Unity Housing Association
- Contract Value:
The project comprised of Esh Property Services undertaking the construction of 24 new build timber frame apartments and 4 one bed bungalows which were specifically designed for the over 55’s.
We were able to secure this scheme through the process of competitive tendering and were pleased to have won our first scheme with Unity Housing Association. The initial programme at Tender Stage was 56 Weeks, however due to funding constraints our client requested this period reduced to 51 weeks. To cooperate with this request we looked at different methods of construction to significantly reduce the build time by 5 weeks, which resulted in a change from a Traditional Brick and Block to the use of a Timber Frame Building.
Works on the brownfield site began in April 2014, but were offset by one week due to asbestos surveys identifying its presence with the subsequent safe removal of all contaminated materials being undertaken by a specialist subcontractor.
Once all of the asbestos was removed from the site we undertook the demolition works to the existing single storey building taking 4 weeks to complete, with all of the bulk excavation that was dug up to form the foundations and basement area being recycled. The construction of the new apartments and bungalows was carried out within the footprint of the old building.
Retaining walls for the lower ground floor were constructed adjoining to concrete slab foundations. Once the foundations were completed the next stage comprised of intermittently erecting the timber frame superstructure for both the 24 apartments and 4 bungalows. Once the timber frames were in place windows were then installed to each property allowing for the external brickwork, cladding and roofing to be completed. An existing 200 year old sandstone wall, earmarked for demolition was retained as a feature and this retention also provided a cost saving for the client.
Once there was a “shell” of each property in place we undertook first fix works which consisted of constructing all of the internal walls, floors, ceilings and inserting all of the associated electrical cables and water pipes to service each property, the second fix stage was then carried out by all of the associated finishing trades.
A show flat was prepared 6 weeks prior to the handover of the properties; this was for Unity’s sales team to promote the sale of the remaining apartments.
Two significant tree protection orders were put in place to protect the surrounding copper beech trees, these were subsequently fenced off and displayed all of the necessary signage. Further to this all of the bulk excavated materials that was obtained through demolition of the prior building was crushed and subsequently recycled.
A visit to a local primary school was completed and a health and safety talk given to the pupils to inform them about the dangers of live construction sites. Our mascot Dudley the elephant came along and the children thoroughly enjoyed meeting him.