Deane House

Taunton, Somerset

Project Details

Somerset West & Taunton Council
Avon & Somerset Police

Project Manager
Somerset West & Taunton Council

HLM Architects

Midas Construction Ltd


Contract Period
55 weeks

Procurement Type
Competitive tender – 2 stage

Form of Contract
JCT Design & Build 2016



Project Brief

This scheme saw the transformation of this flagship town centre office building to the north of Taunton town centre, headquarters of Taunton Deane Borough Council, to bring together a range of council services under one roof. Midas completed works to this live, three-storey building in phases to allow it to remain open and in use throughout.

Midas undertook this major project on behalf of joint clients Somerset West & Taunton Council and Avon & Somerset Police, to deliver an improved customer experience in a refreshed building that provided a modern and comfortable workspace for its staff. Bringing Taunton Police and the Council together in one building enables the community to access more public services from one convenient location.

The complete refurbishment of Deane House has produced a more energy efficient building that offers flexible, open plan working and communal spaces in Grade A office accommodation with high spec finishes throughout. The building can be adapted for future needs and has potential to accommodate additional public or private sector partners in the future.

The project received a score of 92% in the customer satisfaction survey at practical completion.

“We’re delighted to be celebrating the completion of this high-profile project with our customer, Taunton Deane Borough Council. The result looks fantastic and has really given the building a new lease of life. The success of the project has been driven by the work of the site team liaising closely with the Council, its partners, local residents and businesses to ensure what was a complex project ran smoothly, with the minimum of disruption to council services and people living and working locally.”

“I am delighted with these significant improvements to Deane House which reflect our new way of working, modernising what we do to focus even more on tackling customer needs, improving services and saving costs for our communities. The building is far more energy efficient, with a flexible working environment for our staff, and a new customer hub which provides a much better experience for our customers making processes more modern and efficient. Deane House is a superb local facility within the heart of the community where together with the Police we can now offer local people greater convenience by having public services under one roof.”

Community Engagement

Career Development

  • 17 Apprentices provided with training through the project

Key Challenges

  • To safely manage works in this occupied building whilst maintaining public access, Midas completely enclosed the site with hoarding and fencing. The team segregated public routes, employed a traffic marshal to control site access, and installed an overhead fan at the rear staff entrance to protect users. Routes to and from the building were controlled and described within the site plans, with each area locked off and controlled by site staff. The team completed works to the new reception prior to removing the old reception, to maintain public access, and kept access and fire routes clear for Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) staff. Internally, Midas segregated the building using floor to ceiling temporary partitioning, erected in early stages of each phase. The team formed the partitions with metal stud plasterboard, decorated and with skirting fitting on public facing sides to appear like a permanent wall for the aesthetic principal, whilst also providing acoustic protection. The team attached translucent film to some windows in occupied parts of the building to provide additional privacy for TDBC staff.
  • Midas completed an extensive best value review with the client in order to achieve a cost plan figure in line with their budget. Through early subcontractor involvement in design development at preconstruction, Midas delivered a total of £709k of savings to the client with a combination of best practice and added value reviews. The design team, led by the Midas Design and Build Manager, collaborated with subcontractors and specialist contractors to provide alternative best value product solutions and reviewed sequencing to resolve programme issues and mitigate delays, at a saving of £607k. The team saved an additional £39k through effective risk management and review.
  • Midas met with key Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) staff prior to commencing each phase of works to amend site logistics whilst preserving safe and secure access for building users. Midas established segregated public access routes using pedestrian barriers externally and temporary partitioning internally, with all gates and doors secured. The team maintained communication with TDBC staff to discuss and agree access provision and ensure the preservation of emergency escape routes, and provided advance notice of noisy, vibratory or dusty work activities, scheduling these in line with TDBC requirements. Simon King (Project Manager) and representatives from TDBC met weekly and before each new phase of work, with the agenda including upcoming risks, any issues, phasing, the current programme and an update on sections handed over to the client to resolve any outstanding issues. These open forum meetings helped to ensure on-time completion.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • Midas conducted snagging checks on subcontractor works packages at the end of each phase, prior to completing client snagging, to ensure the team addressed any issues at each phase of the works. This resulted in minimal outstanding issues at practical completion and all snags closed off within a week. The team managed the phased snagging process through the Midas Quality Plan, agreeing the standard of the works with the client as the project progressed to meet their requirements at the end of each phase.
  • The logistics of the site changed regularly as Midas handed over phases of the works and commenced new phases. Midas implemented a bespoke traffic management plan including timed deliveries to avoid peak traffic times, and banked plant movement supervised by a full time, fully trained traffic marshal. Midas provided suppliers with route directions to the site, programmed and coordinated deliveries and provided holding areas to limit disruption to local traffic. The team controlled pedestrian access with designated crossing points and rerouted the public across a dedicated timber bridge over the grass. The bridge had an anti-slip surface with ramp access. If deliveries crossed the pedestrian right of way, the team used temporary pedestrian barriers. The full time gate controller managed contractor and visitor parking, escorting and directing visitors.
  • The site team completed some works outside of the Council’s operational hours, to minimise disruption, including significant weekend working. Midas maintained utilities connections to live areas of the building, completing a full shutdown and service swaps outside of the building’s operational hours.

Our Learnings

  • The building contained live services. This was a high risk removal due to the complexity of services above the grid. Midas isolated and checked prior to commencing demolition and soft strip works, completing ten weeks of diversion works prior to commencing, closing off and disconnecting services and water to sections of the building in phases in preparation for demolition. Midas maintained utilities connections to live areas of the building, completing a full shutdown and service swaps outside of the building’s operational hours. The team took down the old entrance lobby later in the programme, once the new reception was complete and in use. The site zoned off areas for demolition and segregated waste, removing waste through the segregated dedicated site entrance away from the live reception.

Value Added

  • This project worked to the Employment Skills Plan (ESP), including: supporting three 16+ work placements and one 14-16 work placement; supporting five curriculum activities including hosting a school site visit, an Employability Day for Clyst Vale Community College and a site visit for students from Bridgwater & Taunton College; supporting eight apprentice starts, three existing apprentices and six apprentice completions; supporting eight NVQ starts and six NVQ completions for subcontractors; advertising nine jobs through local employment vehicles; delivering nine training plans, four supervisor qualifications gained and four leadership and management qualifications gained for subcontractors; 59 qualifications gained for Advanced Health & Safety for subcontractors. The site also employed a Taunton resident, who had previously been in the armed forces, as a Trainee Site Manager.
  • The site employed local labour with 75% of the workforce living within a 30-mile radius of the site. The project supported the local economy with 100% of the total firms on site being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which 50% were based within the local authority boundary.

KPI’s & Statistics

ContractGateway 2 Planning Gateway 3 Contract Agreement Variation
Time63 weeks63 weeks0 weeks
  • Apprentices: 17
  • Average AIR: 2.43
  • Average CCS score: 39.5
  • Waste diverted from landfill: 60.2%
  • Cost/m2: £1,178m²
  • Cost/m2 excl abnormals: £1,008m²