the English average.

captured, recorded and transmitted the images to our National 24/7 CCTV control centre. All communications links are wireless and the system was installed within a day”. The new system did not have to wait long before it saw some action. No sooner had it been installed and some intruders were spotted on site. Audio warnings were given and as is usually the case in such circumstances, the intruders decided that ‘discretion was the better form of valour’ and ran off. Five similar incidents were reported throughout the project, but every time the intruders left empty handed, resulting in a 100% crime prevention record for the Camwatch service, plus a significantly reduced cost for Dean and Dyball. Camwatch can be contacted on 0800 294 2819, pc@camwatch. or at

$-4 Corby. We want to thank every one of them for their fantastic commitment and support. Together with our new shopping centre and stunning new sporting and cultural facilities, this project confirms Corby as one of the most desirable growth towns in the UK.” Anthony Payne, emda’s Land and Development Director, said: “This marks an important milestone in the long-awaited return of a passenger rail service to the town. We look forward to a full rail service in the near future, which will drive Corby’s economic growth and significantly affect the lives of people living and working in the town for the better.”

/JHIU $BNFSB "DUJPO When Dean & Dyball won the contract to build a modular railway station at Corby, Northants, they decided to test the CamwatchTOWER™ monitored CCTV service instead of using traditional security guards, and by the end of the project they were pleased they did! According to government statistics, levels of acquisitive crime within Corby, Northants are significantly above the English average. Consequently, when the manager of the local Dean and Dyball modular station project thought about site security, he wanted to be especially careful. The relatively large site would contain plant and materials that would be attractive to thieves, and he was concerned that traditional security guards might not provide the level of protection required. Monitored CCTV was an attractive alternative, but since the project was scheduled for less than six months duration, he was concerned that it might not be practical. However, he then came across the CamwatchTOWER™, a rapid deployment CCTV solution designed specifically for construction sites and already used extensively by Dean and Dyball’s sister companies Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions and Balfour Beatty Construction. “It was a typical installation for us”, said Phil Bunting, Camwatch’s Managing Director. “The perimeter of the site was secured with passive infra-red (PIR) detectors that trigger on movement or body heat, and four CamwatchTOWERs™



CLS has played a vital role in the Corby Railway Station project, carrying out groundworks and installing blockwork and paving along the platform areas. The contractor has installed high-quality coping stone and tack tiling, laid new drainage and dockwork for cable ducts, and prepared the ground for tarmac to be laid. CLS began work on the project in September and its team remained on site for a total of 14 weeks, completing their contract just before Christmas. Although the Corby contract is a major feather in the cap for CLS, it is just one of a number of high-profile projects being undertaken by this burgeoning, ambitious firm. The company has been in operation for little more than a year, yet in that time it has earned a reputation for reliability and hitting deadlines. Based in Gravesend, Kent, CLS encompasses a total of 30 experienced staff, and its specialisms include groundwork, bricklaying and civils works. The company’s in-house steel workshop ensures it can deliver a bespoke, high-quality finish to a full range of jobs.

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Corby Cube to complete next Spring

Galliford Try plc is currently working on a ÂŁ32.65m contract to build the landmark ‘Corby Cube’ for Corby Borough Council in Northamptonshire. Construction work commenced in February 2009, and the stunning new civic hub, which will be easily identified by is dramatic cubed shape, is due to complete in Spring 2010. The six-storey building, designed as part of the Corby Regeneration Framework, has a concrete structure with four glass-fronted sides and is set in high quality open space forming a new town centre square. The Cube will be dominated by a stunning

walnut-clad 445-seat theatre, with a curved retractable seating system facilitating a flexible flat floor auditorium space, opening up increased capacity. There will also be an additional one-stop shop and offices, council chamber, arts and studio space, library, ground floor bistro, hair salon and marriage room with a stunning terraced roof-top garden. These facilities will interlink council administration, commercial facilities and cultural activities, as part of a major regeneration scheme driven by North Northamptonshire’s Development Company to reinvent the former steel town of Corby. The iconic Cube is designed by architectural practice Hawkins Brown, which has already achieved international acclaim and finished runner-up in the prestigious 2007 LEAF Awards for the Best Public Building Design of the Year. Inspired by the concept of an art deco jewellery box, the naturally ventilated building is a pure glistening cube with four ‘live’ elevations patterned in black and mirrored glass. The

striking design is enhanced by a series of openings and ‘open drawer’ projected spaces. All facilities will be arranged around a spiralling ramp, which will function as the library. The main body of the Cube is built with alternating solid panels and glazing, which will rise to the full height of the building. The panels vary around the exterior according to the solar orientation of each façade. The roof will be planted to provide visual amenity and biodiversity, rainwater will be recycled and the building will be partly powered by several small-scale wind turbines, enhancing the surrounding public realm.

Lawns residents ready to explore pastures new #VJMU JO   UIF -BXOT 3FTJEFOUJBM $BSF )PNF IBT CFDPNFPOFPGUIFNPTUFOEVSJOHBOEFWPDBUJWFCVJMEJOHT JO UIF #JSNJOHIBN BSFB 5IF HSBEF **MJTUFE 7JDUPSJBO CVJMEJOH  TJUVBUFE JO UIF JEZMMJD WJMMBHF PG "MWFDIVSDI  CFHBO MJGF BT B SFDUPSZ GPS "SDIEFBDPO +PIO 4BOEGPSE ZFUUPEBZJUQMBZTBWJUBMSPMFJODBSJOHGPSFMEFSMZQFPQMF XJUI EFNFOUJBM JMMOFTTFT BOE QIZTJDBM EJTBCJMJUJFT  BOE IBT CFDPNF POF PG UIF CJHHFTU SFTJEFOUJBM OVSTJOH IPNFTJO#SJUBJO Extending and modifying such a beautiful building is never easy; indeed several of the Lawns’ key facilities have remained largely unchanged since the late nineteenth century. Yet the care home has recently undergone a sweeping programme of improvements, with specialist contractors updating the building’s

striking original features to provide an even better standard of care for its elderly residents. The improvements have been divided into two key phases. Phase one, which began in January 2007, was devoted to the construction of a single-storey extension containing offices, staff training facilities and seven brand-new independent living suites, a ‘first’ for the Lawns. These units are specifically designed to provide a high quality environment for residents that do not require full-time assistance, but are finding it increasingly difficult to live in or manage their own home. Phase one reached completion last May, enabling the first wave of residents to move into their new accommodation in time for summer. Phase two is based on the construction of eight new standard



Midlands bedrooms, and four additional independent living suites; this stage of the project began last September and is due to complete in April, bringing the overall improvement project to a close. Phase one was initially handled by William Sapcote, before GAJ finished off the development. The new extension was built using traditional masonry construction, facing brick facades and pitched roofs, and each of the seven independent living suites has been finished to a high standard. All suites have a small kitchen, lounge area, seperate bedroom with built in wardrobe and an ensuite shower/toilet with easy access for those with mobility problems, disabilities or wheelchair users. Phase two has been handled by Interclass, one of the leading specialists in its field. Whereas phase one is a completely standalone development, the phase two units adjoin the main building, and have been designed in keeping with the main facade. The independent living suites in phase two are based on the same design as their first-stage counterparts, while the standards bedrooms have been furnished with a full range of amenities including en suite bathrooms and basins, mirrors, overhead and bedside lighting, drawers and hanging space for clothes and a telephone point. A spokesperson for the Lawns said: “The current construction programme constitutes the biggest single change to the Lawns in more than 150 years. We’ve carefully blended old with new to create a higher standard of care accommodation, while preserving all the wonderful hallmarks of the original building. “The Lawns has been devoted to nursing and residential care for more than half a century, and the building is clearly ideally designed to provide first-class care for residents. The current construction programme will ensure that the building continues to provide the highest standard of care long into the twenty first century.�

Ripley’s new Premier Inn due for completion this month 8PSL PO UIF OFX 1SFNJFS *OO BU #VUUFSMFZ 1BSL  3JQMFZ IBTOPXCFFODPNQMFUFEBUBUPUBMDPTUPGbNJMMJPO The new hotel has been built for Whitbread Plc, the hotel and restaurant giant which already operates a Table Table eatery on the same Butterley Park site. The hotel and restaurant will be linked by a walkway, and guests at the Premier Inn will be encouraged to drop in for meals at the pub/restaurant outlet. Spanning three storeys, the hotel includes 60 rooms, with three bedrooms specifically adapted for universal access. Other facilities will include an entrance foyer, reception, office and linen rooms, and 115 car parking spaces have been provided as part of the project. It is thought that around 25 jobs will be created as a result of the development. Main contractor B&K Building Services began work in April 2008 on the site of a car park that had previously served the restaurant’s customers. As the car park was already tarmaced and landscaped, the project team was able to proceed with little enabling work, apart from the clearance of overgrown shrubs and weeds on the periphery of the site. The design team from HB Architects has based the hotel on a timber frame, with elevations in facing brickwork, smooth render



and timber cladding. The ground floor has been fitted with a concrete slab and the upper floors have been laid in timber frame, in accordance with the Whitbread standard. The roof has been laid in concrete interlocking tiles. The elevations are enhanced by a series of rendered feature gables, with a feature ground-floor entrance area. A string course will break up the facade at ground floor level and the first-floor windows will be framed with brick soldier courses. The second floor is punctuated by a network of dormer windows, framed with stained timber and designed to be fully reversible, allowing window cleaning from inside the building.

#,#VJMEJOH4FSWJDFT B&K Building Services (often known as BKBS) is a medium-sized construction company providing a complete building service for local industry and commerce. The firm works across all sectors within the Midlands area on projects ranging from £500,000 to £5 million. BKBS is part of the Bowmer & Kirkland Group, which comprises a total of 26 companies offering a diverse range of contemporary services and skills. The Group’s key services range from main contracting on a traditional, design and build or partnering basis, to specialist sub-contracting covering the majority of construction-related disciplines.



S o u th We s t

SouthGate: Bath, but better For a prospective developer, the classic Georgian architecture which defines the ancient city of Bath is very much a double-edge sword. On the one hand the eighteenth-century buildings which have sprung up around the city’s incredible spas provide a boundless font of inspiration and energy. On the other hand they pose an onerous challenge, as any future development will be measured against the incredibly high standard of what’s gone before. Any developer who wishes to work in Bath must possess bravery, imagination and extensive resources, and their work must be carried out to the highest standard. Many developers would baulk at these demands; for Multi Development UK Ltd, however, Bath’s unique heritage presents a wonderful opportunity. The company has eagerly taken up the challenge of making Bath even better, and is currently making excellent progress on the regeneration of SouthGate, one of the city’s most historic quarters. The new SouthGate will remain sensitive to Bath’s World Heritage status and blend with its Georgian surrounds to create a truly unique enclave, specifically designed to meet the demands of today’s shoppers and retailers. Unlike the enclosed



shopping centres of the past, SouthGate will engender an enticing open environment linked by classic Georgianstyle open streets, with public spaces, including a large central square, specifically designed to hold community, arts and entertainment events. This open streetscape will connect a total of 56 prime retail units, anchored by a 125,000 sq ft Debenhams department store, 99 apartments (of which 25 will be affordable) and eight leisure units. There will also be 860 new underground parking spaces, and the new SouthGate quarter will be served by a state-of-the-art transport interchange, built as part of the overall project at a cost of £13 million. All told the development will cost £360 million and span 417,000 sq ft, making it the biggest mixed-use scheme ever undertaken in Bath and one of the biggest carried out anywhere in the UK over recent years.

The build programme SouthGate will be delivered in three phases. Phase I, due to open in Autumn 2009, will consist of retail, residential and leisure accommodation and the new bus station. Phase II and III will open in Spring and Autumn 2010 respectively; Spring 2010 will see the launch of more retail

and leisure units, and Debenhams will follow in the final stage. The three phases will deliver six principal blocks, each spanning three storeys in keeping with surrounding structures. Each block has been designed to give simple, regular-shaped interior spaces, which can be easily configured to meet a variety of needs. Main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine began the project in early 2007 with the demolition of SouthGate’s existing buildings – an unsightly 1960s shopping centre, the old bus interchange and a multi-storey car park. This was followed an extensive archaeological excavation promoted under the name ‘Bath’s Big Dig.’ The excavation project was accompanied by the construction of a new archaeology visitor centre, and was specifically designed to raise the profile of Bath’s captivating history. During the dig the archaeologists uncovered part of the Roman and Medieval city walls, as well as the possible location of the ‘Horse Bath’ and ‘Bum Ditch’ shown on John Speed’s map of Bath in 1610. Around 140,000 cubic metres of earth were removed during the excavation stage, facilitating the start of work on the superstructure for phase I. The development is underpinned by 700 reinforced concrete columns, the last of

which was installed during March, and the basement car park is being built around a concrete frame. Each building will be clad in Bath limetone facade panels, alongside painted render or stucco, and all six key units sheltered by classic slate roofs, in keeping with the Bath vernacular. However, retailers have to choose from a pallet of shop fronts outlined in a design guide approved by the local council. A spokesperson for the project said: “SouthGate is designed to fit in closely with the surrounding buildings and do justice to this wonderful city. Each block will cultivate its own distinct identity, creating an organic quarter linked by semi-independent buildings and relaxing open spaces. It will be the perfect complement to the timeless beauty of its surroundings.� For more information on SouthGate please visit the developer’s website www.

Life begins at 40 for new Tregarne hostel 5IF 5SFHBSOF )PTUFM  XIJDI QSPWJEFT JOWBMVBCMF DBSF Key materials incorporated within the new hostel include red BOETVQQPSUGPSBEVMUTXJUITQFDJBMOFFETBOEMFBSOJOH brick black clay ridge tiles with end finials; grey natural slate EJTBCJMJUJFT  JT DVSSFOUMZ CFJOH SFEFWFMPQFE BGUFS OFBSMZ roof tiles; self-coloured rendered elevations on a concrete block outer leaf, with areas of hanging slate; and white painted highZFBSTPGVOJOUFSSVQUFETFSWJDF Having recently fallen below the Government’s minimum standards for care facilities, and been increasingly stretched by demand for places, the ageing hostel in St Austell, Cornwall is now being demolished and will soon replaced by a stunning new facility on the same site. The new hostel will offer more convenient wheelchair access and extra space for Short Breaks, a programme specifically developed by Cornwall County Council to facilitate improved learning and recreational opportunities among those with special needs. Tregarne is currently the only residential care home in Cornwall to offer the Short Breaks programme, and the new hostel has been purposely designed to supply this unique service. The rebuilding programme has been guided by extensive consultation with key stakeholders. Cornwall County Council originally talked to residents of Restormel, Caradon and North Cornwall who would like to use Short Breaks, and considered various alternative options before deciding to reconstruct the hostel on the existing footprint. Day-to-day construction work is being carried out by JJ Jones, working to designs by Maurice Vella of Cornwall County Council. The new Tregarne will comprise two bungalows, each offering four bedrooms with additional accommodation for wheelchair access. Other features include a living room, an expansive lounge/dining area, a series of en suite bedrooms and a shared assisted bathroom.

performance double-glazed hardwood sprung vertical sliding window sashes, with slate cills. A spokesperson for the project said: “The new hostel is being built to a classic design, featuring large elements of slate and a number of external features to bring sharp relief to the elevations. In addition, both bungalows will provide the most advanced equipment and technology for their residents, and the design of the new hostel will facilitate improved use of space and greater convenience for each of our clients.�



Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

The West End

a new frontier for Oxford To millions of people around the world, the history of Oxford begins with the emergence of its first University at the end of the twelfth century. Yet, in reality, the city’s roots go far deeper; as early as the ninth century Oxford, a ‘ford for oxen’ was a bustling commercial hotbed, its streets alive with the chatter of merchants. The Norman conquerors built a castle shortly after their invasion, reflecting the city’s strategic and financial significance, and a series of opulent monastic buildings were erected to make Oxford one of the world’s foremost religious centres. Yet these pre-university days are now largely forgotten, and the city’s ancient heart, the West End, has been neglected while the captivating colleges at the centre of the city have created a multimillion pound tourist industry. When people think of Oxford, they rarely envision anything other than the enchanted inner realm inhabited by the city’s students; the outer limits of the city, particularly the West End, are rarely seen or heard about by those who don’t live there. But all that is about to change, thanks to a regeneration project which aims to restore the West End to its rightful place as the city’s commercial heartbeat. This sprawling quarter, stretching from the



railway station to Folly Bridge, will be transformed into a mixed-use enclave encompassing retail, leisure and stylish accommodation. The new West End will do justice to the area’s historical and social value, and will establish a new and worthy focus for city and tourist life. The sweeping regeneration project, known as the West End Renaissance, will create a throng of dynamic new buildings around inviting and welcoming gathering places. Wide landscaped streets will lead to calm spaces for visitors to relax and imbibe the city’s unique ambience. A new retail offering of the highest quality will reflect the inimitable style of the shops in Oxford city centre, and carefully designed open spaces will provide the settings for street performances and public art. A web of water ways, hidden away for decades, will be opened up for everyone to enjoy, with meandering walkways and elegant bridges. Networks of cycle paths and pedestrian routes will encourage people out of their cars, and allow them to take a stroll along the banks of the river on which generations of Oxford’s rowers have honed their skills.

Key projects

Streets and spaces. The new West End will be linked by a lattice of open streets and spaces, punctuated by convivial public squares.

These improvements are intended to create a warm, friendly public realm, ideal for those looking to mingle and socialise, and amenable to those travelling on foot and on bikes. The existing street pattern has been carefully analysed, and will be enhanced by sensitive improvements and a series of charming new thoroughfares. Traffic calming measures will be introduced throughout the West End, and several routes will be pedestrianised. Existing public spaces will be given a muchneeded makeover; indeed Bonn Square, one of the cornerstones of the West End, has already been significantly improved. And, perhaps most significantly, the dense urbanity of the western quarter will be lightened by a series of green spaces, including pocket parks and tree-lined streets.

The built environment

As befits a 21st century regeneration project, the West End Renaissance will be characterised by modern, innovative building design; however the fabric of each new structure will be laced with the legacies of the past, and the architects will be guided by Oxford’s distinctive street patterns and unique vernacular. Each new building scheme will be accompanied by a historic area and archaeological evaluation to inform

design, and all developers must adhere to a comprehensive Design Code, which advises on the layout, form and appearance of new development. Sustainability. The provision of new housing will form a vital part of the West End project. It is expected that the West End will eventually house between 600 and 800 new dwellings, and will engender a strong and balanced community. Houses will be designed to attract families and encourage them to settle in the area, and a large proportion of new dwellings will be affordable. Smaller units will be designed ‘car-free’, while larger dwellings will be given only a single parking space, ensuring the new residential cluster is extremely pedestrian-friendly. Several Oxford university colleges are situated either within, or in close proximity to the West End, and the new residential offering will include a number of purposebuilt student accommodation blocks – these complexes will give students the chance to stay in halls of residence rather than rented houses, and will relieve demand for property in the area. A true mix of uses. The West End will be mixed-use in every sense. Designers will introduce regular windows and doors on ground floors to encourage street-level activity, and each building will be designed with versatility in mind. Plans for the West End include 15,000 sq m of grade A office space, and the existing Westgate Shopping Centre, one of the most recognisable retail hubs in the West End, will be redeveloped to enhance Oxford’s shopping scene. New galleries and museums, built with integral retail space, will inject further diversity and liveliness into the new West End.

Specific projects

Bonn Square. Bonn Square, a crucial communal cornerstone in the West End, reopened to the public last November following a design competition to transform the previously neglected and run-down area into a welcoming, modern and flexible public space. The competition was won by Edinburgh architects Graeme Massie in 2005. New features of the square include bronze seating and landmark structural lighting, making the area safer and more inviting. The redesign encourages accessibility and flexible usage, incorporating historic elements such as the 1898 Grade II listed Tirah Memorial, whilst creating a modern and attractive civic space. A new grove of seven semi-mature trees will provide colour, scent and shade in summer. Oxford Castle. The Oxford Castle development is

undoubtedly the most significant project undertaken in the West End to date. The careful restoration and successful regeneration of Oxford Castle in 2006 have set the tone for the rest of the West End Renaissance. This high quality development includes a hotel, a visitor attraction and education centre (www., restaurants and bars, an art gallery, public spaces, market trading stalls and 40 apartments. County Hall. Oxfordshire County Council’s County Hall site has been identified as a possible development opportunity within the West End. Any development proposal will be dependent on the outcome of the decision to build joint civic offices on Oxpens. However, potential uses for this site include retail, flats, a food and drink establishment, a museum and offices. Frideswide Square. The transformation of Frideswide Square from a cluttered, congested junction to a welcoming and imposing public space is a key priority for the West End Renaissance and Transform Oxford (Oxfordshire County Council’s project to improve the city centre environment for pedestrians). Frideswide Square is one of Oxford’s most important public spaces, yet it is dominated by traffic and highway infrastructure, and is very difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate. For an internationally acclaimed city, famous around the world for its architecture, art, scholarship and beauty, Frideswide Square is currently a disappointing introduction for visitors arriving at this important western gateway. As part of the West End Renaissance this area will be reclaimed as public space, giving priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, whilst allowing the necessary flow of traffic to move smoothly but slowly through the space. It is hoped that Frideswide Square’s transformation will help to create a powerful first impression on visitors to the city, becoming a place where people can relax in an attractive, urban environment; meeting friends for dinner or simply sitting in the shade of a tree watching the world go by.

Oxpens. Oxpens is the largest development site within the West End. Proposals for the Oxpens site include new joint civic offices, ensuring efficient use of land and working practices; housing; a new 4 or 5 star hotel; a multi-functional conference space; a new public square for events and cultural activities; and a new road through the site. Oxpens Field, already an important green area within the West End, will be enhanced to create a more user-friendly park, linking Grandpont Nature Park and the city centre.

The team

The West End Partnership, the team responsible for over-seeing the regeneration, consists of Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the South East England Development Agency. Whilst there has been a short-term reordering of priorities in response to the current economic downturn, the West End Partnership remain totally committed to the ambitions of the West End Renaissance, as laid out above. The West End Steering Group comprises the following major landowners, heritage organisations, funding stakeholders and influential Government Agencies: Capital Shopping Centres Christ Church College English Heritage Environment Agency Homes and Communities Agency John Lewis Partnership Learning and Skills Council Oxford and Cherwell Valley College Oxford Preservation Trust Oxford University Network Rail Nuffield College Other stakeholders in the West End Renaissance include: British Waterways Oxford Archaeology Oxford Inspires Oxford Saïd Business School Oxfordshire Economic Partnership Thames Valley Police ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

Town hall trilogy receives stunning update 5IF 3PNBO TFUUMFNFOU PG $PMDIFTUFS IBT IBE B UPXO IBMMGPSOFBSMZFJHIUIVOESFEBOEGJGUZZFBST5IFPSJHJOBM IBMM XIJDIPQFOFEJO IBTUXJDFCFFOSFQMBDFECZ B OFX CVJMEJOH PO UIF TBNF TJUF UIF DVSSFOU UPXO IBMM PQFOFEJOBOEIBTCFDPNFBOFWPDBUJWFTZNCPMPG UIFNVOJDJQBMJUZJUTFSWFT The modern edifice, which also houses Colchester Magistrates Court, was built at a time of remarkable prosperity in Colchester, and this is proudly reflected in the brooding brick and stone facades which make the building a worthy modern counterpart to the evocative Roman walls just a few miles away. Inside the hall, a series of lavish tableaus and montages bear testament to Colchester’s remarkable past, from the monument listing local martyrs put to death by Queen Mary, to the memorial recording those who lost their lives during the two world wars. The town hall now stands as one of Colchester’s most prominent listed structures, and, as a judicial hub, it continues to play a crucial role in everyday life for the local populace. However, in recent years, the building’s facilities have begun to show their age. The corridors and access points fell beneath minimal DDA requirements, and key services, such as toilets, became noticeably out-of-date. To arrest these deficiencies, the council embarked on a sweeping programme of improvements, which is due for overall completion at Easter. The programme has been delivered in three key phases: the first phase created an independent function space within the Old Library area of the town hall, the second phase addresses DDA access into the main town hall building and the third phase, which is just about to be tendered again, focuses on the Old Library area of the building and will deliver fully compliant DDA access into the same. Working as main contractor, the Cadman Group has reconfigured the building to provide level access in all areas, and created a brand-new entrance with full DDA compliance. Modern health and welfare facilities will significantly improve the visitor experience, and each floor will be linked by a brand-new lift. The design stage was carried out with meticulous care by conservation and restoration specialist Purcell Miller Triton,



and all plans for the project had to meet the approval of English Heritage and the council’s own conservation team. The design process eventually spanned a total of 15 months, and was followed by a rigorous feasibility study which ensured that each modification would provide both an immediate ‘wow’ factor and long-term reliability. A key part of the programme was the creation of level access from one end of the building to the other. To synchronise the building’s various levels, the contractors had to adapt existing floor levels, link in a series of ramps and bridges and install raised access flooring where required. The new floor comprises timber boards and stunning limestone ties, and each section is fully reversible – so the building’s management can return to the original terrazzo finish if they so wish. Meanwhile specialist contractors have been hired to give the building a cutting-edge infrastructure. For example the old toilets have been replumbed and fitted out with new woodveneered partitions, and the cubicles have been given a modern finish to provide a dynamic contrast to the rest of the building. Each toilet now includes energy efficient lights and handdriers, which will help to reduce the town hall’s overall energy usage and demonstrate its commitment to sustainable construction.

New firescreen panels, designed and crafted by hand in the contractor’s joinery workshop, have closed off and fireprotected the old corridors, and brass handrails have been applied to all stairs and ramps. In each phase, specialist contractors have installed new coffered ceilings to give each room a common, consistent character. Perhaps the most striking feature of the refurbishment is the new

DDA-compliant entrance and reception area, which has been added to the rear of the building. The entrance is sheltered by a captivating canopy, and the reception area boasts a sumptuous oak desk. The new reception area will be linked by a single corridor to the new lift shaft, ensuring disabled users can reach any point of the building within minutes. The new corridor follows the route of an existing basement passage, which has been cased in continuous painted wood panelling; the panels are fixed on hinges, and can be moved whenever users need to reach the services behind them. Meanwhile the lift follows the course of an old lightwell, which originated in the basement. Although the lift is completely new, its shaft has been built using aged imperial brickwork, in sympathy with the fabric of the main town hall building. At first floor level the lift leads out to a new meeting room across a brand-new steel walkway, which has been built to span another old lightwell. The lift works were carried out by Titan Elevators New Lifts Division. Titan Elevators have been servicing the construction industry as an independent company since 1997. They hold Lift Regs 1997 schedule 12 certification enabling them to design bespoke lifts and are current holders of the prestigious British Lift Award for the best lift refurbishment under £100,000. A Titan spokesman said “It was great to be involved in the Town Hall project and a pleasure to work with Cadmans on site. We’re very pleased with the lifts and are sure the Town Hall will be too.” A spokesperson for the project said: “The town hall has been in place for over a hundred years, and its legacy stretches back beyond Medieval times. The building is a fulcrum of light on Colchester High Street, and we were extremely excited to play a part in its refurbishment. “We think the building’s founders would be pleased with the changes we’ve made, and would agree that the improvements chime with the town hall’s dramatic facades to create a truly unique and lasting finish.”



Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

Beaconsfield MSA: raising the standard for Britain’s motorway services 4JYUFFOZFBSTJOUIFNBLJOH UIFOFXNPUPSXBZTFSWJDF BSFB .4" BUKVODUJPOPOUIF. OFBS#FBDPOTGJFME  JTBUSVFMBOENBSLGPSUIFDPSSJEPSUPUIF.JEMBOETGSPN -POEPO5IFEFWFMPQNFOU CVJMUCZ4XBZGJFMETVOEFSJUT A&YUSBCSBOEOBNF JTCFMJFWFEUPCFUIFMBSHFTUTFSWJDF IVCDPOTUSVDUFEPO#SJUBJOTDVSSFOUNPUPSXBZOFUXPSL  BOE XJMM HFOFSBUF B CV[[JOH  FDPOPNZ UISPVHI GBDJMJUJFTUIBUHPCFZPOEUIFOPSN JODMVEJOHBIJHIDMBTT &UBQIPUFMBOEBSBOHFPGIJHITUSFFUSFUBJMPVUMFUT The Extra development will live up to its name with a wide selection of super-sized, super-spec facilities. The MSA complex includes Shell’s largest-ever UK Motorway services filling station, with a total of 42 fuel filling positions. Innovative, eyecatching design offers a sharp contrast to other service areas around the country. From the 3,000 sq ft of shimmering glasslined frontage to the aerofoil guttering system and the thermal solar wall these buildings seek not only to please the eye in a traditional setting but also intend to meet the expectations of the energy conservationist.



The ancient woodlands and monument which flank the site have been sensitively preserved to frame the service area in a unique, timeless context, and visitors can prolong their stay by visiting a new lake, picnic area and waterside terrace.

'BDJMJUJFT Central to the development is the 3,000 sq m amenity building, which comprises ten retail units surrounding a foodcourt area. A host of key retailers including Marks & Spencer, Starbucks Coffee, WH Smith, McDonalds, KFC, LP4, Pasty Presto and Gamegrid occupy the units within this key commercial hub. Alongside the amenity building sits the 84-bedroom lodge, operated by Etap, a brand of Accor Hotels. A landscaped courtyard will allow guests to eat, drink and relax outdoors as an alternative to the foodcourt area, and both water features and woodland walkway provide enjoyment for both short stay customers and overnight guests. At the entrance to the development lies the petrol station, which has been designed to maintain Shell’s corporate image whilst



Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

mirroring the architecture on the amenity building and lodge. In addition to the 42 pumping positions, the Shell station offers grab and go food and a shop, cafĂŠ and toilet area. The service area is served by a parking bay with space for 675 cars, 60 HGVs, 15 coaches and 12 caravans, and is linked to the junction of the M40 gyratory layout by a dedicated access road. The developers hope that this key site will become a fulcrum for the Beaconsfield community as well as a hotspot for busy commuters passing the town.

)JTUPSZ After various planning proposals had been put forward at regular intervals over more than a decade, construction of the MSA was finally given the go-ahead in 2005 by then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. The design process was overseen by an experienced team comprising Project & Building Consultancy, the overall project manager; architects DG3 and Nash and Partners, BWB Consulting as highway engineers, Ramboll Whitby Bird; as on site engineers and Sawyer and Fisher as quantity surveyors. In addition site engineering and site investigation was overseen by Peter Cole Associates; with Cleasby Associates undertaking the role of CDM Co-ordinator. Once the outline designs had been finalised, the project went



A host of key retailers including Marks & Spencer, Starbucks Coffee, WH Smith, McDonalds, KFC, LP4, Pasty Presto and Gamegrid occupy the units within this key commercial hub.



Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

The two-storey hotel was erected by Vastec Systems using a unique modular system..

to tender and was awarded to Carillion Regional Building on a design-and-build contract form. Following the leasing of the site by landowner Portman Burtley Estates to Swayfields, Carillion began the project in autumn of 2007 with an Early Works Package (EWP), which involved a number of essential works such as the removal of tree stumps, ground improvement and construction of new boundary fences, the translocation of woodlands soils for replanting at designated receptor sites, and the introduction of native species to ensure the site provides an optimum ecological balance in the future. The Early Works Package reached completion just before Christmas 2007, and the main body of the project began with preparatory works on the main access road in January last year. The construction work has been carried out over several phases, and the contractors have now reached the final stage of works – landscaping around the periphery of the site. These works are due to reach completion in Summer, bringing the project to an overall conclusion.



5IFIPUFM The two-storey hotel was erected by Vastec Systems using a unique modular system supplied and fitted by NV Building & Engineering (B&E), a Belgium-based design-and-build contractor specialising in leisure and accommodation projects. The proprietary system has been specifically developed for the economy hotel market, which places particular emphasis on speed, functionality and adaptability. The system relies on self-supporting room pods which are fitted, finished and tested in plant conditions before being transported to site. Each module comprises a concrete floor and ceiling, an integral steel frame and plasterboard partitions, and finishes and technical installations can be tailored to suit each client. All units are made watertight and weatherproof before they leave the factory, B&E is capable of producing two modules per day at its purpose-built factory, and this rapid rate of construction brought huge time savings for the Beaconsfield Etap project. The overall project was completed inside 35 weeks, and the main structure was delivered, plumbed and wired, in just three weeks. In addition to their speed, the modules are renowned for excellent acoustic properties – a key requirement on this particular development, which faces onto a vibrant retail and amenity complex, and is situated just metres from one of the country’s busiest stretches of motorway. The modules are underpinned by a concrete ground floor slab, non-modular areas of the hotel comprise a steel structure for the central core and public areas, and precast shafts for the lifts. The elevations have been treated with facing brickwork and patinated copper cladding, providing a stunning finish which is echoed by the windows and in-fill panels. The roof is a stylish curved structure supplied by Kalzip, anchored by a steel frame. To realize further time savings, Vastec fitted out the hotel’s lighting system using Hager’s Tebis bus technology, which relies on a single twisted pair cable to connect all the wall switches and lighting circuits. Each circuit and switch is assigned an address and the system is programmed so that the lighting circuits respond to commands from individual switches. The wall switches in a room typically control just one lighting circuit with a central grid-switching panel

behind reception providing central control for the whole building. In contrast to conventional hard-wired solutions, require multiple cable runs from different distribution boards and multicore cabling to the grid switch behind reception, the single cable required by the Tebis system provides a far simpler and quicker installation process with all the reliability of more traditional alternatives.

5IFBNFOJUZCVJMEJOH In contrast to the hotel, the adjacent amenity complex is dominated by traditional site-based building techniques, with only the pre-fabricated steel frame built under factory conditions. Furthermore, the design of the amenity building differs markedly from its neighbour; whereas the Etap stopover is based on a traditional linear shape, the amenities are laid out in a captivating circular configuration, around a vibrant central atrium. Explaining the design of the building, a spokesman for the design team said: “Swayfield wanted a building that differed from the norm and distinguished their product in the marketplace. We decided on an imaginative scheme which is similar to an airport lounge. Indeed the design of the amenity complex takes its references from such buildings as Heathrow’s Terminal 5, one of the most remarkable construction projects of recent years.” The circular internal layout is predicated upon an open, freestanding steel frame, incorporating a series of steel columns and masonry in-fill panels. This core structure is encased by planar glazing, enabling guests to appreciate the splendour of the Buckinghamshire forest as they relax in the seating areas which frame the atrium. The one material treatment common to both the hotel and the amenity building is the Kalzip roof; this material was selected because it was one of the few solutions capable of adopting a two-directional curve, and because it could be adapted to create an aerofoil edge, which contains a hidden gutter atop the MSA buildings. A series of rooflights punctuate the Kalzip structure, and the rear elevation to the building is dominated by the solar wall, supplied by Kingspan. Meanwhile the internal walls have been given a painted finish, the floors have been fitted out in stylish tiles, and the main entrance area boasts a pair of bespoke revolving doors, ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

The hotel and amenity complex are fringed by a stunning landscaped area.. fitted out by Record UK, all of which give a bright and spacious feel to the structure.

5IFýMMJOHTUBUJPO Designed by Nash and Partners and built by Broham Construction, the filling station is one of Beaconsfield MSA’s most identifiable features. The station as constructed with a concrete forecourt and a kalzip roof, and employs Gilbarco’s latest pump technology. Challenges to the design team included the change to Shell petroleum specifications mid contract due to a Client decision to contract with a new operator. Such action demanded the inclusion of a carwash, LPG facilities and additional pumping positions. The overall result under its unmissable branded forecourt canopies is an unmistakable beacon for the M40 corridor and the whole network.

-BOETDBQJOH Given the site’s location at the heart of an ancient forest, landscaping has played a crucial role in the overall MSA project since its inception. The SLR design team worked in partnership with South Buckinghamshire District Council on landscaping and arboricultural matters, and the project will be maintained by a comprehensive landscape management plan which forms part of the reserved matters under the Secretary of State’s planning award. DPH Ecology has provided expert advice on species management, and specialist arboricultural guidance has been proffered by Landscape Management Associates. The hotel and amenity complex are fringed by a stunning landscaped area, where guests can relax outdoors and imbibe the rustic woodland atmosphere. This area was prepared by Homegrown Timber, in order to become the wetlands area and has been subsequently finished by provision of an open courtyard built using concrete paviors, and a boardwalk supplied by Carillion as part of the main contract. This boardwalk will traverse a huge shimmering lake, which sits at the perimeter of the forest and provides a beautiful extremity to the overall MSA development. The lake, which has now been fully excavated, will also facilitate a reed bed filtration system – this crucial technology will take wastewater from around the MSA site and use it to irrigate the forest, in particular an ancient archaeological monument situated just metres from the outer perimeter of the MSA.



%FWFMPQNFOU"DDFTT3PBET The access roads play a vital role in the success of the project, as they will link the development to both the M40 and the local trunk road network, ensuring that the new Beaconsfield MSA becomes an all-round leisure campus, rather than just a standard motorway service station. The access and highways package has involved the erection of traffic signals on all approaches to the MSA; the widening of several motorway slip roads and approaches from the busy A355; and the design and construction of a new roundabout at the entrance to the MSA site. A new, fully signalised T junction has been installed on the A355, along with a pedestrian crossing. BWB Consulting has been responsible for the design of the access roads, the administration of contracts and dayto-day supervision of the engineering works, with Carillion Civil Engineering providing construction services under their separate engineering form of contract. Both BWB and Carillion Civil Engineering have maintained a close working relationship with Buckinghamshire County Council for the duration of the works, and have maintained two-way dialogue with Gifford and Partners, the archaeologist charged with keeping a watching brief over the site. Work on the package began with the extensive tree clearance in the early weeks of 2008, before Carillion Civil Engineering began laying the new highways using a standard, durable blend of tarmac and sub-base. The junction 2 gyratory and the T-junction on the A355 have been fitted out with a high-tech traffic signal system, installed by Peek on Carillion’s behalf. The system, called MOVA can detect queues as soon as they begin to build using sensors placed within the surface of the carriageway, and thereby adjust the ‘green time’ on each stage of signals. The introduction of the traffic signals has significantly reduced the historic problem of queuing at junction 2, particularly at peak times. The access and highways package has been accompanied by its own dedicated landscaping works, with designers softening the new highways using grassed earth bunds from surplus earth material generated from excavation works. This in turn minimised the volume of earth material disposed to local tips and adding to the designers green approach. Following completion of the works in January, Buckinghamshire County Council described the project as one of the best they’d been involved with in the last decade, giving praise to BWB Consulting for their design and management of the highway improvements.



Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

RG Carter creating modern face for ancient Suffolk school 'FX TJUFT DPVME QPTF B NPSF EBVOUJOH DIBMMFOHF GPS B CVJMEJOH DPOUSBDUPS UIBO 8PPECSJEHF 4DIPPM 'PVOEFE NPSF UIBO  ZFBST BHP  UIF 4VGGPML TDIPPM CPBTUT B DPNNBOEJOH SFQVUBUJPO BT POF PG UIF GPSFNPTU FEVDBUJPOBM JOTUJUVUJPOT JO UIF 4PVUI &BTU *UT  QVQJMT BDIJFWF DPOTJTUFOUMZ FYDFMMFOU SFTVMUT BDSPTT BMM TVCKFDUT BOEJUTCVJMEJOHTUPDL BODIPSFECZUIFMJTUFE NBJOTDIPPMCVJMEJOH SFGMFDUTBOFOEVSJOHDPNNJUNFOU UPFYDFMMFODFBOEBOJODSFEJCMFIJTUPSZ Yet, until a few months ago, the main school building was overlooked by two large, unsightly 1970s teaching blocks, which stuck out like sore thumbs against the stunning architecture all around them. Although the two buildings, which housed a teaching block and a sixth form centre, played a vital role in school life, their ill-conceived design failed to match the standards demanded by parents, teachers and staff alike. Last year the school decided to replace the two buildings with a new, single building more in keeping with the school’s proud traditions. RG Carter, one of Suffolk’s most renowned building firms, was appointed to manage the construction programme, and the contractor was faced with the stiff challenge of creating an enduring edifice which would do justice to the school’s listed core yet offer something vivid, vibrant and versatile at the same time. Yet RG Carter has proved more than capable of meeting the challenge. The project team is currently putting the finishing touches to a stunning all-purpose development which features twin atria, split-level rooflines and huge open-plan spaces for students to learn and socialise. A raft of sustainable features, including solar shading and natural ventilation, will reflect the school’s commitment to environmentally considerate construction and considerably reduce its carbon footprint.



5IFCVJMEQSPHSBNNF The new building is being constructed on the same site as the old sixth form centre, which was demolished last Easter. The existing classroom block will remain in use until the current build programme reaches overall completion; once the new building is up and running, the old block will be raised to the ground. The new facility will be split into two distinct halves, with the classroom block on one side, the sixth form centre on the other. The two halves will be clearly segregated by a series of doors, although pupils will be able to move freely between them. Key facilities within the new sixth form centre will include three dedicated ICT areas, a large open-plan social study space and a quiet study area, providing an alternative for those who wish to learn in peace. Meanwhile the teaching block will be dominated by seven large, airy classrooms, which will provide a marked improvement on the cramped teaching spaces which characterised the old building. While the sixth-form centre will span two storeys, the teaching block will encompass a third floor. This stepped configuration will be facilitated by an undulating roof, comprising both flat and pitched sections. Both halves of the building will be anchored by a central atrium; in the classroom zone, individual teaching spaces will shoot off this central atrium, creating a unique visual feature and a clear point of reference for students. The building envelope is based on a steel frame, with facing brickwork, zinc cladding and larch cladding to the elevations, which will be distinguished by a series of projecting gables. The roof has been built using standing seam aluminium, emphasising the modern design of the development. A spokesperson for the project said: “When we initially consulted with the listed building officer they actually recommended something very different from the existing school, and we’ve strived to reflect this in our plans. The design is both modern

and durable; the zinc and aluminium will fade over time, giving the building a classic aged appearance in keeping with the rest of the school.� The majority of the school’s hot water requirements will be met by solar heating, and it is thought that this technology will save around 800kg of carbon every year. Meanwhile, an air-to-heat pump will bring a carbon dioxide reduction of around 9600kg per annum. Levels of insulation will exceed building regulations and significantly reduce energy requirements, and the natural ventilation will maximise the benefits of the surrounding environment. The project spokesperson continued: “The building is specifically designed to dovetail with its surroundings and conserve energy wherever possible. It’s a forward-thinking development in every sense, and will provide a modern counterpart to the grand old buildings around it.�

Mears and Welywn Hatfield Council: a partnership built to last *O  .FBST BOE 8FMXZO )BUGJFME DPVODJM CFHBO POF PG UIF MPOHFTU BOE NPTU TJHOJGJDBOU QVCMJDQSJWBUF QBSUOFSTIJQTFWFSDPODFJWFEJOUIF6,5IFUXPQBSUJFT JOJUJBMMZ XPSLFE UPHFUIFS VOEFS B TUSBUFHJD QBSUOFSJOH DPOUSBDU VOEFSXIJDI.FBSTQSPWJEFEBSBGUPGFTTFOUJBM TFSWJDFT TVDI BT SPPGJOH  GFODJOH BOE FMFDUSJDBM XPSL 5IJTBHSFFNFOUXBTPSJHJOBMMZTDIFEVMFEUPMBTUGPSVQUP UFOZFBSTIPXFWFS JOJUXBTTVQFSTFEFECZBOFX ZFBS  b NJMMJPO IPVTJOH NBJOUFOBODF DPOUSBDUT XIJDI CJOET .FBST UP BMM 8FMXZO )BUGJFMET FTTFOUJBM SFQBJSBOEQMBOOFENBJOUFOBODFBDUJWJUJFTVQVOUJM Mears was awarded the 2007 contract after consistently impressing the tenants, and council stakeholders, of Welwyn Hatfield with its customer service, attention to detail and value for money. Indeed the company was the unanimous preference of the tenants, councillors and officers involved in the selection programme. Under the initial contract Mears helped to deliver a number of tangible improvements – by 2007 Welwyn Hatfield’s social houses were among the best maintained in the country, with the third highest national rating for energy efficiency. The 2007 agreement aimed to build on these advances and

make further gains. Speaking at the time of the award, Councillor Roger Trigg, Welwyn Hatfield’s executive member for housing, said: “The contract will bring together both the day-to-day responsive repairs and the planned maintenance work, ensuring that the most efficient approach to preventative maintenance is achieved. The contract enshrines a strong role for tenants in the design, improvement and monitoring of the service.�

3FQBJST Under the terms of the contract, Mears assumed responsibility for a number of essential repairs which Welwyn Hatfield Council is obliged to provide. These include: t Structural items - roof, walls, floors and stairs; t Electrical items - wiring, plug sockets, light fittings and switches; t Plumbing items - pipework, tanks, stopcocks, taps, bathroom and toilet fittings; t External fittings - outside doors and windows (not including glazing), gutters and fascias (the flat surface behind a gutter); ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t




Internal fittings: inside doors, skirting boards, architraves (the frame around a door, window or opening) and kitchen cupboards; t Water heating systems: immersion heaters and Ascot heaters. The time taken to carry out each repair depends on the individual circumstance. Welwyn Hatfield has created four different priority categories, ranging from urgent repairs which potentially place tenants in danger, to non-urgent repairs, to non-urgent repairs such as cleaning out gutters. The four categories are listed as follows. 1SJPSJUZ0OF TBNFEBZ

This is for emergency situations where people are in danger or where their home or surrounding homes could be seriously damaged. In these cases the Mears team endeavours to reach the tenant as soon as possible.  Examples of this category include: t smell of gas or partial/total loss of gas supply t electrical repairs where injury is foreseeable, e.g. public stairwells, kitchens, or where there is a danger of fire t electrical repairs where there is no light or power t repairs to doors/windows to make them secure t serious water leaks causing severe damage, e.g. bringing ceilings down or close to electrics t blockages where raw sewerage is overflowing, or where the toilet is not flushing, the sink is out of action or there is a blocked waste pipe t dangerous brick walls, balcony rails, floors, ceilings  t no heating or no hot water between 31 October and 1 May, or where there is no cold water from any of the taps t blocked flue to fire or boiler 1SJPSJUZ5XP UISFFXPSLJOHEBZT

This is specifically for urgent works that do not fall into Category One, such as repairs that do not pose a significant risk to health

The contract enshrines a strong role for tenants in the design, improvement and monitoring of the service or safety and are therefore not classified as emergencies. Examples include: t repairs to leaking pipework; t clearing blocked drains; t repairs to soil pipe; t replacement of missing roof tiles where causing a serious leak; t replacing door/window fittings where security is threatened; t repairs to immersion heater; t reglazing windows where security is not threatened; t repairs to ball valves; t door entry system not working where the door is unlocked. PriPSJUZ5ISFF UISFFXFFLT

This is for non-urgent internal repairs that may seriously damage the structure or become dangerous if placed in Category Four. Examples include: t repair or renew taps, ball valves, cisterns, stopcocks, wastes, cone joints, wash basins or main storage tanks; t ease and adjust doors or windows; ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t t t t t t t t

repairs to doors or windows, including frames and fittings; repairs to flooring, stairs, skirting, architraves, etc; renewal of bath panels, ducts, etc; replacing or refixing cracked/broken tiles or slates; replacing roof tiles; repairs to chimney stack and flashings; repair or renewal of ceilings and internal wall plaster (usually by appointment).


This is usually for external repairs that are not urgent or likely to become dangerous. Some internal renewals of major items may be in this category but may be upgraded in certain circumstances. Examples include: t repair or renew guttering; t repair or renew garage doors; t repair or renew fencing; t renew bath, including all associated work; t repair or renew sink top and base unit, including all associated work; t repair or rebuild walls, pointing, rendering, etc; t repair or renew paths; t renew doors. In addition to these primary repair works, Mears will also carry out a number of rechargeable repairs, which are subject to a specific request and funding from tenants. These repairs encompass damage caused by tenants, their families or their visitors, both accidental and deliberate, and include toilet renewal, lock changes and PVCu reglazing.

%FDFOU)PNFT Welwyn Hatfield Council is firmly committed to meeting the targets enshrined within the Goverment’s Decent Homes



Standard, and has out a number of ‘planned maintenance’ schemes over the past decade to ensure these targets are met. These schemes have embraced re-roofing, window and door replacement schemes, external insulation projects, loft insulation and central heating upgrades. The planned maintenance schemes have ensured that, externally, the majority of Welwyn Hatfield’s properties are in very good condition. However a series of stock condition surveys have highlighted the need for a number of internal improvements in accordance with the Decent Homes targets. Mears is currently delivering these improvements through a number of planned programmes including central heating installations, loft and cavity wall insulation, and kitchen and bathroom refurbishments. Welwyn Hatfield is obliged to ensure that all its properties meet the Decent Homes standard by 2010, and Mears is playing a vital role in meeting this obligation.

"CPVU.FBST Mears is already widely regarded as the leading social housing repairs and maintenance provider in the UK and a growing presence in the domiciliary care market, with a subsidiary mechanical and engineering division. An ambitious company with a powerful vision, Mears operates in a growing market, with an excellent financial base, strong management and a solid base of clients. Mears’ business is focused on the social housing and community sector with the specific objective of bringing the highest standards of care to people, their homes and their communities. The company specifically looks to win long-term contracts for repairs and maintenance work, Decent Homes Standard upgrading, domiciliary care and improvement projects for community spaces, facilities and other factors affecting quality of life.

Construction News

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Peterborough Garden Park set to turn neighbours green with envy

Peterborough’s green-fingered fraternity is eagerly awaiting the completion of a huge new garden centre, which will become a beacon and focal point for one of Britain’s fastestgrowing cities. The new development, known as Peterborough Garden Park, will be anchored by a 50,000 garden centre, operated by world-renowned specialist Van Hage. Sixteen complementary retail units, spanning a further 40,000 sq ft, will branch off the main garden centre in a dog-leg layout, and customers will also enjoy a huge outdoor planteria on the other side of the complex. Visitors will be able to eat outdoors in a captivating cafÊ courtyard, and motorists will be sure to find space in a 412-bay car park next door to the main garden centre building. Those looking to stretch their legs and have some fun

will be able to frolic in a secure play area opposite the planteria, or take a stroll through a scenic woodland walk on the southern fringe of the site. The project is worth around ÂŁ25 million, and funding has been provided by a syndicate of banks. Main contractor RG Carter began work on the development last Autumn, and the construction team is currently on schedule to reach completion by early Autumn. The site was previously split between a landfill unit and a cricket pitch, and the contractor began the project by carrying out a raft of essential remediation works. The new garden centre is based on piled foundations and a steel frame, with a brick plinth and profiled cladding to the retail units dotted around the main commercial core. The garden centre building will be distinguished by a huge glazed envelope, supplied by specialist Dutch manufacturer Smiemans. The heart of the development will be emphasised by a huge atrium, sheltered by a double-glazed roof. Timber has been used extensively throughout the development, and the main entrance will be sheltered by an expansive glass canopy. Gordon Edington CBE, chairman of Garden Park Investments, said: “Peterborough Garden Park is situated in the middle of an ideal catchment area, containing a high proportion of wealthy executives and flourishing families. This area needs a top-class garden centre, and we are confident our development will meet this need. “In fact we want to make this the premier garden centre in Britain. Many garden centres have grown piecemeal out of nurseries, but this has been designed to meet the demanding expectations of today’s garded centre shopper. Plus, architecturally, most garden centres are actually little more than large sheds – but here

you have a carefully crafted building which will catch the eye and capture the imagination. It’s going to have a real ‘Crystal Palace’ effect, and will provide a wonderful space for people to enjoy, just like a palm house. “We as clients, as well as the architect and the main contractor, have paid great attention to detail from start to finish, and features like careful detailing, display gardens, and generous open spaces, will shortly be there for all to enjoy. We are bringing Britain’s best garden centre to Peterborough and we can’t wait for the ne w Garden Park to open.�

Angmering’s Green credentials set to be enhanced by new community centre (SPVOEPODFVTFEUPHSPXNVTISPPNTXJMMTPPOCFVTFE UPHFOFSBUFIPUXBUFSGPSBOFOWJSPONFOUBMMZDPOTJEFSBUF DPNNVOJUZDFOUSF CFJOHCVJMUPOUIFOFX#SBNMFZ(SFFO FTUBUFJO"OHNFSJOH 8FTU4VTTFY The new community centre, currently being constructed by WH Catchpole, will become a central fulcrum for the Bramley Green development, which is based on the site of an old mushroom farm. The new building will reflect the site’s agricultural history through a raft of ‘green’ features, including ground source heat pumps which will utilise the warmth of the subterranean soil to provide warmth for the centre’s users. Photo-voltaic panels on the roof of the new community centre will generate electricity for its users, and any surplus energy generated by the solar strips will be sold back into the national grid. A series of huge windows will maximise the benefits of natural light, cutting the need for artificial illumination. The central structure of the building is built around a timber frame, which is renowned for its sustainable credentials and excellent heat retention properties. The timber design facilitates a number of unique design features; the assembly hall will be defined by a series of uncovered glulam beams, while the roof trusses will be exposed in the meeting room. These classic details will be complemented by concrete tiled roof coverings and classic flint panels to the elevations, ensuring the building ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t chimes with the rustic beauty of its surroundings. WH Catchpole began work on the community centre in January and the project is currently on schedule for completion in August, at a cost of around ÂŁ800,000. The facility is earmarked for a variety of community activities including amateur dramatics productions, parish council meetings, indoor bowls and evening exercise classes. Angmering already has its own village hall, but the building has become increasingly stretched as Bramley Green has grown, and several groups wishing to put on events or meetings have had to look elsewhere. The new community centre will relieve the strain from the existing centre and create a dynamic modern hub for Angmering. Of the total building cost, ÂŁ88,000 has come in grants from the Low Carbon Building Programme and Big Lottery Sustainable Communities fund, with ÂŁ50,000 from the Bramley Green developers, who also provided land for the centre. The parish council has funded the remainder of the cost from money put aside over the past several years, and a 25-year loan.

Matrix completes Castle Street project " CVTZ T DBS QBSL PO $BTUMF 4USFFU  JO UIF IFBSU PG $BNCSJEHF  IBT SFDFOUMZ VOEFSHPOF B DPNQSFIFOTJWF SFGVSCJTINFOU QSPHSBNNF UP TJHOJGJDBOUMZ SFEVDF UIF SJTLPGDPOUBNJOBUJPOBOEFSPTJPOJOZFBSTUPDPNF Repair and maintenance Specialist Matrix Solutions UK has replaced the car park’s original deck coatings, which had reached the end of their serviceable life, with a new TRIFLEX liquid coating designed to ensure a seamless, trafficable and



waterproof surface. The old coatings were particularly vulnerable to ingress from water, salts and general contaminants, which in turn placed the car park’s steel reinforcements at risk. In contrast the TRIFLEX solution is particularly waterproof and is renowned for its durability, and the aesthetically pleasing finish it provides. Matrix began the project by stripping away the old coating using captive blasting, leaving the exposed concrete of the decking behind. The contractor then applied the TRIFLEX coating using

rollers and trowels, in a process which took only a few days. The project team also modified the car park crash barriers and carried out minor realignment of the car park layout. The whole project was completed inside 12 weeks at a cost of under ÂŁ300,000. The Matrix team is particularly pleased with their work at Castle Street. Tim Whittaker, of Matrix Solutions UK, said: “The client’s really pleased with the project, and that’s extremely satisfying, as is the fact that we reached completion without snagging. “The Castle Street contract has demonstrated the benefits of our approach to partnerships. Our team was permanently based at Castle Street throughout the project, and our project manager liaised closely with the client on issues such as health and safety and the programme schedule. The site team worked tirelessly to ensure the works were carried out with minimal noise, minimal dust, and minimal disturbance to nearby shops and residents.â€? Peter Wallis, of Canterbury City Council, said: “This project has ensured that the Castle Street Car Park is completely waterproof and the infrastructure is capable of handling a high volume of demand for years to come. Matrix did a fantastic job from start to finish and we’d like to congratulate the company on the professionalism and dedication of its staff.â€?

"CPVU.BUSJY4PMVUJPOT6, Matrix Siolutions UK is the UK’s largest independent multi-storey car park refurbishment specialist, operating from a number of UK offices, with a track record of success spanning more than 20 years. The company carries out approximately 30 car park refurbishment schemes a year, using a combination of directly employed labour and specialist sub-contractors. For more information please visit the company’s website http://

Falcon House takes flight thanks to Brazier Construction " 7JDUPSJBO WJMMB QSFWJPVTMZ VTFE UP USFBU TVCTUBODF NJTVTF IBT SFDFOUMZ CFFO USBOTGPSNFE JOUP B TUBUF PGUIFBSU NFOUBM IFBMUI DFOUSF BU 4U +BNFT )PTQJUBM  1PSUTNPVUI 5IF CVJMEJOH IBT CFFO SFOBNFE 'BMDPO )PVTF UP FNQIBTJTF JUT DIBOHF PG VTF  BOE OPX BDDPNNPEBUFTUIF$IJMEBOE"EPMFTDFOU.FOUBM)FBMUI 4FSWJDF $".)4  B NVMUJEJTDJQMJOBSZ UFBN PGGFSJOH CFTQPLFDBSFBOETVQQPSUGPSDIJMESFOBOEZPVOHQFPQMF XJUINFOUBMIFBMUIQSPCMFNT Formerly known as Nelson Villa, the two-storey villa was identified for occupation by CAMHS due to its good location within Portsmouth. The CAMHS service was previously provided across two sites, neither of which was suitable for modern-day mental health care. Although the location of the old Nelson Villa was ideal, its facilities were not. Several key resources, including bathrooms, bedrooms and the main dining area, were designed for use by inpatients but were incompatible with a modern outpatient facility; furthermore, a number of structural features were clearly out of date. To rectify these problems, Portsmouth City Teaching Primary Care Trust commissioned Kier Health to design, extend and refurbish the building under the auspices of ProCure21. Kier ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t in turn appointed Brazier Construction, a long-term building partner, to deliver the project. Following the relocation of the substance misuse treatment team, Brazier Construction began the extension and refurbishment programme at Falcon House in February 2008. The refurbishment project was based on a complete reconfiguration of the original layout; the original timber stud partitions were removed and replaced with modern, metal stud alternatives, which offer significantly improved insulation properties. Doubleglazed UPVC windows have been introduced throughout the building, and an old lean-to veranda has been redeveloped to create a play space, with a new high-performance roof covering. In addition to the refurbishment works, the contractors added a 160m single-storey extension to create extra space for patients and staff. The design of the extension was governed by strict planning constraints; Falcon House borders a grade II-listed hospital , and any new structure built in this vicinity has to reflect the site’s historical significance. With these constraints in mind, architect Studio Four employed a material palette which reflects the main building in almost every detail. The extension is predicated on a beam-and-block floor with cavity blockwork and facing brickwork to the elevations. The only significant difference is the roof; whereas the main building is roofed in slate tiles, the extension is covered by a standing seam metal solution, which offers excellent insulation properties. At the front of the building the contractors added a modern entrance lobby. Around the periphery of the site the project team created additional play spaces for the children, and laid a car park which is completely self-draining. The build programme reached completion last October, enabling the CAMHS team to take up residence in their new premises in January 2009. Staff and patients are said to be extremely happy with their new surroundings. A spokesperson for the project said: “In contrast to the two

A Victorian villa previously used to treat substance misuse has recently been transformed

sites which previously housed the CAMHS team, Falcon House offers a convenient, accessible and well-equipped facility for mental health treatment and care. “The new facilities are specifically designed to engender a secure, reassuring environment for those using the building, and the new site provides supplemental accommodation for different types of therapy, as well as specialist accommodation for support teams. “This is a vital project for St James’ Hospital, and we’re delighted to have delivered such a significant development.�

Gateway leisure hub set to open this Autumn $POTUSVDUJPO XPSL JT VOEFSXBZ UP DSFBUF B CSBOE OFX TQPSUT BOE MFJTVSF DFOUSF JO )BSMPX 5IF bN MFJTVSF DFOUSF JT QBSU PG UIF )BSMPX (BUFXBZ 3FEFWFMPQNFOU  UIF bN SFHFOFSBUJPO JOJUJBUJWF UP CSJOH TUBUFPGUIF BSU MFJTVSF GBDJMJUJFT UP )BSMPX -FBECJUUFS $POTUSVDUJPO JTCVJMEJOHUIFOFXEFWFMPQNFOU XIJDIJTTDIFEVMFEUP SFBDIDPNQMFUJPOBOEPQFOUPUIFQVCMJDJO"VUVNO Located adjacent to Harlow College, the new three-storey complex will feature an impressive eight-lane, 25 metre swimming pool with moving floor, and a three-lane 20 metre learner pool together with seating for 300 spectators. The centre will also include top notch leisure facilities, including three covered tennis courts, eight badminton courts and a gym. An additional multiuse sports hall will double as a function venue, housing big-ticket conferences, concerts and exhibitions. Harlow’s new leisure centre will host a variety of extensive health and fitness facilities, a members’ bar/lounge area, nursery and one-stop health shop. It will also be home to ‘Science Alive’, an innovative science and technology learning centre for children and adults. Car parking provision for 510 vehicles and landscaping will complete the development. The main pool hall building has an arched tubular curved main truss with roof light over its length. Windcatchers will also be incorporated within the main hall roof to allow natural ventilation. The high-profile project is one of the flagship initiatives within



the Harlow Gateway Partnership, delivering a major and wideranging improvement to sports, fitness and leisure facilities in the community. It will replace two existing facilities within Harlow, believed to have been built in the 1960s/1970s. The new facilities will be used for sporting events up to county level and lies within the catchment area for the London 2012 Olympics.

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St Charles Community Hospital now underway Specialist contractor Interserve Health has now begun the redevelopment of St Charles Hospital on Exmoor Street, Kensington. The project, worth an estimated ÂŁ15 million, is due for completion next year. Interserve and its sub-contractors are transforming the old healthcare hub into a new community hospital, which will be run by NHS Kensington and Chelsea. The new St Charles Community Hospital will provide high-quality clinical services in a modern, secure and accessible environment. In addition, the new facility will offer extended opening hours for primary care service, and give patients faster access for specialist treatment of strokes, diabetes, severe respiratory and kidney problems. Faster access will be provided for diagnostic examinations such as blood tests, X-rays and audiology, and a state-of-the-art echocardiogram will produce heart scans in seconds. An unscheduled care centre will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week for those who need to see a clinician urgently, while a specialist community dental service will be available for people with specialist needs. The new community hospital could also offer

community development services, aimed at reducing health inequalities and widening the scope of existing health services in partnership with the Local Authority and voluntary organisations.. Design The NHS Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust (PCT) selected HLM Architects as its design partner for the £10 million redevelopment of the historic St Charles Community Hospital. The entire project will modernise and enhance hospital services, while also dramatically improving patient care and working conditions for staff. The first phase of the scheme is the delivery of a new link bridge, which overcomes the challenges associated with the existing building and which is critical to the progress of the hospital’s regeneration. It paves the way for the expansion of the upper storeys of the Eastern Pavilions and the Renal Dialysis Unit from 38 to 66 stations, as well as enabling an increased

range of inpatient and day care mental health facilities in both new and refurbished buildings. The entire scheme has been designed to deliver a standalone facility within a virtually complete wing. It will provide Kensington and Chelsea Primary care Trust with a modern and adaptable healthcare service, which will meet the needs of the local community as well as other external service users. The project is being built by Interserve via ProCure21 and is due to complete at the end of 2009.


glass, leather, embossed walls and ornate plaster mouldings, which provide texture and attract the eye. Meanwhile the Landau is set to become one of the principle new dining destinations in London. Luxury and style have been assured through the use of tone-on-tone colours, offset with

But in recent years the Langham has shown signs of age and decay, and lost its status among London’s most sought-after stopovers. To restore the building to its full glory, Langham Hotels International has remodeling the building through a comprehensive refurbishment programme, evoking the classic hedonism of Victorian times and making the Langham a byword for luxury once again. Main contractor John Sisk has carried out the project, delivering a raft of outstanding facilities. The first phase of the refurbishment programme, completed in 2007, saw the opening of a chic and glamorous bar called the Artesian, and a stylish restaurant named The Landau. Designed by David Collins Studio, The Artesian is named after the underground well that once provided the hotel’s water, and has been decorated in a style described as ‘contemporary Orientalism’ to create a unique and iconic appearance. Decor in the Artesian dispenses with the traditional dark woods and sombre colours in favour of pale panelled walls with a distinctive aged look. These work as a backdrop for bold colours to accent focal points. Further emphasis is drawn to key architectural features by using classic materials such as bevelled ROMA PUBLICATIONS


Lo n d o n & S o u th E a s t

subtle primary colour art, finishes and furniture. Leather flooring has been introduced to both the bar and restaurant, offering durability as well as an attractive sense of grace and exclusivity. The contractors have just completed the last and most significant phase of refurbishment – this involved the complete overhaul of 215 bedrooms across nine levels of the southern western wings of the hotel, creating four new styles – Deluxe, Executive, Langham and Junior suites. The works involved the demolition of all internal walls and finishes along with all associated services to leave an empty shell. This level of strip-out allows a complete re-configuration

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Crispin & Borst nearing completion on Hounslow contract Crispin & Borst is entering the final stages of construction on a development of houses and apartments for Salmon Harvester Properties on Lampton Road, Hounslow. The development will comprise two pairs of semi-detached houses and a single block of 35 apartments. Octavia Housing and Care will manage all four houses, and 22 of the 35 apartments; the remaining 13 apartments will be available for private rent and sale. The houses are already complete and the contractors are making excellent progress on the apartment block, which is now fully wind and watertight with all fenestration in place. Crispin & Borst expects to reach overall completion this summer. The site previously housed a petrol station and


of the bedrooms and has allowed for larger bathrooms to be formed. In addition John Sisk and its sub-contractors have opened three arches out onto the lobby to create a more open, airy space, which will be maintained by the addition of a separate street entrance for conference and banqueting in the adjacent building, separating hotel guests from business users. New rooms have been added, including executive rooms, 45 sq m Langham rooms and 56 sq m Junior Suites - which will aim to capture the essence of the international brand and its aspirations for guests’ experiences.


garages, which were demolished and remediated under a separate contract before Crispin & Borst arrived on site last March. Both the houses and the apartments are of traditional load-bearing masonry construction, and each property is enhanced by velfac double-glazed windows and a fibre cement tiled roof. The development’s position directly beneath a major flight path has necessitated an extremely high level of acoustic attenuation – this is provided by a state-of-the-art passive ventilation system. The apartment block will be distinguished with western red cedar cladding to the elevations

and an external amenity deck, which will feature Astroturf and planters and give children a secure outdoor play space.

New Hilton Hotel for Thames Valley 5IFXPSMEGBNPVT)JMUPOCSBOEIBTMBOEFEJOUIF5IBNFT 7BMMFZ  BOE B TUVOOJOH OFX GJWFTUBS JT TFU UP PQFO JO 3FBEJOHUIJTNPOUI The new Hilton Hotel, in PRUPIM’s Green Park, includes over 200 guest rooms as well as meeting suites, a ball room and a LivingWell health club. The world-renowned stopover, which has been built by BAM Construction, will become an integral part of Reading Southside, a sustainable, mixed-use scheme which will be developed over 110 acres of land close to the Madejski Stadium in south-west London. The core of the hotel is made up of 212 guestrooms, including 151 standard Hilton rooms, 47 Deluxe guestrooms, 10 special need guestrooms and two Junior Suites. Alongside these guestrooms, the Thames Valley Hilton has been furnished with a total of seven meeting rooms, four of which are fitted with moveable walls to create larger suites when required. The hotel’s various facilities are accessible via a stunning central courtyard, and a 170-berth car park provide ample space, even when demand is exceptionally high. A memorable image has been achieved through the use of towers to ‘book end’ the guestroom blocks and highlight the main entrance. The form and elevation treatment of the building has been specifically designed to identify and express the principal functions of Guestrooms, Restaurants/Bars, Health Club and the Back of House. BAM has laid the hotel around glazed horizontal blocks supported on free standing semi-circular columns, which isolate them from the podium base. The floating effect is heightened by the large areas of glass treatment; from the inside the glass walls increase the feeling of space and openness in the individual rooms.

Each area of the hotel will be stamped with style. The main entrance is screened with a system of structure glass panels, enhanced by structural thermally insulated polyester powder coated mullion-transom curtain walling, as well as a frameless glass power-operated revolving door. All flat roofs are finished with Flexiphalte fully bonded to primed float finished concrete slabs, topped with rigid insulation to achieve the required U-value and gravel ballast or paving slabs along defined access routes. Meanwhile the arrival courtyard is finished with Charcon Andover block, while the roads will be black tarmacadam. Internal guestroom walls comprise a combination of concrete structural walls on alternate dividing wall grids and Gyproc metal stud partitions, with plasterboard and skim coat finish for all remaining walls. All ground floor partitions have been built using full height 140/200mm blockwork, rendered both sides ready for decoration.



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Ellan Gray shoring up stunning naval church The stunning St George’s church, which was once a focal point of Chatham Dockyard and has recently been used to commemorate the amazing history of this vital naval hub, is now being converted to create chambers for Medway Council and a stylish venue for private conferences. Ellan Gray Contractors, working in partnership with the Council’s design team, is extending and refurbishing the listed church building, which originally provided pastoral care for the thousands of seaman based at Chatham, and was converted to house memorials and veterans’ reunions when the dockyard closed in 1984. Ellan Gray is installing a new WC block with modern male, female amd DDA facilities, and refurbishing the existing kitchenette to create additional storage space. The building will be augmented with a hi-tech conferencing facility featuring state-of-the-art projectors, screens, interactive facilities and a sound system. In accordance with listed building regulations, the contractors has worked closely with

Medway Council’s conservation department to ensure the essential fabric of the original building remains largely unchanged. Meanwhile the extension is based on traditional cavity wall construction and a concrete slab, in accordance with the design of the original building, and the interiors feature handcrafted joinery and handmade stonework to complement the finishes of the old church. Local labour and materials have been used wherever possible, to ensure the project provides long-term benefit for the local economy. A spokesperson for the project said: “The new facilities bring the old building to the 21st century by providing modern welfare facilities to the und users. To build on the

successes of the project thus far, we are now seeking to develop a programme of general restoration and conservation of the outer skin of the building, as well as suitable landscaping scheme for the adjacent grounds, to ensure the old church and its ground are restored to their fully glory.�

Needham Market fire station on course for June

'BSSBOT$POTUSVDUJPO-UEJTFOUFSJOHUIFGJOBMTUBHFTPG XPSLPOBOFXGJSFTUBUJPOJO/FFEIBN.BSLFU 4VGGPML  BOE UIF DPOUSBDUPS FYQFDUT UP DPNQMFUF UIF QSPKFDU XJUIJOUIFOFYUUXPNPOUIT Farrans and its sub-contractors have completely demolished the old fire station, and are currently replacing it with a stateof-the-art facility which will house an administration block, fire appliance bay and four-storey training tower, which will provide a realistic environment for local firefighters to hone their skills. The single-bay station will be run as a retained rather than a whole-time facility, with crews arriving to train and tend to local emergencies as and when required. The Needham Market project is part of a wider PFI scheme to provide state-of-the-art facilities for Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service. The project, which has been financed and masterplanned by the Land Group in partnership with Suffolk Council, will deliver five brand-new and five refurbished fire stations at an overall cost of ÂŁ17 million. Farrans has been hired by the Land Group to deliver all ten schemes as a PFI framework contractor. The project began in June 2008 and is due for overall completion in June 2011. Work on the Needham Market project began last September with the demolition of the old fire station building, carried out by CDC Demolition Ltd. Farrans arrived on site to begin the main body of works last Autumn, working to designs supplied by architect Capita Percy Thomas. The designs are specifically tailored to suit a tight site, surrounded by residential properties. The fire appliance bay is



founded on a brick-and-block envelope with a steel frame and a metal sheet roof; meanwhile the adjacent administration building has been built with a timber truss roof and metal cladding to the elevations. The training tower, arguably the most distinctive feature of the new site, is a metal structure bought off the shelf from Crofton Engineering – one of the foremost specialists in this field. In spite of the challenges posed by the compact site, Farrans and its team have maintained an excellent rate of progress throughout the project, and the build programme is on course to reach its scheduled completion before the end of June.

5IFCJHHFSQJDUVSF The Suffolk Fire and Rescue service PFI also includes: The relocation and reconstruction of Lowestoft South fire station (whole time); The relocation and reconstruction of Lowestoft North (retained); t Relocate and reconstruction of Hadleigh (retained); t Reconstruction of Nayland (retained); t Refurbishment of Colchester Road (whole time); t Refurbishment of Bury St Edmunds (whole time); t Refurbish of Felixstowe (day crewed); t Refurbishment of Sudbury (retained); t Refurbishment of Haverhill (day crewed). t Norfolk County Services will provide facilities management at all ten fire stations, and also at Newmarket (day crewed). t Neilson Project Services is acting as Employers Agent, with funding for the project arranged by Ash Corporate Finance through Allied Irish Bank.



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A new wave of opportunity on the banks of the Clyde Clyde Waterfront is the single most significant urban renewal project and development opportunity ever conceived in Scotland. The 25-year project will revitalise more than 20 kilometres of commercial and industrial space along the banks of the river Clyde, which was an artery of progress during Britain’s industrial heyday but then lapsed due to neglect and urban decay. The banks of the Clyde are becoming home to a thriving mix of residential, commercial and leisure developments, with stylish waterfront apartments sitting side by side with bustling employment parks and cultural centres. A host of flagship organisations, such as the BBC, have already moved to new premises beside the Clyde, and increasing numbers of blue-chip firms are signing up for tenancies with each passing month. A strategic partnership, Clyde Waterfront, has been created to oversee the project,



and both public and private sectors are working together to bring the works to completion. Key projects within the overall development framework include:

Glasgow City Centre Glasgow’s urban redevelopment will see big changes to the face of the city. Tradeston, on the south bank of the Clyde, is being connected to the burgeoning Glasgow International Financial Services District on the opposite riverbank by a new pedestrian bridge, an iconic reminder of the wider waterfront renaissance. New restaurants, bars and hotels will create a dynamic new community in the centre of the city, while further east, the historic Merchant City/High Street/ Glasgow Green is gradually being given a

new lease of life, with new commercial clusters and cultural quarters. A number of developments within Glasgow City Centre are already complete. These include 4 Atlantic Quay, a high-specification eight-storey office building of 73,000 sq ft, with 33 secure underground car parking spaces; Aurora, is a new-generation of office building extending to 176,982 sq ft over ground and nine upper floors; and 141 Bothwell Street, a 10-storey office development spanning 180,000 sq ft, which was completed in March. Developments under construction include Cuprum, a mixed-use development which will comprise a 99,000 sq ft office building and 122 apartments; and Capella, a 12-storey landmark tower which will be the final phase of the Atlantic Quay development, and a centerpiece for Glasgow’s International Financial Services District. Meanwhile the old Briggait, which houses

Scotland’s most historically significant collection of surviving market halls, is currently being refurbished.

Pacific Quay& SECC The area defined by Pacific Quay and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) already houses some of Scotland’s most important assets, attracting thousands of visitors every week. The Glasgow Science Centre, IMAX, the SECC, Pacific Quay and the Armadillo are all nestled along this stretch of waterfront, and work is now underway to develop better links with the nearby city centre and surrounding communities. The SECC is now set for a major addition, with construction of its new £125 million purpose-built arena about to start. The arena will be a main venue for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Clyde Waterfront is currently spearheading a raft of developments to make the area even better. Activity is dominated by the £150 million Pacific Quay development, which will span 30 acres on the site of the former Glasgow Garden Festival. The mixed-use project will ultimately cover 500,000 sq ft, incorporating offices, residential, hotel, leisure and other supporting businesses. The site is anchored by the new BBC

Scotland Headquarters, which opened in 2007. The 34,000 sq m broadcast centre aims to have created a benchmark for leading-edge technology, production methods and public access, and the BBC’s presence on the Clyde will provide a clear focal point to encourage the growing and vibrant digital media community in Glasgow. The building itself is clad in a stunning triple-glazed system, with an internal stepped ‘street’ rising throughout the entire length of the design, housing acoustically sensitive studios underneath and providing break-out spaces and informal meeting areas on top. Also completed is a 24,000 ft² digital media centre, which provides a high quality air-conditioned environment for emerging audio and visual specialists. Four thousand square feet has already been occupied by the digital media academy, which offers training to local residents. The academy includes a 32-seat auditorium, classrooms, editing suite, render farm, one-to-one meeting rooms and a breakout space. In February, contractors reached completion on ‘The Hub,’ a unique new centre for creativity and another milestone for the Digital Media Quarter, which offers low-cost bespoke managed business space for new and growing businesses. Designed with the needs of the creative industries very much in mind, the building has a

unique philosophy to encourage media sector businesses to meet, connect and flourish, and key facilities include a market square and café-bar.

Greater Govan and Glasgow Harbour Through the transformation of the river, Greater Govan can ensure its future as a modern, dynamic inner city district, playing a major role in the business and cultural life of the Clyde waterfront. Perhaps the most eye-catching project is the refurbishment of the former Orkney Street police station; 36 cells, spread over three floors of the old station, are being converted into office accommodation for small and fledgling firms – providing a truly unique working environment for Glasgow’s professionals! This Central Govan Gateway project is part of the ongoing economic and social regeneration of Greater Govan. On the opposite river bank, the area is being completely transformed by the £1.2 billion Glasgow Harbour project, a world-class regeneration project which will spearhead the revitalisation of the river in this area. Work on this project is already well underway; phase one, which promised 650 apartments, reached completion in 2006 and has sparked incredible demand. ROMA PUBLICATIONS


S c otl a n d Contractors are now making excellent progress on phase two, which will comprise around 800 apartments in five towers ranging from 16 to 22 storeys, with a seven-storey tenemental linear block to the north. Each tower will face on to the River Clyde, and the development will be framed by inviting public spaces. Plans are also in place for a cluster of shops, restaurants and leisure outlets, and the Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum, which will frame the development in a historical context.

Renfrew Riverside and Scotstoun The £350 million Braehead retail park has put Renfrew on the map, attracting 20 million visitors annually. Now, a series of further development phases will create exciting new business, leisure and residential opportunities. Clyde View Park, which opened in 2005, was the first new park to be built in the West of Scotland for many years. Featuring fountains, paths, cycleways, play areas, picnic areas, artwork, green space and a riverside walkway, it has been designed to encourage natural wildlife, and flora and fauna. Renfrew Riverside’s reputation as a commercial location will be further enhanced with the creation of more business park accommodation. There are four key locations: Riverside Braehead where new highquality office space is being built on the banks of the Clyde; Titanium Business Park, a well-established business location, where Fijutsu and Picsel will soon be joined by Gordon Anderson Plant; Platinum Business Park where Porcelanosa is establishing a base; Shields Gate where commercial and distribution plots are available. Modern new homes, including the new Ferry Village at Renfrew and Yoker riverfront, promise to attract more residents to the area, lured by the stunning waterfront aspects. Meanwhile, a plethora of leisure outlets are bringing Renfrew to a wider audience. Construction of these outlets is already well underway; Scotland’s first Xscape complex opened at Braehead in the summer of 2006, offering a range of activities including climbing walls, indoor bowling, and a real snow slope.

Clydebank and Erskine Clydebank played a pivotal role in the river’s past industrial successes, and the revitalisation of the waterfront will drive the town’s regeneration. Spearheaded by



the award-winning Clydebank Re-built partnership, the regeneration plans aim to reclaim the disused waterfront and reconnect the river to the town. The area will be dominated by the Queens Quay Learning and Enterprise District. Clydebank College’s brand new campus has already opened there and business pavilions are providing accommodations for a wide range of businesses. New commercial space and housing are being built, while leisure projects, such as the refurbishment of the Titan Crane are gradually transforming the area. It is estimated that in the first five to seven years of the Clydebank plan delivery, a total of 1200 new homes could be accommodated on development sites along the river. Clydebank Re-built is keen to encourage a mix of house types and tenures, and is working closely with the private landowners on the riverside and the local housing associations to ensure that there is a good mix of housing for local people as well as new residents. Across the Erskine Bridge, on the south

side of the river, Erskine has the potential for long-term development as an important residential location and there is scope to create a new town centre in the future, incorporating existing buildings into a stronger network of streets and spaces.

Old Kilpatrick to Dumbarton Dumbarton, with its long history of ship building and manufacturing, is now undergoing significant regeneration with a master plan to regenerate the town centre, new build residential developments and new commercial opportunities. Residential development is under way in the heart of Bowling, with new apartments being created on the site of the former Littlemill distillery. The Forth and Clyde canal joins the Clyde at bowling and the canal basin has been refurbished, with further opportunities for development around this attractive rural area.

Smarter Schools for Southern Scotland -FTTUIBOGJGUFFONPOUITBGUFSUIFGJSTUTPEXBTUVSOFE  DPOUSBDUPST IBWF QBTTFE UIF IBMGXBZ QPJOU JO POF PG 4DPUMBOET CJHHFTUFWFS TDIPPM CVJMEJOH QSPHSBNNFT 5IF %VNGSJFT BOE (BMMPXBZ 4NBSUFS 4DIPPMT 111 QSPKFDU  XIJDI XJMM EFMJWFS  TDIPPMT PWFS FJHIU TJUFT BU B DPTU JO BDDFTT PG b NJMMJPO  IBT NBEF FYDFMMFOU QSPHSFTT TJODF XPSL CFHBO JO +BOVBSZ  BOE UIF QSPKFDU SFNBJOT PO DPVSTF GPS PWFSBMM DPNQMFUJPO CZ .BZ  8JUI UIF QSPKFDU NPSF UIBO  DPNQMFUF  UIF 1SFNJFS $POTUSVDUJPO UFBN UIPVHIU JU XBT BO JEFBM UJNF UP FYQMPSF UIJT VOJRVF BOE IVHFMZ DIBMMFOHJOH QSPHSBNNFJOEFUBJM The Smarter Schools project is a key part of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s mission to reinvigorate the region’s ageing school estate. Following years of chronic underfunding and poor maintenance, the old estate clearly requires a major reinvestment programme to address a yawning repair backlog and provide modern, accessible facilities for school and community use. The council is responsible for 103 primary schools, 14 secondary schools, two all-through schools and two schools for pupils with special needs. Several years ago, the council announced a major programme of investment underpinned by a ‘mixed economy’ approach. Ten school projects were selected for development under the Public/Private Partnership (PPP) procurement route; the rest of the estate will be regenerated using more traditional contractual avenues. The schools selected for inclusion in the PPP project, known as Smarter Schools, were chosen after a full assessment of the entire estate. The criteria for inclusion of these schools were as follows: t t t t t t t

Prior Member decisions; Poor condition; Poor suitability; Efficiencies to be gained by merger; Statutory consultation complete; Could be delivered within the next 3 to 4 years; and Availability of site.

Following this assessment process, the planning team selected Castle Douglas Primary, St Andrew’s RC Primary, Heathhall Primary, Kirkcudbright Primary, Lockerbie Primary and Lockerbie Academy, Moffat All-through School, Stranraer Academy and Wallace Hall Primary and Wallace Hall Academy. Together, these

ten developments will provide modern teaching facilities for more than 5,000 pupils. The majority of these schools is a replacement for, or an amalgamation of existing schools, which were struggling to cope with demand and modern pupil requirements (Heathhall Primary School is a brand new school) In some cases, the new school is a response to an urgent gap in the local education system, for example the Lockerbie Primary burned down several years ago and pupils have since been housed in temporary modular accommodation. Other projects, such as Heathhall, are designed to address gradual long-term changes in population and local circumstances. Each school will play an equally pivotal role in community life and provide modern educational facilities with an emphasis on joined-up learning, outdoor play space and inclusive, accessible design.

5IFUFBN The overall Smarter Schools contract was awarded to Education for Dumfries & Galloway (E4D&G), an Amey led Special Purpose Company comprising Amey Ventures and Cyril Sweett Investments. E4D&G (should read E4D&G) was specifically created to handle the Smarter Schools contract over a thirty-





FMP’s approach to each construction project has been tailored to suit the unique site conditions..

year period, encompassing both construction and maintenance. E4D&G in turn appointed FMP, a joint venture between Farrans, H&J Martin and Patton Construction, as main construction contractor. The three companies are now established partners in school construction and are currently working on 17 separate sites across the Great Britain and Ireland. With this reach and expertise, FMP was a logical choice for the construction works. Once construction is complete the facilities management works will be carried out by Amey Local Government, a subsidiary of Amey. The project team is completed by the European Investment Bank, both of which are providing funding for the programme.

5Ie build programme The day-to-day construction programme began in January 2008, although work on two schools, Heathhall and Dumfries, was held back until later in the year. Contractors expect to reach completion on two schools, Dumfries and Castle Douglas, in August, and the project will be concluded with the handover of Lockerbie Primary and Lockerbie Academy next May. FMP’s approach to each construction project has been tailored to suit the unique site conditions. While several sites, such as Moffat, Heathhall, Lockerbie Primary and Lockerbie Academy, are located on greenfield land and required little enabling work during the early stages of the build programme, others have proved far more challenging. Perhaps the most demanding project has been Castle Douglas, which is being constructed on the same tight, sloping site as the existing school. Before work on Castle Douglas could begin in earnest, FMP had to provide temporary accommodation partially

demolish the existing school, carry out a reduced level dig and build a series of retaining walls to attenuate the pronounced gradient. The new schools will share a number of common materials, including a steel frame, facing brick to the elevations, standing seam roofs and precast concrete floor slabs. Each school is specifically designed to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating, and each site will include playing fields and synthetic sports surfaces approved by SportScotland. Yet, within the parameters of this integral framework, the design of each school has been adapted to embrace its topography and surroundings. For example Moffat, which occupies a prime position on a flat, smooth site, will be punctuated by a network of open spaces, including avenues and courtyards, to create an airy, open atmosphere and maximise natural heat and light sources. In contrast, both Dumfries RC and Castle Douglas are being built on curved sites, and this will be reflected in arcing walls and corridors, designed to provide a dramatic visual signature and maximise the space available. Wallace Hall is being built on sharply sloping ground, and the building will contract from three storeys at lower level to a single storey on the higher ground to reflect this topography. The school has been laid out in an eye-catching L shape, with two long wings running almost at right angles to one another. One of the wings is flanked by a capacious activity street, which includes social and breakout spaces. Furthermore, each school is embellished with its own unique design signature. The elevations to the new Moffat school will be distinguished by three shades of blue insulated panel cladding;



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..we have endeavoured to give each development its own distinct layout..

in contrast, Wallace Hall will be enhanced by stunning timber weatherboarding. The standing seam roof atop Heathhall will be built to a curved, barrel vaulted design, while part of the Castle Douglas roof will be given a sustainable sedum covering, underpinned by precast asphalt. The ten schools will feature number of common facilities, including a library, general purpose room, a multi-purpose hall and a community room; however each school will also house a series of individual, school specific facilities. Around the fringes of each site, the landscape architects have included a number of landscaped features to create stimulating outdoor environments for pupils to learn and socialise. For example pupils at each of the primaries have external learning areas with secure covered areas adjoining the schools. Meanwhile students at Heathhall Primary school will be flanked by an outdoor classroom with timber log seats, a sensory garden with outdoor classroom spaces, and a gorgeous timber amphitheatre at the north-eastern extremity of the site. At Wallace Hall Academy, students will be able to relax in an outdoor seating area featuring timber log chairs, and visitors will be enticed by a covered walkway at the heart of the site, with a striking feature wall. A spokesperson for the project recently said: “Although each school is based on roughly the same constituent materials, we have endeavoured to give each development its own distinct layout and utilise local conditions to create buildings which chime with their surroundings. “Each school will foster a welcoming environment in which all pupils are encouraged to maximise their potential and develop with confidence. The outdoor learning and social areas will be crucial in this respect, giving students chance to stretch their legs and enhance their horizons. “Everyone who has worked on this project is extremely proud to have contributed to such a significant and challenging scheme, and we look forward to seeing the schools reach completion over the next few months.”



Spruce solution provides perfect launchpad for Springhill project 8PSL PO BO FZFDBUDIJOH BOE FOWJSPONFOUBMMZGSJFOEMZ FYUFOTJPO UP ,JMNBSOPDLT 4QSJOHIJMM /VSTJOH )PNF JT EVF GPS DPNQMFUJPO JO "VHVTU  BDDPSEJOH UP UIF NBJO DPOUSBDUPS%.D-BVHIMJOBOE4POT-UE McLaughlin and its sub-contractors are around 25% of the way through construction of a four-storey extension, which will house 51 additional beds as well as day rooms. The project team has made excellent progress to date, thanks largely to a quick and efficient timber kit solution supplied by Spruce Timber Frame. Spruce’s pre-fabricated solution incorporates timber frames, floor slabs, windows and partitions to create a product that is sustainable as well as cost-effective. The package is also extremely versatile, and can be fitted with a full range of facades and external treatments; indeed the Springhill extension will feature brick-and-render elevations with string courses and false parapets, topped by a traditional slate roof in sympathy with the main building. Thought to be worth around £2.2 million, the extension will build on one of the most prestigious and respected care homes in South West Scotland. Springhill Nursing Home is renowned for the care it provides to elderly people suffering from mental health disorders. The facility currently includes 12 single rooms, 10 shared rooms and 22 ensuites, but demand for beds has begun to exceed availability. The new extension will enable Springhill to meet demand and provide an even better standard of service in future.

The Alba Campus 5IF"MCB$BNQVT IPNFPGUIF"MCB*OOPWBUJPO$FOUSF JT BBDSFEFWFMPQNFOUEFTJHOFEUPQSPWJEFIJHIRVBMJUZ BDDPNNPEBUJPOXJUIBOFNQIBTJTPOFMFDUSPOJDEFTJHO #VJMUBTBOFYUFOTJPOUP,JSLUPO$BNQVT XJUIJOXBMLJOH EJTUBODF PG -JWJOHTUPO UPXO DFOUSF  UIF EFWFMPQNFOUJT UIFSFTVMUPGBVOJRVFDPMMBCPSBUJPOCFUXFFOHPWFSONFOU  JOEVTUSZBOEBDBEFNJB XJUIUIFBJNPGDSFBUJOHBXPSME MFBEJOHDFOUSFGPSUIFJOEVTUSJFTPGUIFGVUVSF Originally launched in 1998, the campus is taking shape over a series of construction phases, worth a total of ÂŁ200 million. The build programme has been masterminded by a joint venture between Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian and Miller Group/Bank of Scotland, and day-to-day construction is being supervised by a host of experienced construction firms. When all phases are complete, the development is expect to encompass a total of 100,000 sq m, with a raft of key facilities including meeting rooms, a lecture theatre, library, a conference space, cafes and restaurants, all of which are available to occupiers. Prospective Alba tenants are offered a range of tailored incubation solutions, which include: Office Accommodation: Alba Innovation Centre offers high quality, modern, office accommodation with suites ranging in size from 1-8 persons on flexible terms, under a single monthly licence fee. Facilities and Services: Our focus is to provide tenants with ROMA PUBLICATIONS


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high quality accommodation coupled with excellent facilities and services which are deemed essential to ensure the smooth operation of a young technology business. Innovation Advisory Service: With a vast range of experience in the technology marketplace, Alba’s innovation advisory support service has been set up to examine all aspects of a tenant’s business, from intellectual property and legal services to marketing and sales. Funding Your Business: Alba’s innovation advisory support process provides tenants with a full in-depth review of the funding options available to their business, including grant funding and raising equity, Tenants also benefit from the chance to network with, and bounce ideas off, other firms resident at the Innovation Centre, and receive invaluable access to a network of successful entrepreneurs and specialist expert knowledge.

3FDFOUQSPHSFTT Eleven years after the first sod was turned, contractors are continuing to extend and enhance the Alba Campus. Indeed a team led by Thomas Johnstone Ltd, with support from M&E contractor FES and quantity surveyor Thomas & Addison, recently put the finishing touches to a 15-month office fit-out project worth around £5.5 million.



Designed by Bovis Lend Lease, the fit-out project has reaffirmed the Campus’s commitment to provide high-spec commercial space with a full raft of modern facilities, including telephone and high speed internet access. Tenants at the Innovation Centre also enjoy a reception desk manned between 9am and 5pm, a series of ‘hot spots’ for wireless networking, and even an online meeting room.

Construction News

Call our news team on 01706 719972

Award-winning Todlaw project set for stylish sequel The award-winning Todlaw Supported Housing scheme in Duns, Borders will soon be augmented by a development of 12 new flats, which are currently being built by a team of contractors led by James Swinton & Co. The project team arrived on site in December and the scheme is due for overall completion this Autumn, at a cost of around ÂŁ600,000. Each of the 12 units will provide space for two occupants, and is specifically designed to complement the existing Todlaw development, which opened in 2007. The new units will be arranged in a series of two-storey blocks which provide a variation on the popular Victorian ‘colony’ houses, where the upper flat is accessed by an external stair. The external walls of each block are treated as two interlocking shells; an outer shell of dark blue engineering brick will face the open landscape which fringes the site, while a softer Siberian larch clad shell will relate specifically to the supported housing. Architect Oliver Chapman has worked closely with client Berwickshire Housing Association to minimise the impactof car parking on the

Todlaw streetscape. A series of gables extend across the site, and cars will be tucked between these gables to facilitate landscaping in front of the houses. Each of the properties will be based on a timber-framed structure, with timber cladding incorporating mineral wool insulation. Ground source heat pumps will provide both space and water heating to further reduce annual carbon emissions. The existing Todlaw development provides bespoke care and support for disabled people, and has been lauded for the ingenuity of its design. Key features of the existing scheme include a ‘tartan grid’ which creates a varying relationship between houses and the road, and a mixture of gables and eaves adjacent to the road which adds to the streetscape character. The classic pitched slate roofs are enhanced by Siberian larch cladding, creating a unique visual

signature which chimes with the rustic beauty of the site’s surrounds. A spokesperson for the current development said: “Todlaw is already synonymous with world-class design, thanks to the development which already stands on site. Our latest project will more than live up to this legacy, and will make a positive contribution to the overall Todlaw vision.�

Green light for Dumfries superstore 'JWF ZFBST BGUFS 5FTDP MBVODIFE JUT GJSTUFWFS FOWJSPONFOUBM TUPSF JO 4DPUMBOE  BU 8JDL JO $BJUIOFTT  UIF XPSMESFOPXOFE SFUBJMFS JT QSFQBSJOH UP MBVODI B TFDPOEAHSFFOPVUMFUOPSUIPGUIFCPSEFS PO-PDLFSCJF 3PBEJO%VNGSJFT The new Superstore will offer all the environmentally considerate features included in the original Wick prototype, and Tesco will introduce a number of enhanced and additional sustainable technologies, which were recently pioneered at a store in Cheetham Hill, Greater Manchester. The building is predicated upon a timber frame, which has been pre-cut in Germany and is currently being bolted together on site. A series of roof lights will flood the building with natural light, and natural ventilation will be provided through a series of shafts in the roof. The building has also been designed to incorporate the latest grey water harvesting systems.



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When complete the store will span a total of 40,000 sq ft and will include all Tesco’s most recognisable features, including a deli, bakery and counters for meat and fish, as well as sections for fresh food, wine and general groceries. Tesco already operates two stores in Dumfries, an Extra store at Cuckoo Bridge Retail Park and an Esso Alliance Express outlet. Currently hundreds of people to the South of Dumfries have hitherto had to travel large distances to do their shopping. The current project is specifically designed to meet this gap in the market. The site of the development was previously vacant, and main contractor Barr Construction had to remove a large amount of peat during the enable stage before the main body of work could begin in earnest. Since then the project has gone smoothly; the pre-fabricated timber frame has speeded up the works by several weeks, and the developers are currently on schedule to

reach completion in June. Around the main timber frame, the facades will be enhanced with timber cladding, and the front elevation will be gilded with full-height glazing. A wooden canopy over the main entrance will provide a captivating welcome for shoppers, and encapsulate the building’s sustainable agenda. Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, Doug Wilson said: “The Lockerbie Road superstore will blend the best of the green innovations at Wick and Cheetham Hill, and provide a vision of the future for Tesco. “We plan to roll out our environmental stores throughout the UK, and so the Lockerbie Road project is very much a milestone for us in Scotland. We hope that the considerate design of the store captures the public’s imagination and demonstrates the benefits of sustainable construction to a wide audience.�




Ailsa Gait will comprise a total of 85 affordable properties, built over three phases. All 85 homes will be managed by Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, and properties will be available for both rent and shared equity under the Scottish Government’s New Supply Scheme. The property range encompasses both bungalows and semidetached houses, and interested parties can choose between two, three and four-bedroom accommodation. Several homes have been built to offer amenity space, with a range of features tailored to maximise wheelchair access. Ailsa Gait is part of a wider regeneration project which will eventually comprise almost 250 properties, in an area of Stranraer which clearly requires new housing. The wider development will encompass both public and private properties, ensuring all the trappings of an organic, sustainable community. A spokesperson for the Ailsa Gait project said: “Ailsa Gait is very much a cornerstone of the wider regeneration taking place in this area. Stranraer is a town which urgently needs new, realistically priced accommodation, and the regeneration project is designed to meet this need. “We feel the Ailsa Gait development offers something for everyone, from young families who wish to move to Stranraer to those who have lived here for generations. We’re thrilled to see

Ailsa Gait is part of a wider regeneration project which will eventually comprise almost 250 properties

this vital development taking shape.”

5IFCVJMEQSPHSBNNF Initial works on Ailsa Gait included a large muckshift operation, carried out by R&D under the main contract. Around 80,000 tonnes of material were moved to facilitate the start of construction. To attenuate the sloping site R&D employed an innovative retention method known as soil nailing, whereby contractors drilled into an excavated face and inserted a combination of metal rods and plates, which knitted together to anchor the embankment. Each property is based on a balance of strip and piled foundations, and the essential envelope is predicated upon a timber frame, with a timber floating ground floor slab and suspended joists to the first floor. Elevations are built in a combination of facing brick and render, and the roofs comprise pitched trusses and concrete tiles. The new dwellings benefit from a high specification including a fully fitted kitchen, open-plan living/dining areas, double glazing and gas central heating. Off-street car parking is available for each property, and residents will enjoy a prime location just a stone’s throw from the town centre. Ailsa Gait is already proving extremely popular. All the twobedroom homes have been snapped up and both the three and four-bedroom ranges are selling fast. Local couple James Jamieson and Jennifer Leek has just moved into their brand new

home, and the pair are extremely happy with their new property. Jennifer said: “Before we got the opportunity to buy this house we were living in private rented accommodation. We were very happy there but also very keen to get on to the property ladder. “The Shared Equity Scheme meant that we could afford to buy a home and we are delighted to be living at Ailsa Gait. “We’ve settled in so well and the new place is far quieter than where we lived before. We’re really happy here.” Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership is one of Scotland’s largest registered social landlords, owning and managing over 10,000 affordable rented homes across the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway region. In its short history DGHP has invested over £100 million pounds in improving and maintaining tenants’ homes and its first new properties will soon be ready for let.   DGHP is leading the way in involving tenants in the ownership and management of their homes.  Its Board and our District Management Committees (DMCs) ensure that around 55 tenants play an active role in the decision making process of the company. The company’s medium term aim is to ‘be the best housing association in Scotland’ and everyday we’re getting closer to realising this challenge. ROMA PUBLICATIONS


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Ratho Park:

a new gold standard for green construction 4FWFOZFBSTBGUFSUIFGJSTUTPEXBTDVUBU3BUIP#VTJOFTT 1BSL JO /FXCSJEHF  &EJOCVSHI  EFWFMPQFS &%* (SPVQ JT QSFQBSJOH UP MBVODI QIBTF UXP o XJUI B SBGU PG OFX TVTUBJOBCMF GFBUVSFT XIJDI XJMM SFJOGPSDF UIF QBSLT SFQVUBUJPO BT POF PG 4DPUMBOET HSFFOFTU DPNNFSDJBM EFWFMPQNFOUT Building on the success of phase one, which comprises 54,000 sq ft of office space over six units and has enticed successful firms such as Picsel Technologies, Marine Harvest and Reliance Security, contractor Muir Construction is currently building a three-storey office complex spanning 22,000 sq ft, and a 97-bed budget hotel which will be run by Travelodge. Due for completion later this year, the second phase is intended to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating and each material has been carefully selected for its green credentials. Indeed, at the very core of the development, concrete floors of increased depth will provide additional thermal mass, and each floor will be furnished with ‘super insulation’, ensuring all areas are kept cool in summer and warm in winter. The glazing to the office area will comprise a mix of clear glass and solar control, and all windows will meet the BREEAM requirements for natural ventilation. The roof falls will be specifically designed to shed water towards designated outlet points, facilitating an above-ground gravity rainwater drainage



system to collect and discharge rainwater. Pipework will be routed to discharge flows through the building, for final connection to the below ground drainage system. Tenant and circulation areas of the building are provided with natural ventilation via manually openable windows, and a network of intelligent sensors will turn lights off when rooms are empty. On the fringe of the site, a large cycle store will encourage tenants to leave their cars at home. Sustainability permeates every aspect of the current development – indeed the promotion team is currently undertaking a paperless marketing campaign, believed to be the first such initiative ever conceived in Scotland. The team is confident its eco-friendly development will prove a roaring success. A spokesperson for the development recently said: “Ratho Business Park is very much a landmark for construction in Scotland, as it is one of the biggest eco-friendly developments ever built in this country. Phase one has commanded national attention for its environmentally considerate features, and we are confident phase two will do the same.�

In addition to its sustainable properties, the development is sure to attract attention for its aesthetically pleasing design. The office development will incorporate Ibstock Blue Engineering brick, zinc rainscreen cladding, curtain walling and an eyecatching frameless glazing system around the sumptuous entrance vestibule. Meanwhile the new hotel is intended to break from the standard Travelodge design, and provide a high-quality visual signature underscored by contemporary materials. A simple palette of stone, render, zinc and glass will complement the colour and texture of the adjacent office building, and give the development a shimmering, professional luster. The spokesperson continued: “Both the hotel and the office will leave an enduring impression on Ratho Park’s visitors, and encapsulate the best of both traditional and modern building techniques. Architect 3D Reid has produced a truly unique design for both buildings, and we are delighted with the way Muir Construction has pulled the project together.� 'PSNPSFJOGPSNBUJPOQMFBTFWJTJUXXXSBUIPQBSLDPVL

First Maukinhill handovers due in May 5IFGJSTUXBWFPGIBOEPWFSTBSFEVFOFYUNPOUIBU$MPDI total of 193 affordable properties for rent and shared equity, and )PVTJOH "TTPDJBUJPOT OFX SFTJEFOUJBM EFWFMPQNFOU BU offer a range of accommodation from two bedrooms upwards. .BVLJOIJMM  (SFFOPDL POF PG UIF CJHHFTU SFHFOFSBUJPO Forty eight of the properties are being built in phase one, which TDIFNFTUIBU$MPDIIBTCFFOJOWPMWFEXJUIJO*OWFSDMZEF started on site last September and is due for overall completion The Maukinhill project, which follows an extensive transfer of housing stock from Inverclyde Council to Cloch, will deliver a

later this year. The remaining 145 properties will be delivered in phase two, an enormous undertaking which will hopefully begin



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in July and reach completion in 2012. The project was initiated following a high-profile ballot, in which 98% of Maukinhill tenants voted in favour of Cloch Housing Association becoming their landlord and backed the proposals to completely demolish the existing estate and build low rise back -and front-properties with their own private gardens. Having taken on board the views expressed in the ballot, Inverclyde Council transferred more than 200 social properties to Cloch in late 2007. The majority of the old properties comprised four-in-a-block cottages and tenements, and several properties were suffering from neglect and decay.

Caledonia House set for timely facelift (PSEPO(VUISJFDPOUSBDUTJTOPXKVTUBGFXXFFLTGSPN DPNQMFUJOH B SFNBSLBCMF QSPKFDU UP USBOTGPSN B HSBEF $ 4  MJTUFE UFOFNFOU CVJMEJOH  XIJDI QSFWJPVTMZ TFSWFE BT B IPTUFM GSPN &EJOCVSHIT IPNFMFTT  JOUP B NPEFSO DMVTUFSPGHFOFSBMQVSQPTFTPDJBMQSPQFSUJFT The old Caledonia House, built in the 1870s, is one of the most striking and evocative buildings in Edinburgh, with ashlar and sandstone facades redolent of Victorian Britain. In its previous guise the mid-terrace tenement comprised three floors of accommodation above a ground-floor retail cluster. The upper three floors were converted during the 1960s to provide six shared bedsit- style apartments for single, homeless persons, providing a vital service for people all across the Scottish capital. The current construction project was conceived when the hostel’s management company merged with Hillcrest Housing Association, one of Scotland’s largest Registered Social Landlords. Hillcrest decided the grand old building would be more suitable as a hub of general-purpose apartments, and commissioned Hackland & Dore to draw up plans for the conversion. Gordon Guthrie began work on site last year, with a brief to divide the six existing bedsit-style units into 12 self contained family units. The new accommodation includes a mixture of two, three and four-person apartments, and all will be available for rent through Hillcrest. Because Caledonia House is a listed building, the contractors have left its dramatic facades largely unchanged, and the



To rectify these deficiencies, Cloch devised a sweeping newbuild project in tandem with Coltart Earley Architects. The newbuild properties were designed around sustainable timber kits, with traditional blockwork and render to the elevations and tiled roofs. Residents will benefit from fully fitted kitchens and a host of stylish internal trimmings. The development includes both semi-detached and terraced properties with a small number of flats built to amenity standards, arranged in both cul-de-sacs and linear streets. All properties will be built to Housing for Varying Needs standards. The old properties are currently being removed by Whiteinch Demolition, and day-to-day construction work is now being led by main contractor McTaggart Construction. Funding is being provided through a mixture of Housing Association grants from the Scottish Government and a loan from the Nationwide Building Society.

contractors have carried out only minor replacement and repointing to the existing stonework. Instead, the contractors have focused on introducing new brick partition walls to divide each existing flat in two, and giving the building a more modern infrastructure to ensure a first-class service for years to come. The building’s original, solid internal partitions have remained largely unchanged, and have informed the layout of the new flats. However all internal partitions, in-fills, fixtures and fittings installed during the 1960s hostel conversion have been stripped out. Likewise those internal doors and associated architraves felt to be in keeping with the original fabric of the building have been set aside and re-used wherever possible. Existing services and M&E fittings have been stripped and replaced, and the old sash-and-case windows have been upgraded and replaced with similar modern single glazed sash and case windows to comply with Listed Building consents.

An insulated lining has been applied to the internal face of the external walls, and the contractors have added new wood fibre insulation with a 12.5mm plasterboard finish. The old radiators have been replaced, and new thermostatic radiators have been fitted throughout. Low energy lamps have been applied to all fittings, and upgraded the common stair lighting system. When the building is opened, each flat will be served by its own dedicated gas combi boiler – providing longterm sustainability as well as reliable performance. A spokesperson for the project said: “This project is very much an examplar for sustainable development and a shining example of best-practice modern construction techniques. We’ve ensured that each of its essential characteristics will survive long into the 21st century, and these features have been sensitively blended with modern services to provide high quality affordable accommodation in the heart of the city.�

Saint Andrews rises again to create stylish residential cluster "CSPXOGJFMETJUFQSFWJPVTMZPDDVQJFECZ4BJOU"OESFXT Main contractor Lovell Partnership is expected to hand over the 1SJNBSZ4DIPPMBOEQMBZJOHGJFMETJTCFJOHUSBOTGPSNFE development in July, at a total cost of ÂŁ4.9 million. JOUPBTUZMJTISFTJEFOUJBMEFWFMPQNFOUGPSDPVODJMUFOBOUT Work began early last year with an extensive enabling phase, JO/FX)VOUFSGJFME (PSFCSJEHF which included demolition of the existing school building, The development will be known as Saint Andrews Way, in honour of the school which once stood on the site, and will comprise a total of 60 properties, including 40 flats. All properties will be available for rent or shared ownership from Midlothian Council.

and construction of a landscaped soil bund to prevent noise disturbance from the neighbouring civic amenity centre. Each property will be built around a timber frame and a concrete ground floor slab, with timber slabs underpinning the



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intermediate floors. The elevations will be treated with fair faced brick cladding, and the external envelopes will be completed with upvc windows and concrete tiled roofs. Internal walls and ceilings will be embellished with painted plasterboard, and individual floor finishes will be left down to the tenant. Bathrooms will be fitted out in white ceramic tiles, and each property will include an electric shower. Those behind the development have striven to achieve a Good ECO homes rating through a raft of sustainable and environmentally considerate features. In addition to the timber frames, the development includes a SUDS drainage pond, condensing A-rated combi boilers and low-voltage light bulbs and extractor fans. The insulation system exceeds Building Control standards, and a new cycle footpath will encourage residents to travel on two wheels. The New Huntwerfield project is one of a series of residential developments taking place across Midlothian, in the first major



council house build programme to be carried out in Scotland for several decades. Contractors Lovell Partnership and Hart Builders are currently working on similar developments at Poltonhall, Newtongrange, Mayfield, Bonnyrigg and two other sites in Gorebridge – Gore Avenue and Barleyknowe. Each development is being built for Midlothian Council to address a significant shortfall in its social housing stock. Council Leader Derek Milligan recently said: “When it is complete, our house building project will provide a 20 per cent increase in the number of homes for rent in Midlothian. It will significantly impact on the shortfall of 1,800 houses that were identified as a result of the Midlothian Housing Needs survey in 2005. “We are the only local authority in Scotland in the last 30 years to have independently undertaken a housing programme of this size.”



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The renaissance of Merthyr Tydfil Manchester might have been the workshop of the world during the industrial revolution, but Merthyr Tydfil was the engine room. Iron forged in Merthyr was used to build the ships, bridges and railways that shaped the world in the late nineteenth century, ensuring that the town enjoys a permanent, pivotal place in world history.

During the early twentieth century, as British industry fell into decline, Merthyr’s economic prosperity was steadily eroded. By the 1980s, the town was synonymous with unemployment, economic disadvantage and low life expectancy. But now Merthyr is beginning to see the benefits of a sweeping programme of regeneration, which is designed to provide new opportunities and create a more welcoming environment in the town centre. Two decades of reclamation and regeneration has made over 450 hectares of land available for development throughout the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil. This has come about through significant public and private sector investment costing over £55 million. Careful and proactive planning has ensured that a varied mix of industrial,



commercial, retail, residential and leisure opportunities are now available to commercial investors. Many serviced units on sites in the area have been built and are now available for occupation. The area is now a fertile environment for new and existing businesses and communities to grow; Merthyr Tydfil’s County Borough’s assets to investors are expansive, ranging from the availability of quality premises and land to a superb quality of life coupled with a vibrant and dynamic body of peo Over the past 20 years, more than £55 million has been invested in reclamation, infrastructure and new-build projects. Over 41 hectares of land are now available for indigenous and incoming businesses, together with prime industrial and commercial premises. Local regeneration initiatives have been boosted by support from national bodies. In 2005 the Welsh Assembly Government announced Objective 1 European Funding totalling £2 million for a package of improvements in Merthyr Tydfil. These included fundamental enhancements to the Old Town Hall Square and Lower High Street, and a detailed programme of streetscape works to improve the overall shopping experience and will set the standard for future public realm works.

The project will also improve two priority Gateway schemes at Caedraw Roundabout and Tramroad Side North, which form an important southern approach to the town. The projects embrace a number of visually and functionally linked enhancement schemes at several sites across these areas.

Specific projects A number of regeneration projects, spearheaded by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC), have recently reached completion, or are approaching final handover. These include the River Taff Corridor Enhancement programme, which has provided a semi-natural corridor and riverscape through the heart of the town. The project has provided residents and visitors with an ambient and natural surrounding in close proximity to the town centre. The first phase, which consisted of works to a derelict site at Dixon Street, included new railings, paving, lighting, seating and landscaping improvements. The second phase, which included the installation of a fish pass, construction of a viewing platform and works to the square adjacent to the shopping centre bridge, has also reached completion.

Additional funding is now being sought from the Assembly to implement a further phase of works to improve the river corridor from the Town Centre to Rhydycar and further develop the linkages from the Welsh Assembly Government Building and Business Orbit Centre, to support increased access to and from the town centre. Meanwhile, in the heart of Merthyr, contractors have now finished an essential programme of environmental improvements to the High Street, the town centre’s most significant thoroughfare. The town centre public realm had deteriorated rapidly with the floorscape in a very serious state of disrepair; to rectify these deficiencies, the High Street and Market Square has been reconfigured to include a new high-quality granite floorscape, improved drainage, street signage, seating, planting and public art. The project has also installed new street lighting to buildings, thereby removing the previous proliferation of lighting columns and street signage. At the Lower End of the High Street, contractors have delivered a new ‘cafe quarter,’ featuring a new public space with greater definition of existing areas. The two principal elements of the High Street project concerned the treatment of the existing floor space, focused on Lower High Street, and the redesign of the area around Lucy Thomas Fountain to form a new public space suitable for street markets and exhibitions. Key to the redevelopment of this area has been the refurbishment of 25-26 High Street, rebranded Ty Penderyn. The newly refurbished, former eyesore is being marketed as a Cafe/Bistro and is now a modern looking building with glazed frontage and decked area overlooking St Tydfil’s Square. Building on these improvements, MTCBC now plans to revamp the historic core of Merthyr Tydfil, from Pontmorlais to St.

Tydfil’s Church. The Town Centre contains a variety of architectural styles and materials, with details relating to the late Classical, Gothic Revival and Edwardian Baroque movements. It contains a concentration of 23 Listed Buildings, a number of Locally Listed Buildings and street frontages while becoming a hub of social, commercial, civic and spiritual activity. The Conservation Area is important in displaying Merthyr Tydfil’s development between the late 18th and early 20th centuries. A full Character Appraisal and Townscape Appraisal Plan, displaying the proposed boundary, has been prepared and is currently under discussion.

Landscaping Around the fringes of the town centre, a series of improvements have been delivered to improve the approaches from the main trunk roads and entice passing traffic. Contractors initially installed banners promoting the town centre and municipal events in and around the town centre, introduced soft landscaping in the Caedraw area, and installed the stunning Charles Sansbury sculpture as a public art feature, which also provides night-time illumination. During phase two of the improvement programme, contractors have raised the landscaping profile to both the Town Centre and new developments around the periphery. The project included the re-grading of land and the erection of retained dry stone walls, complemented by fundamental landscaping enhancements (including the planting of heaths, pines and herbaceous materials).

Construction projects A raft of new developments are currently

under construction, to complement the improvements to Merthyr’s environment and landscapes. Perhaps the most significant is the Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Project, a £25 million leisure and commercial development which went on site in January 2007. Several key landmarks within the development are already open for business. These include a Vue multiplex eight screen cinema, a 60-bed Travelodge hotel, and restaurants operated by Nando’s and Frankie and Benny’s. These crucial outlets will soon be joined by a series of further commercial developments, including a 10-pin bowling alley, a family pub, a skateboard park and a family picnic area. The development will be anchored by the Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre, one of the UK’s best-equipped leisure centres, and will be served by around 750 car parking spaces, with new and improved links to public transport. To complement the Leisure Project, a £2.1 million redevelopment programme recently commenced at Gurnos shopping centre, on of Merthyr’s most recognisable landmarks. The 12-month refurbishment project will refurbish the centre’s old tower and convert it to provide office accommodation and training facilities for the 3Gs Development Trust, one of Merthyr’s foremost community services providers. The fronts of six shops will be extended, and all eight businesses which currently occupy space at Gurnos will benefit from refurbishment and other improvements, including landscaping, improved security and a new car park at the front of the shops. Improvement work on individual shops will be carried out on Sundays to prevent any disruption to business. ROMA PUBLICATIONS


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M4 widening scheme set for December completion *OUFSOBUJPOBMMZ SFOPXOFE DPOUSBDUPS $BSJMMJPO 1MD JT DBSSZJOH PVU FTTFOUJBM XJEFOJOH XPSLT PO B LN TUSFUDIPGUIF.CFUXFFO$BTUMFUPOBOE$PSZUPO OPSUI PG$BSEJGG5IFQSPKFDU XIJDIJTCFJOHDBSSJFEPVUGPSUIF 8FMTI "TTFNCMZ (PWFSONFOU  JT EFTJHOFE UP JNQSPWF KPVSOFZUJNFT SFMJFWFDPOHFTUJPOBOESFEVDFBDDJEFOUT POPOFPGUIFCVTJFTUTUSFUDIFTPGNPUPSXBZJO8BMFT The scheme involves the construction of a third lane to complement the existing dual two–lane motorway in each direction between Junctions 29 and 32 on the M4. Carillion is also widening a number of structures, mainly underbridges, to fit the widened motorway, and is re-aligning the lanes in certain sections. Major overbridges remain wide enough for 3 lanes. The scheme was awarded to Carillion under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) project in February 2005, and the works were divided into six principal phases, split according to traffic phases and geographic areas. The preliminary design work on phase one, including statutory procedures, was undertaken by Jacobs; this stage was followed by a short public local inquiry in July 2006. After careful consideration of the content of the Inspector’s Report, the Welsh Assembly Minister agreed with the Inspector’s recommendation to make the draft Statutory Orders in December 2006. The Notice to Proceed to phase two (detailed design and construction) was issued in February 2007. During phases one to three, covering the stretch of motorway between Cardiff Gate (J30) to Coryton (J32), the project team has completed the third lane, and extended several underbridges to



accommodate the extra width. The project team began site clearance shortly after the Notes to Proceed were issued, and principal construction work began in June 2007. The contractors are currently making excellent progress, and have already completed the first phases of the project. Three lanes of traffic are now available in each direction between Junctions 30 (Cardiff Gate) and 32 (Coryton), and several underbridges have been extended to accommodate the extra width. Work on phases four-six, between Junctions 30 and 29 (Castleton), is now underway; this stage of the scheme will extend the dual three-lane motorway to link into the existing dual three-lane motorway past Newport. Carillion and its subcontractors are currently at an advanced stage of on phase four, which involves the asymmetrical widening of the eastbound carriageway between Cardiff Gate and Castleton. After central reserve works, the same form of widening will be undertaken on the westbound carriageway in the concluding sixth phase. Throughout, extensive environmental mitigation measures have been, or will be provided, including tree and shrub planting on new slopes, drainage retention ponds and noise fencing in sensitive areas alongside housing. Dormice, which are protected under European legislation, were found present early on in the project, and the contractors have had to work around constraints associated with licences. Carillion is currently on course to reach overall completion in December, at a cost of approximately ÂŁ73 million.

5IFCVJMEQSPHSBNNF Standard road construction materials are being used to build the new lane, in accordance with the Specification for Highway Works to meet a 40-year design life. The surface of the lane will generally comprise stone, concrete and bituminous materials, with an element of thin surfacing for additional noise attenuation. Soil nailing is being employed on several slopes to allow a steeper slope face, and slip-formed concrete is being used to build the walls on the motorway’s edge. Alongside the main body of works, Carillion is renewing the signs and lighting and upgrading the motorway communications network to improved standards. Additional overhead Lane Gantries have been erected on the approach to Junction 32 Westbound. To facilitate the realignment of the road network new highway drainage systems have been installed to accommodate the additional lanes in each direction. This state-of-the-art drainage system will channel the majority of surface water into new attenuation ponds that will control the release of water into existing courses at a low steady flow rate. The attenuation ponds can also be closed via their penstocks to contain spillage if required in emergency situations. The project team has been bound by numerous considerations throughout the scheme; working in close proximity to live motorway traffic, the contractors have been challenged to devise a coherent traffic management strategy using contraflows and night-time closures, to minimise disruption and the potential for accidents. Dormice, which are protected under European legislation, were found early on in the project, and the contractors have had to work around constraints associated with licences in this area. Thankfully Carillion has proved more than capable of meeting every challenge, and the project has remained on schedule to date. A spokesperson for the client said: “This project is very much a milestone for Wales, as it will be the first scheme successfully developed and constructed by the Welsh Assembly under the ECI procurement route. Given this significance, we are delighted with the way the project has taken shape; the works are currently proceeding on time and on budget, and motorists haven’t experienced any major inconvenience. “It’s been a pleasure to be involved with such an efficient and hard-working team.” Carillion has received invaluable support throughout the project from its designer Jacobs and environmental co-ordinator Richards, Moorhead and Laing (RML), as well as employer’s agent Parsons Brinckerhoff whose team was assisted by environmental advisor TACP.



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Lisburn further education hub taking shape A 16,000 sq m replacement Further Education Institute building is currently being built on vacant land between Wallace Avenue and Castle Street in the historical heart of Lisburn, one of Northern Ireland’s most evocative cities. The building will be used by the South Eastern Regional College (SERC), a new learning hub which incorporates the old Lisburn Institute of Further & Higher Education, North Down & Ards Institute of Further & Higher Education and East Down Institute of Further & Higher Education. The development was conceived and funded by the Department of Employment and Learning, procured under a PFI/PPP scheme. The practical client is SERC, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) agency is East Down and Lisburn Educational Partnership (EDLEP), and the main contractor is Farrans Construction. The new development is based on a 16,000 sq m footprint, and will provide 14,800 sq m of new accommodation for the SERC. The build programme is split into several phases, with the first due for handover next March. The overall project is believed to have a total value of £22 million.

Design The nature and location of the site imposed several constraints on architect Knox & Clayton when the design process began in 2005. The new development will sit on a tight urban site adjacent to the existing SERC building, in a key part of Lisburn’s Historic Quarter. One façade on the main entrance



is encompassed by the Lisburn Conservation area, and is subject to Environment and Heritage Service approval. Knox & Clayton was further challenged by the topography of the ground, which drops five metres from front to back and seven metres from left to right, and is framed by a steep bank. In response to these challenges, Knox & Clayton created a design based on three independent buildings, joined together with a foyer and link corridors. To mitigate the topography of the site, the architect

has designed each building at a different level, with all three buildings enjoying four three named storeys and roof-level access. All three buildings are based on reinforced concrete flat slab construction, with block infill walls to allow future flexibility of layout. The three structures are linked by a number of common materials, including facing brickwork and curtain walling to the elevations, doubleglazed aluminium windows and a concrete roof slab, finished with insulation and firestone rubber.

However each building has been given a raft of unique material treatments to create a unique visual signature. Indeed the curtain wall systems will be installed in periodic, apparently random sections to give each elevation a distinct complexion. At the front elevation to Castle Street, the curtain wall will span the entire height of the building from floor to ceiling. This elevation will be further enhanced by a brick plinth, feature zinc detailing and a ‘fake’ timber truss pitch roof, which will ensure the building chimes with the surrounding conservation area. Meanwhile block three, which will house Technology and Built Environment students, will be finished with facing blockwork on the ground-floor elevation with two storeys of aluminium cladding above. The end of the building, facing directly onto Wallace Avenue, has a raised section of roof to facilitate the future installation of internal mezzanine levels, and a feature cantilevered overhang clad in aluminium sheeting. The development includes two large atrium spaces, both over three floors, bringing high levels of natural light into the scheme. There will be full, universal access for all users to all public areas of the building, with a total of six lifts allowing vertical travel between floors. Specialist landscape architect Park Hood has added a plethora of hard and soft touches to the periphery of the site. The main entrance approaches are detailed in hard landscaping, and the steep bank will be planted out with suitably robust and low maintenance planting. A multi-storey car park will be built to serve the site under a separate phase.

The enabling works contract began in 2007, and notable works included site clearance, piling and the construction of a groundsupport floor slab to reinforce the soft ground. The main construction works began officially in March 2008, with the contract stipulating a two-year window to complete the first phase of the works. Following completion of the first phase early next year, the existing college will be demolished and work will begin on the new multi-storey car park. Main contractor Farrans was recently rated under the ‘Considerate Contractors’ scheme and scored an impressive 36 out of 40 possible marks. This is the joint highest score (with another Farrans project ) given for a site in Northern Ireland, and is currently being proposed for an external award.

The build programme The site itself was a vacant lot owned by Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), and previously housed two electrical sub-stations and a cluster of derelict buildings. All existing structures were demolished at the outset of the build programme, and the sub-stations were relocated. Part of the existing college building had to be removed to facilitate the new structure; an enabling works contract was tendered for this stage of the programme, and specialist contractors were hired to provide alternative, mobile accommodation for students and staff displaced by the current building works. ROMA PUBLICATIONS


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The Drehid Waste Management Facility 5IF %SFIJE 8BTUF .BOBHFNFOU 'BDJMJUZ JT POF PG UIF CJHHFTU DPOTUSVDUJPO QSPKFDUT VOEFSUBLFO JO *SFMBOE JO SFDFOUZFBST4USFUDIJOHBDSPTTBDSFTPGDVUBXBZ QFBUMBOE OFBS UIF UPXO PG "MMFOXPPE  $PVOUZ ,JMEBSF  UIF GBDJMJUZ  XIFO GVMMZ DPNQMFUF  XJMM JODMVEF B MBOEGJMM XJUI DBQBDJUZ PG CFUXFFO   BOE   UPOOFT PG SFTJEVBM XBTUF QFS BOOVN  BOE B GVMMZ FODMPTFE DPNQPTUJOH VOJU XIJDI XJMM BDDFQU VQ UP   UPOOFT PGNBUFSJBMQFSZFBS Construction of this monolithic development has been apportioned into several individual phases, with each phase, or contract, tendered individually. The initial stages of the construction programme were carried out by Priority Construction Ltd, which was awarded Contract 1 and then Contract 2. These contracts involved the completion of all enabling works, the construction of the facility’s buildings and infrastructure, the creation of a new access road and the delivery of a first wave of cells for the landfill operation. Priority Construction Ltd. was awarded the first two contracts after impressing the project client, Bord Na Mona Environmental Limited, with its range of skills and expertise. The contractor has constructed new lined landfills and capped existing disposal sites across Westmeath, North and South Tipperary, Cork, Carlow, Kilkenny, Fingal, Limerickand Clare. Priority had previously worked with Bord Na Mona on an extensive environmental infrastructure scheme, and had earned the respect and trust of the client during this project. Work on Contract 1 began in September 2006. This package was primarily devoted to groundworks and site preparation, and also involved the construction of a 5km access road into the site. Priority’s first task was to strip back the boggy ground using wide-track excavators and dumpers with anti-floatation tyres; once this was complete, the contractor stabilised the ground using a geotextile and filling material sourced from an on-site quarry. The access road was built using filling material and tarmac, and Priority laid a new drainage system as part of its construction. Following completion of these essential preparatory works Priority began work on contract two in mid-2007. This stage of the development entailed the construction of five cells plus the administration building, weighbridge compound, maintenance shed, leachate management area, roadways and quarantine zone, and the completion of two surface water lagoons. The cells were anchored by two 250ml layers of bentoniteenhanced soil, which was batched on site. On top of these layers Priority installed a 2mm HDPE impermeable liner, before introducing a protective geotextile layer and a leachate collection system, which consists of a 16-32 ml stone slab punctuated by HDPE pipes. Each of the site structures was constructed using a different blend of materials. The administration building was constructed using in situ concrete decking to the first floor, while the weighbridge compound was constructed using a block-andtimber design. The leachate management area is predicated on a concrete slab with a concrete upstanding wall, and houses two



large containers sourced from Irish Tanks. The quarantine area is a concrete slab with in situ concrete walls, and the maintenance shed is a steel-framed structure with sheet cladding to the walls and roof. Priority reached completion on contract two last February, less than eighteen months after work began. Having made such excellent progress on this hugely complex and challenging scheme, the Priority team is understandably proud of its efforts. A spokesperson for the Priority team said: “Taking the Drehid project from scratch required a major effort from all our staff, but we were able to draw on a wealth of experience in this highly specialist area. “The entire team worked with diligence and professionalism from start to finish, and it was a genuine pleasure to be involved in this project. We feel we have played a key role in getting the Drehid development up and running, and we continue to hold an active interest in the construction of this vital facility.�

Stage two: Coffey Construction Ltd

"CPVU$PGGFZ$POTUSVDUJPO-UE Coffey Construction Ltd is a key part of the Coffey Group, a market leader in building, environmental and civil engineering. Established in 1974, the group operates throughout the Republic of Ireland and London, and has remained financially strong, achieving turnover in excess of â‚Ź120 million in 2006.

#VJMEJOH PO UIF JOJUJBM XPSLT DBSSJFE PVU CZ 1SJPSJUZ $POTUSVDUJPO  $PGGFZ $POTUSVDUJPO -UE JT BCPVU UP DPNQMFUF DPOUSBDU UISFF PG UIF PWFSBMM %SFIJE 8BTUF .BOBHFNFOU EFWFMPQNFOU 5IJT QBDLBHF XJMM EFMJWFS GJWFOFXDFMMTGPSSFDFJQUPGIPVTFIPMESFGVTFBU%SFIJE  EPVCMJOHUIFTJUFTMBOEGJMMDBQBDJUZ Coffey began work on contract three last November, and the project team is on course to reach completion at the end of April. The site has remained fully operational for the duration of the works, and Coffey has worked closely with project client Bord Na Mona to keep potential disruption to a minimum. Each phase two cell covers 28,000 sq ft and sinks to a depth of 4 metres below ground level. Coffey began the construction project by excavating each of the five plots to this depth, and used the excavated materials to build the embankments for the cells. Like the five cells built by Priority Construction, the phase two units have been constructed using Bentonite-enhanced soil, an HDPE impermeable liner, a protective geotextile layer and leachate collection system with integral pipework. A spokesperson for the project said: “Priority did a top job on the first two contracts and we’ve tried to follow this through in contract three. We inherited an operational site, and we have had to work skilfully and carefully to ensure no disturbance to the development’s existing occupants. “We’re approaching the latter stages of the project now, and it’s great to see this crucial project taking shape before our eyes.�



I re l a n d 5FSSBUFL.JOFSBM-JOFST-UE Terratek Mineral Liners Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Terratek Project Services Ltd. The team is led by Managing Director, Fred Lommerse, who has over 20 years of experience and expertise in dealing with Bentonite Enhanced Soils (B.E.S.) in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. Terratek operates three fully transportable, computer controlled, purpose built batching plants which have been specifically designed for the production of B.E.S. To date, Terratek’s equipment has produced in excess of 2.7 million square meters of B.E.S. in the UK and Ireland for use as low permeability barriers in the construction of landfill sites, reservoirs and ponds. All Terratek’s batching plants provide a thoroughly homogeneous B.E.S. mix and supply computer print-outs of each batch mixed. They are supported by fully equipped mobile Construction Quality Assurance Laboratories which have facilities for the sampling and analysis of host material, bentonite

and the mixed B.E.S. throughout production. Once the B.E.S. is placed and compacted the laboratory staff can also test for relative compaction. Technical support is provided throughout the B.E.S. project. The batching plants and laboratories are staffed by fully qualified personnel. Terratek thus provides a ‘go-anywhere’ solution to B.E.S. production. To further reassure clients of their commitment to quality control, Terratek is ISO9001:2000 accredited. Due to its expertise in the field of B.E.S., Terratek is frequently asked to become involved at the planning stage of landfills. Initial soil analysis to determine the suitability of a proposed host material is carried out ‘in-house’ and once all tests are complete, Terratek produces a Mix Design Report for submission to the client. Terratek Mineral Liners Ltd were pleased to be awarded the contract by Coffey Construciton Ltd to produce the Bentonite Enhanced Soils (BES) required for the Drehid Waste Management Facility.

Duggan approaching summit of Mount Pleasant project .PVOU1MFBTBOU-PEHF BTUBUFPGUIFBSUOVSTJOHIPNF EFTJHOFE UP QSPWJEF QFSTPOBM BOE TFOTJUJWF DBSF GPS PMEFSQFPQMF JTEVFUPPQFOJO,JMDPDLPWFSUIFOFYUGFX XFFLT The new facility, built by Duggan Brothers (Contractors) Ltd for First Care Limited, is scheduled for final handover in June. Site manager James Breen reports that the building is already wind and watertight, and the tiling and sanitaryware fit-outs are set for completion shortly. Mount Pleasant will offer 68 bedrooms for elderly and retired people in a prime location on Clane Road. The two-storey structure will include several rooms specifically designed for disabled use, and the facility will also include eight bedrooms for staff. Residents will be able to relax in a series of communal lounge areas, and First Care will provide a number of specialist ancillary facilities including hairdressing salons, physiotherapy and chiropody rooms, a snoezelen therapy room and a hydrotherapy suite. The external area will be embellished with a secluded garden area, a courtyard and a decking area, with a raised flowerbed for gardening activities. Work began last August on a greenfield site which required little enabling work. The new structure is built on standard strip foundations, and the majority of the building has been constructed using traditional masonry construction, with a minor steel frame to the reception area. Key materials include radon barrier, an in situ concrete ground



floor slab; a prestressed precast hollowcare slab at first-floor level; a nap rendered painted finishe to the external elevations; natural wood frames to windows and doors; and a prefabricated truss roof featuring Trutone slates. The two floors are linked by a pair of lifts and precast stairs, and sewage will be treated in a proprietary Bord Na Mona Puraflo Peat Filter system, located on site. The Puraflo system uses a unique biofibrous peat filter media and is renowned for its energy efficiency, operational reliability and minimal maintenance requirements. A state-of-the-art attenuation system has also been supplied by Microstrain Environment. Duggan has been supported throughout the project by CCH Architects and project management company, O’Kelly Partnership. A raft of specialist sub-contractors have been employed at each stage; for example Davies Ltd has supplied the specialist sanitary ware, and local roofing contractor T Lynch Contracting Ltd erected the roof structure, using trusses supplied by Dempsey Timber Engineering. Project client FirstCare already operates four excellent homes in the Greater Dublin area at Blainroe Lodge, Earlsbrook House in Bray, Northbrook House in Ranelagh and Beneavin Lodge in Glasnevin. In addition to Mount Pleasant Lodge, FirstCare will shortly open Beneavin House, which will offer a total of 65 beds for older people, and Beneavin Convalescent Services and Retirement Apartments, which will complement FirstCare’s established Beneavin Lodge Nursing Home. The three new facilities will take FirstCare’s total residential capacity beyond 400 bedrooms. FirstCare is widely renowned for the tailored care it provides, and the company offers a range of activities including fitness classes, reminiscence therapy, music sessions, bingo and

Work began last August on a greenfield site which required little enabling work. social events. Each of these activities will be available at Mount Pleasant. Main contractor Duggan Brothers (Contractors) Ltd. was founded in 1926 and is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading building and civil engineering contractors, having successfully completed hundreds of projects in both the public and private sector. Duggan’s projects typically range in value from ₏1m to ₏35m, and encompass the commercial, educational, healthcare, residential and healthcare sectors. In addition to the standard procurement route, Duggan also undertakes design-and-build and PPP contracts on a regular basis.

Towerview project finished to highest standard $IJMESFO BU 5PXFSWJFX 1SJNBSZ 4DIPPM JO #BOHPS  /PSUIFSO *SFMBOE IBWF KVTU NPWFE GSPN UIFJS PME  UJSFE QSFNJTFT UP B CSBOEOFX CVJMEJOH PO BO BEKBDFOU TJUF 5IF SFQMBDFNFOU TDIPPM  CVJMU CZ )FSPO #SPUIFST BU B DPTU PG b NJMMJPO  SFBDIFE DPNQMFUJPO BU UIF TUBSU PG UIFZFBSBOEUIFSFMPDBUJPOQSPDFTTUPPLQMBDFXJUIPVU EJTSVQUJPOEVSJOH'FCSVBSZ The new school offers a raft of benefits to Towerview’s 390 pupils. Whereas the old school comprised a series of disparate buildings, often separated by significant distances and riddled with unsuitable teaching spaces, its replacement provides all tuition and facilities within a single building, specifically designed by project client SEELB to modern education requirements. Towerview’s 13 classrooms are now arranged in a series of bunches, with each Key Stage allocated its own cluster of three or four classrooms. Each cluster enjoys its own dedicated resource area, and the layout is specifically designed to create a bespoke approach to learning for each year group, and give ROMA PUBLICATIONS


I re l a n d students the chance to meet and mix with their peers. Each resource area features a captivating vaulted ceiling, with rooflights to flood the room with natural light and create a pleasantly airy environment for pupils. The new school has already a BREAAM Excellent rating in recognition of its excellent levels of insulation, and the building’s energy efficient construction will ensure students are kept warm all year round.

5IFCVJMEQSPHSBNNF Work on the replacement programme began in January on a site which previously housed a hard-standing play area next door to the old school buildings. The smooth, level ground required little enabling work, apart from some essential rockbreaking to create space for the foundation level. The new building is of traditional masonry construction, with both concrete in situ and precast slabs underpinning the floor area. All materials have been selected for ease of maintenance and long-term durability; for example the elevations have been treated in smooth render with elements of stone and timber cladding, and the windows have been fitted using standard double-glazed aluminium. The envelope is completed by a black concrete tiled roof. To ensure a dramatic visual signature, each classroom projects outwards onto an extensive landscaped area. In addition to the main school building, the contractors have completed a single-classroom nursery unit with an adjoining quiet room and toilet area; this area boasts its own dedicated hard and soft landscaping. Now that pupils are happily ensconced in their new surroundings, contractors have begun work to demolish the old school. The demolition contract is due for completion in May, bringing the project to an overall conclusion.

Contractors complete Work West expansion 8PSL8FTU BCVSHFPOJOH&OUFSQSJTF1BSLJO8FTU#FMGBTU  IBTSFDFOUMZCFFOFYUFOEFEXJUIBOFXEFWFMPQNFOUPG PGGJDFTTQBOOJOHTRGFFU BOEGPVSJOEVTUSJBMVOJUT UPUBMMZ TR GFFU 'PSUZ GJWF DBS QBSLJOH TQBDFT IBWF BMTPCFFOQSPWJEFE XJUITDPQFGPSGVUVSFFYQBOTJPO The project is expected to create up to 50 new jobs, which are much needed in West Belfast. The jobs are specifically aimed at new business and small expanding firms, and the scheme has certainly been welcomed as a stimulus for regeneration the West of Belfast. The new development comprises a steel frame, with traditional cavity wall construction using facing block by Colinwell, a local company in West Belfast. The mono-pitched roof has been provided with insulated metal roofing panels by Kingspan, and the windows comprise double-glazed aluminium framed units to meet current building regulations. A lift is also provided for access to the first floor, giving a fully accessible office building. The new site was purchased from Invest NI and is behind the main Work West Enterprise Park. This is an ideal position for expansion of this enterprise park in a secure self-contained unit, adjacent to the existing park. The scheme cost in the region of ÂŁ1.3 million and took the form of a Design and Build Contract, awarded to Tal Ltd of Lisburn. The design team included: McKenna Design, Architects Limited, of Belfast; Lisburn-based Bailie Associates, the building



services engineers; Gilligan and Partners, based in Belfast, who provided civil and structural engineering services; and architect and surveyor Povall Worthington, which was appointed by Work West as employer’s agent to advise and oversee the contract, from initial design stage to completion. Funding for the project was provided the European Union Peace and Reconciliation Programme and International Fund for Ireland.

New water treatment system for Dunshaughlin 5IF BODJFOU TFUUMFNFOU PG %VOTIBVHIMJO  XIJDI IBT CFDPNF B UISJWJOH TBUFMMJUF UPXO GPS %VCMJO JO SFDFOU ZFBST XJMMTPPOIBWFBCSBOEOFXXBTUFXBUFSUSFBUNFOU TZTUFN UIBOLTUPBHSPVOECSFBLJOHDPOTUSVDUJPOQSPKFDU MFECZ8BSEBOE#VSLF The new treatment system, built on behalf of Meath County Council, will funnel water from subterranean streams into a huge new tower, which will serve as a high-level reservoir for the local population. Water will initially be drawn up into seven production wells, bored deep beneath the ground at various points around Dunshaughlin. The water will then be pumped through a network of pipes to arrive at a brand-new dedicated treatment works, where will it be cleaned and channelled into the tower. The majority of works are being carried out by Ward and Burke, the project’s civils contractor. Ward and Burke’s contract includes a full package of groundworks around each of the new wells; the installation of the pipeline network, which spans a total of 6.5km; and the construction of the new treatment works, water tower and pumping station. All seven wells were pre-located and pre-drilled before Ward and Burke arrived on site. Around each well the contractor has laid plinths, site fencing, and basic access roads. Each pipe has been built using HDP and ductile material, and supplied by Fusion Provida and Saint-Gobain. he main treatment works is being built on a greenfield site just outside Dunshaughlin. Ward and Burke began the construction programme by stripping out the topsoil and levelling out the steep slope of the site using a traditional cut-and-fill method. A large number of structures, including the dirty washwater tank, Clearwater tank, chemical storage area and water tower, are being constructed entirely of reinforced concrete. Meanwhile

both the main plant building and the pumping station are based on a steel portal frame, with Kingspan cladding to the elevations and a Tac dec 508 roofing system. A spokesperson for the project said: “This is a crucial project for Dunshaughlin, as it will ensure a reliable supply of fresh, clean water for years to come. The build programme has presented several major challenges, but we’ve risen to each challenge and found innovative ways to address each potential problem. “It’s been a pleasure to be associated with such an exciting scheme.�

"CPVU8BSE#VSLF$POTUSVDUJPO-UE Since its formation in 2001 Ward & Burke Construction Ltd has grown steadily year on year, and the company realised a turnover of â‚Ź80m in 2007. Its ethos seeks to combine the principles of sound engineering technology with an unwavering commitment to completing projects on time and to a high standard. This combination enables the firm to deliver a competitive tender for each contract and complete projects on time and within budget. The company has a strong skills base of technical staff, foremen and workers with experience across a wide range of construction disciplines. Ward & Burke directly employs in excess of 250 people, and this wide staff base gives the company the necessary flexibility to vary resources at short notice in accordance with individual contract requirements. Ward & Burke seeks to micro-manage jobs using engineering innovation wherever possible, to achieve sound engineering and economic solutions on each job. As an example of engineering innovation, the company recently developed and implemented its own system of precast concrete manufacture for manholes, pumping stations and other chambers commonly used throughout construction projects. This system provides a safer on-site method of construction for these vital elements. The company operatse across the full range of construction disciplines, with a broad base of clients both in the public and private sectors.



A s s o c i ati o n s

Preview: PestEx 2009 5IFJOUSPEVDUJPOPGUIF4FDVSFECZ%FTJHOJOJUJBUJWFIBT DPNQFMMFE BSDIJUFDUT BOE DPOUSBDUPST UP SFJOWFOU UIFJS BQQSPBDIUPAEFTJHOJOHPVUDSJNJOBMT5PEBZTCVJMEJOHT NVTU JODMVEF B SBGU PG GFBUVSFT UP QSFWFOU BDDFTT UP UIJFWFT CVSHMBSTBOEPUIFSGFMPOT BOEUIFDPOTUSVDUJPO JOEVTUSZ JT DPOTUBOUMZ EFWJTJOH OFX UFDIOJRVFT UP NJOJNJTF UIF QPUFOUJBM GPS CSFBLJOT BOE BOUJ TPDJBM CFIBWJPVS But a truly secure building must address a wider base of potential threats; in addition to human beings, construction professionals must consider the problems caused by rats, mice, pigeons and other potentially destructive animals if their building is to be truly secure. Those who need to get up to speed with the latest solutions for tackling non-human intruders would be well advised to visit PestEx, a unique two-day event run by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA). Established for over 20 years, PestEx draws together exhibitors and delegates from across the pest management industry, and provides a rundown of the latest products and techniques from today’s pest control specialists, with an emphasis on practical instruction and first-hand insight. This year’s PestEx event is being held at London’s Docklands between 22nd and 23rd April, and visitors will find a plethora of new features. A capacious Seminar Theatre will provide a wealth of relevant advice from senior industry figures, and the new Technical Area will offer a new level of technical knowledge. Meanwhile a new Practical Demonstration Area, introduced by popular request, will facilitate a series of short-duration training sessions linked to Continuous Personal or Professional Development (CPD) points and relevant industry certification.



With more than 1,500 visitors expected over its two-day span, PestEx is sure to prove more pertinent than ever for the UK’s construction firms. Visitors will be able to browse more than 80 stands jammed with product innovations and industry advances, and a highly-respected technical development forum will explain and dissect the latest industry standards and operation procedures. The workshop and seminar programmes include several topics of particular interest to construction firms. Attendees will be given a comprehensive explanation of the tender and procurement processes for London 2012, and those who visit the workshop will be able to see a number of access and facial protection products specifically developed for pest-sensitive sites. Oliver Madge, chief executive officer of the BPCA, the organiser of PestEx, says: “This year’s PestEx event is particularly relevant to the construction industry, as several of our exhibitors will showcase ways to design effective pest management systems into the fabric of new buildings. “For example one of our key exhibitors, Network, provides a number of innovative systems that prevent birds roosting in buildings and eroding brickwork. Meanwhile Insect-O-Cutor, a renowned manufacturer of fly screens, will showcase products which prevent insects getting into contact with food preparation surfaces – a key requirement under the Food Safety Act. “Pest management systems are becoming increasingly important to the UK’s construction firms. One of the four biggest supermarkets is now demanding that its new premises be completely pest-free; to create such an environment, architects and contractors must pay attention to every nook and cranny. For example window sills should be given a distinct slope to prevent



A s s o c i ati o n s

‘Our new system modifies the behavior of birds by touch’

birds getting a foothold, and loading bays in supermarkets should be specifically aligned to deny access to rats and mice.� Oliver believes PestEx can facilitate a closer and more harmonious working relationship between construction and pest management firms: “Our industry needs to work hand-in-glove with the building trade to combat the pest problem. In some cases, such as 24/7 commercial outlets, it’s impossible or extremely difficult to design out pests. In such cases you need to think about effective management strategies to deal with the pests – construction firms can have a major role in such strategies.�

i5IF'VUVSFT#SJHIUUIF'VUVSFT"WJ4IPDLw Historically sensitive and architecturally important buildings and structures can now be effectively protected from the harmful effects of birds without impairing their visual appeal, thanks to the UK’s first electric bird deterrent system. AviShock opens up a whole world of bird management options alongside spikes and nets. Unlike traditional solutions to bird problems the new system, introduced by behavior-led pest control expert Sorex, is hardly visible from any distance and almost impossible to detect from ground level.  It can also be used to protect ornate and awkward architectural features that previously defied proofing. ‘Our new system modifies the behavior of birds by touch’, explained Sorex  .It deters them from damaging buildings, creating a mess and a safety risk and causing a public nuisance by loafing, roosting or nesting.  ‘Through independent trials under carefully controlled conditions at the Government’s own Central Science Laboratories (CSL) we have been able to prove that AVIShock will not harm birds. ‘ Armed with that evidence we are confident the system complies with all the relevant legislation, enabling it to be launched as the only electric system proven to meet UK legal requirements. ‘The CSL trials also showed AviShock to be highly effective at deterring birds, causing them to take wing rapidly when it was operational and showing a marked reluctance to re-visit the protected area over an extended period’. AviShock is based on lengths of twin, braided stainless steel conductors set in an extruded PVC base, which can be glued along almost any surface and is flexible enough to accommodate undulations and curves.  The track is just 6mm high and available in several building-toned colours for even less visible. Weatherproof charger units send pulses of high voltage, low – current electricity down the conductors, shocking birds



whenever they land on the track and complete the circuit. Jim Lacey of J Lacey Steeplejacks comments that ‘The new system is ideal for listed buildings and other high profile sites. Up to now we’ve only been able to use nets or spikes, which can be very unsightly, and bird wire, which is often ineffective.  A system like this that’s proven to be humane is definitely an important step forward in Bird proofing Deterrent systems.

CUT BACK NOW – PAY A LOT MORE LATER! "5-"4"TTPDJBUJPOPG5FDIOJDBM-JHIUOJOHBOE"DDFTT 4QFDJBMJTUTSFQPSUTSFDPSEDVUTJOTBGFUZJOTQFDUJPOTBOE FTTFOUJBMNBJOUFOBODFCZNBKPSDPSQPSBUJPOTBOEXBSOT PGUIFEJSFDPOTFRVFODFTPGTVDIDPTUDVUUJOHQPMJDJFT Times are tough, undeniably tough and about to get even worse if you believe the doom and gloom reported by the media. The UK construction industry has shrunk by a massive 30% in the past 12 months and further contraction is predicted. Naturally, companies are cutting costs in an effort to beat the recession, but few could have anticipated the wholesale abandonment of even basic safety inspections and essential maintenance by large companies. Leaving aside the irrefutable argument that regular maintenance costs considerably less than repair, such short sighted panic-like cutbacks could quite literally become a matter of life or death! When it comes to Health & Safety, adopting a “make do and mend� attitude is not an option. Yet this is the disturbing reality observed by ATLAS members who, despite weathering the economic storm better than most, are reporting such cutbacks throughout the UK. Graeme Fisher, ATLAS President said: “This is the shocking and distressing trend we’ve noticed over the past 9 months. Large and supposedly responsible companies, power stations and oil refineries are failing to carry out important routine maintenance on site in an effort to reduce their costs. This is myopic and we believe compromises on-site safety, with potentially catastrophic consequences!�

Mr Fisher makes the further point that regular inspections and essential maintenance are not a luxury but rather a fundamental part of a company’s health and safety obligation. ATLAS is renowned for its pro-activity and has helped define Health & Safety Standards, Best Practice by working closely with the HSE and British Standards. ATLAS believes that this dangerous trend, while never openly acknowledged by companies, continues nonetheless. According to the Health & Safety Executive, within the construction industry 72 fatalities occurred on site in 2007/2008. In order to ensure that this figure is not repeated, or worse still increases, maintenance and health and safety standards cannot be neglected in an effort to cut costs! Effective routine maintenance carried out by professionals like ATLAS members is a commercial necessity. This is not only a legal and social obligation but actually reduces costs and can even increase the lifespan of a site. Letting such maintenance and best working practices slide is not only a false economy but also negligent. It will only take one incident involving a serious injury or even a fatality to wipe out all the short term financial saving and ruin a company’s reputation they have worked hard to build up over the years – to say nothing of the spectre of corporate manslaughter. ATLAS has seen that companies who steadfastly refuse to cut ROMA PUBLICATIONS




their maintenance programme reap dividends over others. They argue that neglectful companies will have to turn down work due to the poor state of their equipment / plant and will need to retrain staff to address ingrained sloppy operating practices. On-site machinery and chimneys in particular, requiring regular maintenance may well be unfit for purpose and need major works. This could, and in all likelihood would, result in the loss of the contract. Ironically, ATLAS members expect their profits to soar if this practice continues, as lucrative urgent call out and repair work inevitably follows neglected maintenance. Large companies need to lead by example and shift their thinking. This is not a case of maintenance versus survival. Regular maintenance is the means of survival and indeed growth. We as an industry have come too far to return to the bad old days of cowboy standards. Otherwise it really will be a case of cutback now – pay a lot more later!

4FOUJOFM-JHIUOJOH1SPUFDUJPO&BSUIJOH-JNJUFE Formed in 1991, Sentinel Lightning Protection & Earthing Limited has successfully established itself as one of the leading companies within the Specialist Lightning Protection and Earthing Industry. During the period since 1991, Sentinel has drawn together a vastly experience team of Technical/Design, Estimating and Production Departments, having had many years’ “handson” managerial, supervisory and installation experience in the

industry, with Leading British and Foreign Companies in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa Sentinel Limited pride themselves in being able to provide the expertise in all aspects of Technical, Design and ultimately the installation of Lightning Protection and Specialist Earthing Systems, together with full and comprehensive Test and Inspection of all Systems to the very highest standard as described within the current BS.EN.62305:2006 (Parts 1 – 4), BS 7430:1998 “Earthing”, IEE80 Standard, Sentinel are also Quality Assured to ISO 9001 (2008) Sentinel are fully committed to current Health & safety Legislation, a fact borne out by its careful selection and continuous training of top class fitters - all of whom are registered and hold CITB CSCs Skills Cards, together with relevant certificates to carry out installation(s) in a safe and workmanlike manner, i.e. IPAF, PASMA and relevant certification for Rope Access/Absailing Methods. Sentinel Limited are also accredited and approved by the following organisations: CHAS Link-Up (Network Rail) Construction Line Safe Contractor Tiva The company is also a full member of the Industry Training Group “ATLAS.”

Shifting Sands:

Changing Times for Archaeology and the Institute for Archaeologists #Z 5JN )PXBSE  3FDSVJUNFOU BOE .BSLFUJOH $PPSEJOBUPS *OTUJUVUFGPS"SDIBFPMPHJTUT With major reform of the heritage protection system at an advanced stage, new planning policy guidance for archaeology on the drawing board and rapidly changing market conditions, the historic environment sector is, like many others, in a state of flux. We are in the midst of a major period of transition, not only for the sector but also for the professional institute that represents it.

8IBUTJOB/BNF The Institute for Archaeologists may be an unfamiliar name for many readers who will identify more readily with the Institute of Field Archaeologists, but they are, in fact one and the same. In October 2008 the IfA (which was established in 1982 and now has more than 2,650 members across the heritage sector) resolved to change its trading name to the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA). The Institute has a fresh logo and an updated brand but the changes are not skin deep and reflect the breadth of its membership and its commitment to representing a much broader range of practitioners than simply those traditionally regarded as ‘field’ archaeologists.

2VBMJUZ"TTVSBODFGPSUIF$POTUSVDUJPO*OEVTUSZ That is not to say that the IfA is any less committed to its central role of formulating and maintaining standards within the historic environment sector, generally, and within archaeological fieldwork in particular. One of the major successes of the IfA ROMA PUBLICATIONS




over the last 10 years has been the development of its Register of Archaeological Organisations, a quality assurance scheme for those commissioning (or affected by) work in the historic environment sector. The scheme now has over 60 organisations carrying out work in the sector who subscribe to the IfA’s Code of conduct, submit to inspection and monitoring by the IfA and are accountable through a complaints procedure (and, if necessary, through a disciplinary procedure for individual members). The scheme is increasingly recognised in the construction industry, not only on account of the growing numbers of archaeological consultants and contractors who are registered, but also through the involvement of the IfA in initiatives such as the recently published CIRIA guide, ‘Archaeology and development: A good practice guide to managing risk and maximising benefit (C672)’ and the forthcoming ICE-sponsored Site Investigations Steering Group series of publications. The current re-brand of the Institute will see the Register simply become the Registered Organisations scheme (although those whose work is specifically archaeological will have the option to remain as a Registered Archaeological Organisation), but the ethos and principles underlying the scheme will not change. Although the range of organisations registering may broaden (to include local authority curators, universities and colleges and those doing wider heritage-related work), those contractors and consultants working within the construction industry will remain a key component of the scheme and one that we are committed to supporting and developing further.

8JEFS$IBOHFTJOUIF4FDUPS The Institute’s desire for greater inclusivity is mirrored in the historic environment sector generally. The draft Heritage Protection Bill (which it is hoped will be introduced in the next session of Parliament) seeks, for instance, to replace a wide variety of designations in England and Wales such as listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments, historic battlefields and registered parks and gardens with a ubiquitous title of ‘heritage asset’. It would also allow conservation areas to be designated on archaeological or artistic grounds and would remove the need to obtain separate conservation area consent. Just as important in the development world (if not more so) is the proposed revision to Planning Policy Guidance Notes 15 and 16 (on ‘Planning and the Historic Environment’ and ‘Planning and Archaeology’ respectively). PPGs 15 and 16 are likely to be combined into one high level planning policy statement supported by a planning circular and good practice guides. These are crucial tools facilitating the day-to-day management of the whole of the historic environment within the planning system (and not just those nationally designated assets that constitute less than 5% of that environment). It has been estimated that developer funded work contributes something in the region of £180 million a year to research into the historic environment and it is vital for all concerned that the most appropriate guidance is produced to see that this system runs smoothly and effectively.

The Institute for Archaeologists is the professional organisation for all archaeologists their experience and qualifications. They may identify themselves as corporate members by using the designation PIfA, AIfA and MIfA depending on membership grade. There are non-corporate membership grades of Student and Affiliate. All members agree to abide by the Code of conduct (PDF), for all archaeologists have a duty to adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards. Members can claim tax relief on their subscription payments if they are a UK tax payer. For more information please read this document. Please note that the tax office have us listed under ‘F’ for ‘Field’ rather than ‘I’ for ‘Institute’ The Institute is a democratic organisation run by an elected Council supported by committees responsible for standards, career development and training, working practices, membership validation and appeals, Registered Archaeological Organisations, conferences and publications.

*G" The Institute for Archaeologists is the professional organisation for all archaeologists and others involved in protecting and understanding the historic environment. It acts in support of its members, works to improve pay and conditions, represents the interests of archaeology and archaeologists to government, policy makers and industry, keeps you up to date on developments in archaeological practice, sets standards and issues guidelines, promotes and organises training, improves individual career prospects, provides a wide range of membership services, and through its Registered Organisations scheme improves employment practices and raises standards of work. There are 2600 members of the IfA. Membership is open to practising archaeologists and members of allied disciplines in all fields, whether professional or amateur. Archaeologists are admitted to corporate membership after rigorous peer review of ROMA PUBLICATIONS


A s s o c i ati o n s

The Arboricultural Association 5IF "SCPSJDVMUVSBM "TTPDJBUJPO  GPVOEFE JO   JT UIF MFBEJOH CPEZ JO UIF 6,T BNFOJUZ USFF DBSF QSPGFTTJPO 5IF CPEZ SFQSFTFOUT CPUI DJWJD "/% DPNNFSDJBM QSPGFTTJPOBMTBUDSBGU UFDIOJDBM TVQFSWJTPSZ NBOBHFSJBM PSDPOTVMUBODZMFWFM BOEOPXJODMVEFTNPSFUIBO  NFNCFST The Association aims to advance the study of Arboriculture, raise standards of practice where possible, foster interest in trees through publications and exhibitions and assist in the training of students in disciplines where arboriculture is a major subject. These objectives are met in a number of ways, particularly through the holding of seminars and conferences and by the marketing and distribution of a range of publications dealing with tree care, for example both a quarterly Newsletter and Arboricultural Journal and suites of other publications such as booklets, leaflets, Guidance Notes, Standard Conditions of Contract and News Releases. The Association publishes two updated national Directories each year, the Directory of Approved Contractors and the Directory of Registered Consultants, the named individuals in the Directory of Approved Contractors have undergone a rigorous examination of a wide range of their craft and technical skills combined with a detailed check of the resources available to them. For inclusion in the Directory of Registered Consultants the named individual must display a fully rounded knowledge of arboriculture and an intelligent application of that knowledge. The assessment is in two stages, in the first a series of the candidates reports are studied by the two assessors; they are looking for clarity and an ability to sustain a logical argument in a well-structured report. In the second stage of the assessment the candidate sits an oral examination which is designed to fully test his arboricultural knowledge. The Association stages a three-day Conference each September, attracting delegates, speakers and guests come from all over the world. Last year’s conference, held at the University of Kent between 14th and 17th September, was based upon the theme of ‘Landscape and Construction’ and examined the work being done to address issues surrounding development and construction – and the innovative solutions designed to retain trees which might otherwise be displaced during building work. Keynote speeches discussed the strategic role of trees, woodlands and forests in relation to the sustainability agenda and the emerging green infrastructure, and examine the unique Housedeck system, with particular reference to the Housedeck ‘tree service,’ which is specifically designed to be constructed adjacent to trees. Several construction case studies were presented to the audience, and attendees heared about imaginative techniques for the replacement of the rooting substrate around mature trees and the creation of ventilation canals in the ground – techniques specifically designed to improve the growing conditions of trees in decline. Throughout the year the Association organises one-day seminars or workshops on arboricultural themes, the target audiences for such events may be quite distinct from Association members. For example a previous seminar entitled ‘Quality Street’ was promoted amongst landscape designers and specifiers, planners urban designers and town centre managers. Another seminar, entitled ‘Delivering Diversity,’ was actively promoted amongst designers, specifiers and managers.



Seminars may be organised centrally from Ampfield House or by any group of members of the Association, for example a regional branch of which there are nine or a Committee. Seminars may be organised by the Association alone or in co-operation with any other organisation, such as the Institute of Chartered Foresters or the Landscape Institute. The Association promotes itself in the media and by exhibiting at national, regional and local events such as the Chelsea Flower Show or in the foyer of a Branch seminar. An internal newsletter is published four times a year, and the Association’s communication team endeavours to place stories of interest in the trade press, local and national newspapers and radio programmes. Training and development is a key pillar of Association membership. The Continuing Professional Development scheme is compulsory for Fellows, with 50 qualifying hours required over a two-year period. Associate members, the tier below Fellow, may take part in the CPD scheme if they choose; this is to encourage Associates who aspire to Fellowship. The Association also offers its own Technician’s Certificate, which is recognised by the DfEE. The leading arboricultural qualification is the Professional Diploma in Arboriculture. Members of the Association are actively involved in helping develop and refine university arboriculture degree programmes, and latterly postgraduate qualifications (Advanced Diploma and MSc). The affairs of the Association are administrated by a variety of standing Committees, consisting of democratically elected members of the Association serve on each Committee. Members of the Association can nominate themselves for election (for a four-year term) to any committee; each committee can co-opt as required. The meeting of Branch Officers is the Association’s formal link with its wider membership with an interest in arboriculture. The policy making body of the Association is the Executive Council; the Chair of each committee sits on Executive Council together with the national officers (the current Chairman, Chairman-Elect, Vice Chairman, immediate Past Chairman and Treasurer). The day to day running of the Association is managed by the Executive Manager, the Administrative and Financial Officers, all posts full-time, all based at Ampfield House near Romsey in Hampshire. The fourth employee of the Association is the Technical Director who would generally expect to spend part of the week at the central office. The Technical Director and Administration and Financial Officers report to the Executive Manager who in turn reports to the National Chairman, an officer elected by the membership for a one year term at the AGM in September. The interests of the Association are championed locally by Branches, the local Branch Committee will stage seminars, evening meetings or field visits of local, regional or national interest.



A s s o c i ati o n s

25 Years on and the challenge still remains 5IJTZFBSUIF-FBE$POUBDUPST"TTPDJBUJPODFMFCSBUFTJUT 4JMWFS+VCJMFFBOEXIJMTUJONBOZXBZTUIF6,XBTWFSZ EJGGFSFOU XIFO UIF "TTPDJBUJPO XBT GPSNFE JO   JO PUIFSTJUIBTOUDIBOHFEBCJU In 1984 UK inflation was 5% and the Bank of England base rate was 9.5%. A gallon of petrol cost ÂŁ1.83 and the average house price was just over ÂŁ37,000. York Minster had been destroyed by fire and the UK was in the grip of a year-long miner’s strike. In the US they were celebrating the Los Angeles Olympics, but ominously the country was generally believed to be in recession and more than 70 US banks would fail during the year, a prelude to the economic downturn that would in turn affect the UK over the years that followed. In UK construction, in the early 1980s Richard Murdoch of the Lead Development Association (LDA) was becoming increasingly involved with advising architects on the design of their lead roofs and, at the same time, becoming frustrated with the difficulties in identifying competent contractors to recommend for the work. Even though technical design for leadwork had been updated with the publication of ‘Lead Sheet in Building’ in 1978, many experienced leadworkers refused to change their normal working practices. When suggesting changes, Richard was often met with the response “That’s the way we’ve always done itâ€? even though there was ample evidence that “the way it had always been doneâ€? was wrong. Richard began compiling the LDA’s own list of contractors that he was confident were competent in leadwork. The companies on the list varied in size and many were traditional plumbing contractors, although there were also a growing number of roofing contractors that were beginning to specialise in leadwork. Eventually, through a series of meetings the contractors on the LDA list formed their own self-governing trade body, and in 1984 the Lead Contractors Association (LCA) was born. From the outset, it was clear that the establishment of a quality standard in leadwork observed by all members was of paramount importance. Lead Sheet in Building was immediately adopted as the LCA official reference document and its recommendations rigorously enforced. An on-site vetting programme was quickly established, and it was decided that contractors whose work did not conform to the details set out by Lead Sheet in Building could not become members of the LCA. Existing LCA members were also monitored through annual vetting. Again, if at any time they showed work which failed to conform to the manual, they were not allowed to continue their membership unless it was corrected. Since 1984, this small specialised sector of the construction industry has itself seen many changes. ‘Lead Sheet in Building’ was replaced in 1990 by the first of three ‘Lead Sheet Manuals’ and these in turn were further updated in 2003 by the publication of ‘Rolled Lead Sheet – The Complete Manual.’ The growing use of lead sheet in UK roofing and cladding put the resources of the Lead Development Association under increasing pressure. This led to the Lead Sheet Association, representing the product manufacturers, taking over responsibility through their team of Technical Officers (still guided by Richard Murdoch), for the provision of technical advice regarding the specification and use of lead sheet in construction. BS6915 was formulised as a Code of Practice for the ‘Design and construction of fully supported lead sheet roof and wall coverings’ in 1998, and was later updated in 2001. BS1178:1982, the British Standard governing the production of milled lead sheet became the foundation upon which the European Standard BSEN 12588 was based, and which from



1999 standardised the production of milled (now termed ‘rolled’) lead sheet throughout Europe. Since 1984 the Lead Contractors Association has also undergone many changes, although the commitment to quality standards continues to provide the backbone of the organisation and is evident in several different areas that have been developed. Annual technical seminars have introduced LCA members to new techniques, as well as changes in design concepts to address such issues as underside corrosion caused by condensation. They have provided a useful forum for the everchanging health and safety regulations, environmental issues, new products, new tools, new publications to be put before, and discussed by, LCA members and Associates. In 1996 the LCA marked the retirement of Richard Murdoch by creating the “Murdoch Awardâ€?, which rapidly became the ultimate accolade for quality standards in the leadwork craft. The Award is keenly contested by LCA members and in recent years has benefited from the sponsorship of Associated Lead Mills, who in 2006 also introduced the “Murdoch Sponsors Awardâ€?, which recognised the smaller project (under five tonnes). In 1999 a Guarantee Scheme was introduced and made compulsory for LCA members to offer it to their clients on all projects with a leadwork value over ÂŁ2,500. Not only did the guarantee cover a long-term period – 25 years – that was unique at that time, for the first time a guarantee was given that did not depend upon the contractor involved surviving to the end of the guarantee period. Under the LCA Members’ 25 Year Guarantee Scheme, if a problem develops within the guarantee period and the original contractor is no longer trading or is otherwise unable, or unwilling, to return to the site, the LCA will direct another of its members to investigate. If the problem is covered by the guarantee it will be addressed without further cost to the client.



A s s o c i ati o n s In 2001 the LCA set up its first training centre and began delivering Advanced ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ level courses, to ensure the skills and knowledge of today’s craftsmen were preserved and passed down through future generations. The latest objective for 2009 is the development of a network of regional centres that will be able to deliver local leadwork training at an advanced level. Vetting has been a vital weapon in the drive to raise quality standards, with members now graded ‘Satisfactory,’ ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent.’ Ssince 1997 these grades have been published in the annual LCA directory. No LCA member can escape the vetting process, as failing to provide leadwork for inspection will ultimately lead to the withdrawl of membership. And as for the Directory itself; having merely comprised a basic list of Members in its early years, the 25th Anniversary edition of the ‘Directory of Specialist Leadwork Contractors’ will be a 48 -page full colour glossy brochure. As well as articles, case studies and information about the LCA and its members, the 2009 edition of the LCA Directory contains more than a hundred photographic examples of leadwork - at its very best. For further information on the Lead Contractors Association, Email Ray Robertson at or write to Centurion House, 36 London Road, East Grinstead West Sussex RH19 1AB



A new voice for traditional construction (BSFUI1MBUUUBMLTUP%BWJE.JUDIFMM PG)JTUPSJD Those backing the project believe it is essential that 4DPUMBOE  BCPVU B OFX QBSUOFSTIJQ GPSNFE UP UK construction recognises the importance of these SBJTFUIFTUBOEBSEPGUSJFEBOEUFTUFECVJMEJOH buildings, and possess the tools and knowledge to keep them in good condition. UFDIOJRVFT A collaboration between Historic Scotland, Constructionskills Scotland, and Scottish Qualifications Authority has been launched in a bid to tackle the skills gaps in the traditional building sector, a key pillar the construction industry which is now in urgent need of improvement. Titled ‘A Strategic Partnership for Skills Evaluation,’ the union is specifically designed to equip today’s building trades with the skills necessary to handle buildings of traditional construction – those which were built before 1919. The skills utilised in traditional construction have become increasingly rare in recent years, as triedand-trusted building techniques have given way to modern methods and materials. However many of Britain’s most captivating buildings were constructed along traditional lines; this is most clearly evident in Scotland, where the vast majority of residential and commercial premises are based on stone and lime.

David Mitchell, director of Historic Scotland’s Technical Conservation Group, was instrumental in establishing the three-way partnership. He says: “Nearly half of Scotland’s construction activity relates to repair and maintenance, but gaps remain in the availability of a broad range of traditional building skills, largely because many tradespeople haven’t been given the skills to handle Scottish traditional buildings. “We’ve already begun to tackle the skills shortage among masonry contractors, and we now want to spread the net wider to embrace the whole of the heritage building sector. The primary aim of the project is to look at what training and qualifications are available, assess the construction industry’s grasp traditional building skills and then fill in the gaps.� David is particularly keen to distinguish between traditional building techniques and the skills needed to handle historic buildings. ROMA PUBLICATIONS






A s s o c i ati o n s “People might think this is about inculcating the specific skills to work on a castle or prestige buildings, but that would be a misconception. This is about spreading a general knowledge of traditional building techniques and materials to practitioners, clients and specifiers. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that if a plumber, joiner or mason goes to work on a traditional building, they understand the fabric of the building and can adapt accordingly to use the correct techniques and materials.” The partners have already begun discussions with relevant trade bodies to identify areas for improvement; these discussions could eventually result in specific skills, such as the refurbishment of sash windows, being added as options to the modern apprenticeship. All parties recognise the need to educate those giving the training as well as those receiving it, as David freely admits: “A big part of our campaign is about developing the skills and knowledge of trainers. A whole generation of construction professionals have had increasingly limited training in traditional building skills, and, if the current campaign is to be successful, we need to ensure people from this generation are up to speed.” Although the global recession has reduced revenues in the construction industry, it has also given colleges the chance to start afresh. David sees this as a silver lining to the dark clouds cast by the credit crunch, because “education providers now have the chance to reevaluate their courses and consider areas they have previously overlooked, such as traditional construction.” Thankfully the current wave of renovation and redecoration programmes, led by Grand Designs, has given the general public a much improved understanding of classic construction methods. The recent upsurge in the Eco-build sector is likely to disseminate this base of knowledge still further. David continues: “With so many television programmes showing us how to refurbish our homes better, people are spending more and more money on their houses and getting to grips with what was formerly construction jargon. The Eco-build sector relies largely on traditional materials, and dovetails neatly with what we’re trying to achieve. “We’re keen to emphasise that the most sustainable building is one that’s already there; by avoiding unnecessary demolition and reconstruction through the sensitive maintenance of existing structures, we can do much to meet the Government’s targets for sustainability.”

/FYUTUFQT The partners have recently carried out a comprehensive programme of research into the state of the traditional construction sector. These findings, due to be released next month, will do much to inform the course of the campaign for improvement. Historic Scotland and Constructionskills are also carrying out a qualifications audit looking at the provision and delivery of vocational training relating to traditional building skills in Scotland. The audit, due to be completed by summer 2009, will be placed against a framework of traditional skills required to effectively care for Scotland’s built environment. The results will form a strategy for the development of qualifications, educational resources and training to meet demands and the industry’s main priorities. The partnership will approach colleges across Scotland and encourage them to introduce the strategy to either existing courses or establish new courses within the current Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Staff will be trained at delivery centres, assist with educational resources, and support SQA Quality Assurance in suggesting appropriately experienced External Verifiers, and assist with development.

"CPVU)JTUPSJD4DPUMBOE Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government and is charged with safeguarding the nation’s



The skills utilised in traditional construction have become increasingly rare in recent years historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The agency’s role is to deliver policy and advise on all aspects of the historic environment on behalf of Scottish Ministers. Staff also carry out statutory functions relating to two acts of Parliament - the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, which allows Historic Scotland to schedule sites of national importance and take them into state care, and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 that grants the agency the authority to list structures for their architectural or historical significance. Historic Scotland is headed by a chief executive, John Graham, who is responsible to Scottish Ministers, within the terms of the Framework Document, for its management, performance and future development. Historic Scotland’s staff encompass a wide range of disciplines and skills, from archaeologists to art historians, conservators to craftsmen, custodians to keykeepers, building professionals and specialised support staff to administrators. All provide a single agency in Scotland to safeguard the nation’s heritage for present and future generations. The agency is divided into seven groups which carry out the functions required by Scottish Ministers. The agency is responsible for all management functions, including staff pay and conditions, accommodation, finance, personnel, procurement, computer systems and external communications. Historic Scotland has undergone considerable cultural and organisational change since becoming an agency, adopting a business-like approach related to customers’ needs. Historic Scotland’s main office is in Edinburgh but the company also includes staff, properties, monument conservation units and regional offices, spread all across Scotland.



A s s o c i ati o n s



The future and standards of the Approved Contractor Scheme t SIA strategy and approach to communication and customer services t The future of the private security industry - a threat and opportunity assessment The day will see keynote addresses from senior SIA staff and industry representatives including Professor Peter D’Arcy, foreign advisor to the Office of His Highness the Minister of the Interior Sheik Saif in Abu Dhabi, and Dr Adam White, research associate of the University of Sheffield. Hazel Banks, SIA Director of Strategy and Corporate Services said : “This year’s SIA Conference in Manchester will stimulate dialogue between the SIA and those working in the private security industry,  and it will give the industry an opportunity to share their views on regulation, whilst working with the SIA to learn from each other and work together to raise standards and improve public safety.� The SIA is firmly committed to raising the standard of security provision in the UK. In March a team of SIA investigators supported officers from Strathclyde Police, Lothian & Borders Police, UK Border Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions, in a huge operation to target rogue security firms working at construction sites across the Strathclyde and Lothian & Borders areas. The partners pooled intelligence to tackle companies believed to have links to serious and organised crime. Investigators targeted security operatives at 202 construction sites which were secured by 37 different security companies. t t t t t t t t t


Investigations are continuing. Christy Hopkins, SIA Head of Investigation, said: “This huge operation shows the commitment of the SIA and our partners to target rogue security companies that seek to profit by disregarding the law. The SIA regulates the private security industry to ensure that only fit and proper people are employed in these positions of trust within our communities. We will continue to work closely with our partners to cause maximum disruption to rogue security firms.�



The future of the private security industry - a threat and opportunity assessment "CPVUUIF4*" The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry. As an independent body reporting to the Home Secretary, established under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, the SIA’s mission is to regulate the private security industry effectively; to reduce criminality, raise standards and recognise quality service. Their remit covers Great Britain. The SIA has two main duties. One is the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities within the private security industry; the other is to manage the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme, which measures private security suppliers against independently assessed criteria. SIA licensing covers manned guarding (including security guarding, door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit, and public space surveillance using CCTV), key holding and vehicle immobilising. Licensing ensures that private security operatives are ‘fit and proper’ persons who are properly trained and qualified to do their job. The Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme introduced a set of operational and performance standards for suppliers of private security services. Those organisations that meet these standards are awarded Approved Contractor status. This accreditation provides purchasers of private security services with independent proof of a contractor’s commitment to quality. The SIA believes that a professional, regulated private security industry has the potential to become a valuable member of the extended police family, helping to reduce crime, disorder and the fear of crime.



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