The epitome of Team Collaboration, they were awarded with ‘Integrated Team of the Year 2022’ by Southern Construction Framework.
Appointed by Royal Borough of Greenwich, we recently completed a 2 form entry community primary school for 420 primary and 26 nursery pupils, including a Behaviour Support Unit hosting up to 18 children. The works comprised a two-storey building, extensive landscaping and sports facilities served by a standalone changing block, which are used by the local community. In addition to a new multi-use games area (MUGA), there are outside learning areas including a wild meadow orchard, forest skills area, trim trails, horticultural area with raised planters and an amphitheatre. The project achieved BREEAM Excellent by maximising passive techniques to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.
There were several challenges the team faced. Budget constraints and keeping to programme despite being bookended by Covid and three national lockdowns and consequently material shortages and delay were their biggest.
Keeping to budget: By engaging with our supply chain partners early in preconstruction, with an emphasis on added value, improved buildability and thus cost efficiencies and actively identifying alternative materials throughout, we were able to provide significant savings on the project. Some included redesigning the ground floor slab to in-situ suspended slab, simplification of the window head brick detail and creating dual site access to optimise sequencing, enabling the building and landscape works simultaneously. Comprehensive surveys and ground investigations prior to Contract Award mitigated risks by preventing abortive designs based on assumptions.
The use of BIM Level 2 even though it was not a project requirement reduced both design and installation inefficiencies, saving time and money.
On time delivery: In addition to placing orders early and using more readily available materials to compensate manufacturing shortfalls in the UK and abroad, we replaced in-person site visits with Zoom, GoPro cameras and drones for client and end user progress updates and inspections when Covid restrictions and lockdowns were in place.
We completed the school eight weeks early, despite these challenges and the additional pressures associated with three national lockdowns, social distancing and reduced productivity (less people on site and delayed materials). The team achieved an overall client satisfaction of 9/10, with 10/10 in time management and Health & Safety.
Payment timescales to all: supply chain and manufactures were agreed and adhered to throughout the project. Payment notices were issued on time with zero ‘pay-less’ notice and 97% of subcontractor final accounts were agreed within two months on Practical Completion.
The project and site manager stayed on site four weeks post project completion and continue to keep in touch with the school, in conjunction with our Aftercare team.
To compliment the Aftercare team’s collaborative workshop to the end users 12 weeks prior to completion, the project team completed several site tours with the school’s executives and headteacher during the final construction phase, where defect sheets were presented, and reporting procedures explained during the walkabouts.
The team achieved AFR ratio 0 and zero RIDDOR, had an average CCS score of 42 and was able to continue to operate safely during Covid with no major outbreaks. The site was awarded ‘Quarterly Safety Award’ twice.
Designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent and with that included details that maximised passive techniques to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts. Additional features incorporated a highly insulated building envelope, high thermal mass for night cooling, ventilation stacks with heat recovery, 90sqm of solar panels and electric charging points. Acoustic ceiling and breathing building units were installed in classrooms to enhance air quality for better student learning environment and achieved A for energy performance.
Following some tree removal, we reused the logs to form the forest trail and created pathways around the site using mulch (shredded trees). The mulch provided a more stable ground to work on, as well as acting as a nutrient bed for plants.
Employment Skills Plan: 68no of apprentices, 4no of employees who were previously unemployed, 5no careers, curriculum and literacy talks and 8 hours of improving staff wellbeing sessions. Covid-19 prevented us achieving our targets in full during the construction phase. In agreement with Royal Borough of Greenwich, we delivered our promises post project completion.
Greenwich’s own: A labourer, gateperson and welfare labourer/cleaner were employed through Greenwich council’s employment scheme, Greenwich Local Labour and Business.
Looking after the smaller businesses: To encourage greater micro and VCSE participation, we held a Meet the Buyer event at Greenwich Town Hall. To ensure that they could work with us and other contractors in the future, we held individual workshops and supported them by completing minimum requirements like PAS91 and Builder’s Profile registration.
Greater emphasis on health and wellbeing: During the early stages of the pandemic, we arranged for a top medical visitor to deliver a toolbox talk to explain Covid 19 and ‘debunking some of the myths’ surrounding the illness. Not only did this reassure our operatives, but also provided them the opportunity to ask questions and have first-hand information affecting both theirs and their families’ health.
Lasting school legacy: We donated a mosaic plaque with the school’s crest at part of the Opening Ceremony.
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