Chiltern Court, Ackworth

Cost
£1.8m
Duration
10 months
Location
Ackworth
Sector
Living
Client
Wakefield District Housing

Following a competitive Tender Exercise, STG was awarded the design and build of 8Nr 3-bed and 8Nr 2-bed Social Housing properties at Chiltern Court, Ackworth for Wakefield District Housing. The former brownfield site, which originally housed a Residential Home, presented several challenges, the most significant being; 1) the original designs hadn’t identified that the site couldn’t house an attenuation tank, so a solution to discharge surface water had to be implemented early to avoid delay in the road being constructed; 2) following award, we were requested to bring the scheme under budget so that WDH could maximise the benefit of the grant funding available.

- Client:

Through our pragmatic approach, design expertise and the strong relationships forged by our Project Management Team, we successfully overcame these issues as follows:

Attenuation: STG work hard to form strong relationships with all stakeholders including utilities companies. Contracts Manager, Mick Hebden, and our design team proposed the use of Polypipe drainage instead of the attenuation tank. After consideration, Yorkshire Water gave their approval, allowing STG to continue work.

Costs:  to bring the scheme under budget, Quantity Surveyor, John Doran and our design team interrogated the design to understand what value engineering solutions we could offer. Subsequently, we proposed:


• Changing the boundary wall from brick to fencing (£30,000 saving)
• Changing staircases from Oak to MDF (£2,000 saving)
• Reducing the number of trees from the landscaping designs (£3,000 saving)
• Tackling the Japanese Knotweed using treatment rather than removal (£4,000 saving).


The proposals were accepted by WDH, reducing the contracted value from £1,780,000 to £1,741,000; an impressive £39,000 saving.

SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

STG’s Head Office is based in Castleford, just six miles from the site. Furthermore, having completed many schemes with WDH, the project was delivered by a Project Management Team who were local to the area and had proven experience of meeting the client’s KPIs. The team was led by Construction Director, Andy Coates, who brings over 20 years’ experience of leading teams on new build Social Housing projects, supported by:


• Mick Hebden, Contracts Manager

• Rob Pollard, Site Manager

• John Doran, Quantity Surveyor

• Mike Nettleton, Estimator

• Paul Watkins, Planning & Performance Manager

• Haydn Weaver, HSQE Manager

• Qualified and skilled trade operatives

• Customer Care Team available on a 24/7/365 basis

THE SCHEME

Works commenced on 1st August 2016 with the demolition of the Residential Home, followed by remedial works. The new residences were constructed from concrete strip foundations with block and beam concrete ground floors and TGI timber joists to the upper floors. Traditional masonry walls were used for the internal and external walls. Roofs are of timber truss, covered with traditional tile lathe, felt and roof tiles. The homes were completed internally to final finish ready for occupancy. The site was completed with groundworks, site access, parking provision and external landscaping.


MARKET KNOWLEDGE AND APPROACH TO MARKETING

STG has previously worked with WDH on a number of projects, as well as other Social Housing clients from the Yorkshire area. This allowed us to transfer our knowledge and experience gleaned from similar developments to the benefit of the Chiltern Court scheme. Prior to commencing works, we carried out a risk register to understand which residents and businesses would most likely be affected by our works and what marketing would need to be carried out to help eliminate fears. This included Welcome Brochures, newsletters and Meet the Builder events to allow people to openly express their concerns and liaising with neighbouring residents and businesses.

ACCELERATING DELIVERY

We are always focussed on working with our clients to accelerate the build of the properties so that they can benefit from their revenue. To achieve this, we used the following processes:


• ‘StageGate’ to identify risks at the earliest opportunity and develop mitigating solutions. StageGate manages all activities from assessing feasibility of land, to developing concept designs, obtaining third party reports and investigations, developing Contractors Proposals, entering section agreements and submitting planning applications 
• Our Design Team worked with the Local Authority throughout the planning stage. 
• We developed a Procurement Programme and engaged early with our Supply Chain, and local SMEs, to ensure that sufficient materials/resource was available from day one

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