19 Bennett Road


Project Details


Reading Borough Council

Project Manager

Hampshire County Council


Broadway Malyan


Morgan Sindall (overbury)



Contract Period

26 weeks

Procurement Type

Design & Build

Form of Contract



1,308 m2 GIFA



Project Brief

Overbury successfully delivered a full Cat B fit out over two floors and a mezzanine area for repeat client, Reading Borough Council (RBC). Procured through the SCF Framework, the newly modernised office space will house the Council’s Parks, Highways and Housing departments. The works also included the creation of a storage facility for the museums and modern records division.

Works to the office space included the creation of a breakout area on the ground floor, new toilets, refurbishment of the showers, new tea points, installation of a new lift and redecoration throughout. Structural beams were moved and adapted to ensure that the lift could be appropriately supported.  A new structural steel beam was installed under the mezzanine to support the new storage equipment that would be installed on this floor. New roller racking storage and close control air conditioning units and dehumidifiers were fitted in the document and artefact storage areas.

The security of the building was increased with specialist steel doors and updated security systems.

The building is located in the middle of a busy depot which was in constant use throughout the project. Logistics had to be carefully planned; and effective traffic and parking management was key. Maintaining a strong relationship with the client ensured successful and efficient use of a challenging site.

Throughout the project we had apprentices and trainees working on site; directly for Overbury and for our subcontractors.

Key Challenges

The tight programme for the roller racking area presented a key challenge for the project. We had to ensure that this portion of works started as early as possible to meet the critical path. The programme was designed to progress these areas to mitigate the risk of not meeting the handover with the roller racking in place.

To ensure the smooth operation of the roller racking, the floor levels could only have a 5mm tolerance throughout the whole span of the warehouse. After the final stage of demolition was completed in the racking areas, we re-screeded the entire warehouse. This ensured the 5mm tolerance was met throughout the span which resulted in the perfect running of the racking system.

From the validation phases of the project it became apparent that there was an old mains electrical panel in a plant room in the centre of the building that was still live, this was due to be demolished to be used for racking areas. Requests to the electrical board were made immediately for them to disconnect and remove, however there was still to be a delay for these works. To ensure that this did not delay the overall programme we progressed with all other surrounding works, whilst keeping this plant room out of bounds to mitigate any health and safety risk. The sequencing of the roller racking was swapped to ensure the programme stayed on schedule.

Once the electrical panel was safely disconnected and removed, works to remove the old plant room and progress works for roller racking installation was accelerated so that the end handover date was met.

The office block was at the centre of a live and busy council depot. We had to balance deliveries and a shared car park with the council contractors and the challenging location also meant that large vehicles and deliveries could not access the site.

Collaboration, communication and organisation were key to maintaining a good relationship with the client while being efficient with deliveries and subcontractors.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • Our open and honest approach meant that we maintained a strong relationship with the client.  This collaborative approach and team ethos meant challenges were overcome quickly and effectively.
  • We had an experienced and knowledgeable team who communicated well and worked closely with our Health & Safety Inspector to ensure high standards were maintained on our site at all times.

Our Learnings

  • The design for the area under the mezzanine office and workshop was agreed late which put a strain on the programme, however the programme in this area was accelerated ensuring the end handover date was met.

Value Added

  • Overbury and the supply chain had 2 Apprentices and 3 Trainees. We provided 152 weeks of training in total.
  • Renewable/sustainability advice was provided to ensure a regime was in place which resulted in 491.3 tonnes of waste being diverted from landfill that equates to 96.8% of total waste.
  • Use of banksman when large deliveries that required us to shut down the depot one-way system.
  • Early communication with facilities team for large deliveries that shut down the depot road.
  • Use of local subcontractors and local materials had a positive impact on the local economy.