Health and Active Living Centre

Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

Project Details

Weston College

Project Manager
Weston College

View Architects Ltd

Midas Construction Ltd


Contract Period
48 weeks

Procurement Type
Competitive tender – 2 stage

Form of Contract
JCT Design & Build 2016



Project Summary

Delivered for our valued clients Weston College, the Health and Active Living Skills (HAL) Centre is the region’s first state-of-the-art learning environment for sport, health and social care. The Centre provides modern facilities for students and the public, aiming to increase the community’s health and well-being.

Constructed at the college’s Loxton campus, to the south of Weston-super-Mare, this three-storey building houses a sports hall and associated changing facilities, classrooms and sport science labs. Outside are an all-weather 3G sports pitch and a natural football pitch.

The HAL Centre features a range of facilities to benefit the college and community. The multi-use sports hall includes provision for badminton, basketball, netball and five-a-side football, plus retractable basketball hoops; and the Centre includes community use space, a reception and public café.

The Centre provides an innovative learning environment with science labs, a health therapy suite with separate clinic and therapy room, and a six-bed simulation ward including high-tech patient mannequins.

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

  • Exterior view of the Weston College Health and Active Living Centre

“This is an important investment in the future of healthcare in the region. We looked at a number of options when it came to building this new centre, but the one that was most viable was to build it at our Loxton Campus, which is a stone’s throw away from Weston General Hospital. The development will bring together the College’s health and social care, sports therapy and active living curricula into one bespoke facility, which will benefit our students as well as the wider community.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for partnership working between Weston College and Weston General Hospital. This demonstrates the investment we are both making to support the learning and development of students. We hope it will also help the recruitment and retention of staff as well as supporting the increased demand on healthcare locally”.

“This is an ambitious project that will deliver important investment in skills for health and social care professionals working in our region. We need to train more people for future careers in our hospitals and community services – this will improve the quality of care and improve people’s lives. With more highly qualified professionals, and with people trained in a wider range of disciplines, people will be better cared for.”

 “We are very pleased to be taking forward our excellent relationship with Weston College on this exciting project which will bring significant positive benefits to the College, its students and staff and the local community. As we have done on our previous projects with the college, most recently at the Winter Gardens, we will be working closely with local people and our local supply chain to ensure that we maximise the economic benefits of the construction project in the Weston and North Somerset areas.”

Key Challenges

  • The client set an ambitious BREEAM requirement of Excellent. Midas successfully attained this level by commissioning significant ecological surveys at the start of the project; enhanced the local ecology through planting of native trees and shrubs; used an efficient drainage design to manage surface water, and protected local waterways from runoff or contamination; provided permanent, secure bicycle storage; and diverted 100% of waste from landfill. The ecological surveys identified the site as a bat corridor, which the team protected through retention of trees and by directing site and permanent lighting away from the route. The centre has four bat boxes, and the landscaping forms a corridor for wildlife. The building design maximises natural ventilation, including wind catchers, and features a 20.8kW SunGift Solar PV array.
  • To manage works within the live college campus, Midas used a combination of timber hoarding and Heras fencing to secure the site boundary and implemented parking restrictions on Loxton Road, with a bespoke traffic management plan and a vehicle controller to supervise deliveries and access. At the start of the project, Midas issued a letter to the local neighbours advising them of the planned works, expected duration and providing contact details for feedback. The team issued regular updates with 24-hour contact information and notice in advance of potentially disruptive works. To reduce disturbance to the college and neighbours, Midas established a dedicated and screened cutting zone, kept construction noise below background noise levels at the nearest noise sensitivities and appointed a suitably qualified acoustician to carry out a noise impact testing.
  • Midas came onto this project at RIBA Stage 1, appointing our own design team with Smith Consult Limited novated to the M&E subcontractor. The Health and Active Living Centre and the Construction Training Centre projects were initially over the client’s budget. At RIBA Stage 3, Midas completed an extensive and effective best value review with the clients, providing design and material amendments to make the projects financially viable. Midas conducted stakeholder engagement exercises, working with the college and modular manufacturers to conduct a best value review of external finishes, delivering a cost-effective solution without compromising the quality of the finish. Midas also completed a total redesign of both the Health and Active Living Centre and the Construction Training Centre to ensure the architectural plans met the site requirements. The team designed out any challenges in the planning stages, including a piled foundation solution with piles at a maximum depth of between 5m and 11m to manage the granite layer below the topsoil.

Project Takeaways

Our Successes
  • Working with the client’s design team and Sport England, Midas ensured the new centre facilitated the best possible ‘Community Use’ of its amenities – as defined by Sport England – when not in use by the college. By changing the building’s internal layout and configuration, Midas delivered the project to a Sport England Community Use Agreement and increased the extent of community use areas of the Centre. Midas designed the facility in compliance with Sport England Design, Specification and Construction Guidance.
  • The building is in proximity to an environmentally sensitive area to the north and adjacent to a high-risk watercourse area. Midas liaised with the North Somerset Levels Internal Drainage Board (NSLIDB) to manage the risk of works in proximity to rhynes (drainage ditches used as local flood management systems). The team secured a licence from the NSLIDB to work within nine metres of rhynes, ensuring they remained clear throughout the works. Midas identified drain routes and risk potential as part of site inductions, and managed surface water through an efficient drainage design. The site used silt busters to filter all water sent off site.
  • The Midas team installed an observation board at the site welfare area with a progress board highlighting defect-free areas and providing example posters confirming quality requirements and correct finishes. The client scored the project 9/10 for quality for workmanship in the satisfaction survey at practical completion, with an overall score of 92%.
  • To achieve BREEAM Excellent and provide an improved whole life value for the centre, Midas installed enhanced cladding, insulation and insulated render. The composite cladding panel insulation on the external walls has an approved environmental profile with a BRE Ecopoints score of 0.497; the acoustic stud insulation achieve summary ratings of A+; and the cavity wall insulation achieves a Green Guide Rating of A+. The completed building has an air tightness (m³/(h.m²) at 50Pa) rating of 5.00, against the maximum of 15.00, with an Air Leakage Rate less than 5m³/hr/m².
Our Learnings
  • Restrictions on the client’s funding meant the team had to complete project works and spend allocated monies by the end of their financial year (01 April 2019). Weston College could not set a contract end date beyond this point, putting pressure on the programme; however, during contract negotiations with Midas, the client agreed a three-week extension of time to allow completion of the works. Midas led collective subcontractor coordination meetings, worked to short-term programmes to hit deadlines, maintained regular communication with suppliers, subcontractors and the client, and effectively selected subcontractors to ensure a suitable team that delivered on time. Adaptations included the use of a mechanically fixed single ply membrane waterproofing system on the roof. This incorporates a PVC pad fixing system that secures the membrane and insulation with the same fixing, reducing the site installation programme and providing water tightness at an early stage in the construction programme. The team also completed works such as coating the floors with latex over weekends, to minimise disruption to other trades. This enabled Midas to finish three weeks ahead of the anticipated completion date
Added Value
  • Midas delivered £230,500 (3.4%) of added value and best practice savings at Gateway 4. Savings included: £116k of design review and rationalisation savings; using specialist contractor advice to make an acoustic design change to the hall, saving £25k; and increasing the Structural Steel Framing System (SFS), including changing the precast concrete staircase to steel, limiting the required amount of brick- and blockwork to save £55k.
  • The site employed 60% local labour; with 93.1% of total firms on site being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Midas used local resources wherever possible with 71.4% of the SMEs based within 30 miles of the site.
  • The project team collaborated with the team at the Construction Skills Centre site to deliver a combined Employment and Skills Plan. The sites supported eight work experience placements; created 13 jobs with the National Skills Academy for Construction, including six apprentices; supported 11 Construction Careers Information, Advice & Guidance events; delivered 218.9 training weeks on site; delivered four training plans for subcontractors; and supported the achievement of 85 NVQs and industry certifications. Representatives from the project attended the North Somerset Careers Convention and the Weston-super-Mare Careers Convention. The project had five site visits from students of Weston College, with almost 100 students visiting in total, plus a site visit from students with the Positive Steps project. The site directly employed a management apprentice.
  • Midas liaised with a local church, collected food on site to donate to their food bank. The team also contacted a local financial institution, who agreed to offer free financial aid to the community, with Midas welfare offices available for this use. The team donated unwanted wooden pallets to neighbours for their wood burning stoves.

KPI’s & Statistics

ContractGateway 2 Planning Gateway 3 Contract Agreement Variation
Time46.4 weeks46.4 weeks0 weeks

KPI Graphs

Apprentices 7
Average AIR 0
Average CCS score 40
Waste diverted from landfill 100%
Cost/m2 £2,352m²
Cost/m2 excl abnormals £1,799m²