Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

Redevelopment of Basingstoke Fire Station

The Project

Faithorn Farrell Timms were appointed by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2014 to provide Project Management, Employers Agent, Cost Consultant, and Procurement services in relation to the re-development of Basingstoke Fire Station.

The Employer’s Agent role concluded after the tender stage, as this role would be undertaken by Hampshire County Council during the construction phase. We have, however, continued to provide Project Management and Cost Consultancy services during the construction phase.

Our Role

Our involvement as Project Manager encompassed overseeing a number of key phases:

  • Site feasibility – preparing a site evaluation model to establish the benefits of redeveloping the existing site or relocating to a new site
  • Design development of the new fire station - project managing the design team and all key internal and external stakeholders
  • The planning application
  • Procurement - facilitating a competitive dialogue procedure as set out under the Public Contract Regulations 2006 (now 2015). We managed the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire phase and the Invitation to submit technical solutions phase.
  • Value engineering following the tender process
  • Pre-construction phase - developing the contractor’s proposals
  • Construction phase - this commenced in December 2015 and is due to conclude in December 2017. The project has been divided into three key phases to allow the fire station to remain operational throughout works

We produce regular Highlight Reports which are circulated to the Project Board. We also attend the Project Board meetings, all formal monthly progress meetings and take ownership for the preparation of all meeting minutes and updating the risk register and issues log. We manage, monitor and report on both the budget and Contract sum.

The Challenges

  • At tender stage, contractors invited to tender advised that the competitive dialogue procedure was no longer attractive to the market and they would be reluctant to proceed on this basis.
  • The tender return was above our client’s budget
  • Additional asbestos contamination was identified in both the old fire station and ground
  • Other issues on site included a failed air test and problems with the below ground drainage levels.

The Solution

Upon discussions with our client, we agreed to change the tender procedure, whereby the highest ranked contractor would become the preferred bidder and we would enter negotiations and value for money discussions with that contractor. Kier Southern were awarded the contract.

A detailed value for money exercise had to be undertaken with Kier. Following extensive negotiation, we arrived at a scheme that was deemed to be acceptable to HFRS in terms of cost and scope.

The removal of asbestos influenced the programme and an extension of time was granted to cover the delay.

Kier undertook detailed investigations to establish the reasons for the failed air test and inadequate drainage gradients. Following detailed discussions and negotiations between all project team members, solutions were arrived at that suited all parties.

Sectional completion for phase one, the interim station, was achieved in February 2016. Sectional completion of the main fire station in March 2017, with Practical Completion due in December 2017

Added Value

During the feasibility phase, we prepared a site evaluation model to establish the benefits of redeveloping the existing site or relocating to a new site. This was outside of the brief and our remit, but was undertaken to help the fire service clearly define the best option to suit their key requirements. We project managed the process in conjunction with HCC’s architects who were advising on alternative design options.

We had detailed involvement in the Value for Money exercise and facilitated the entire process

Changing from a Competitive Dialogue Procedure to a Procedure that replaced the Dialogue phase with detailed discussions and negotiations with the preferred bidder. FFT facilitated the entire process.