Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

New-Build Housing at St Chads, Tilbury

The new build construction of 128 two and three-storey affordable houses on a former school site

THE PROJECT

Faithorn Farrell Timms was appointed by Thurrock Council in May 2015 as Principal Designer for the new build construction of 128 two and three storey affordable houses.

The proposed works included:

  • The demolition and clearance of the former school on the site
  • The removal of trees and the piling of foundations
  • Construction of new roadways, public green spaces and play area complete with all necessary services
  • The planting of new trees and shrubs

OUR ROLE

Our Principal Designer team liaised with our client to obtain their requirements, budget and project timetable and ensure our services were tailored to meet these. We issued and appraised our Client Questionnaire to determine all available project information, identifying and advising on any additional requirements. We prepared and issued a Pre-Construction Information Pack which was used to assist the Principal Contractor in identifying hazards to be included within the Construction Phase Plan and means of removal or mitigation.

We attended the Design Team Meetings and reviewed drawings to assess any potential hazards. Due to the nature of the works, we notified the HSE of this project and advised the Principal Contractor to display the notices on site. We worked with the Principal Contractor to develop a Construction Phase Plan.

Throughout the Construction Phase, we remained vigilant to ensure that high-risk works had Risk Assessments and Method Statements and that any alterations to the Design were reviewed. We undertook monthly health and safety audits on behalf of our client to ensure compliance with the Construction Phase Plan and statutory Health and Safety Legislation.

As construction neared completion, we requested the Health & Safety File information from the Principal Contractor. We provided a guidance document which detailed the information we required, including a schedule of materials, list of suppliers, operating and maintenance manuals as well as certificates/test certificates, ensuring that Practical Completion was not delayed as a result of missing information.

THE CHALLENGES

  • There were a number of existing services identified on site; a large 900mm diameter drain to be diverted, a HV cable to be proved dead.
  • There were also gas mains and a live LV electrical cable serving the nursery, a similar cable which served the defunct school and BT and Virgin cables running across the site.
  • Prior to works commencing, it was imperative that these services were removed or shut off. The challenge was that these were provided by different companies, both with different requirements and timescales.

THE SOLUTION 

We advised that the Principal Contractor shall provide a Safety Method Statement demonstrating how they will avoid any damage to ‘live’ services during the works and that they are to liaise closely with the relevant owners to ensure that all service runs are identified prior to works commencing on site. The pack included drawings provided by the service providers, showing the location of services which still had cabling or pipework on the site, to ensure that these were not damaged during the groundworks.

Having had experience with these service providers in the past, on behalf of our client, we contacted them during the design period to advise of the intended works and to identify information required by them to facilitate either a shut off of the service or removal. Throughout the design process, we worked with the service providers ensuring that once the Principal Contractor began the works, the services had been removed or, in the case of drainage, diverted. This was crucial to ensuring the project timescales were met and that no additional costs were incurred because of any consequent delays.

After obtaining the required information from the Principal Contractor in March 2017, the Health & Safety File was produced and sent to our client via disc in April.

The scheme was carefully designed to ensure it fits with the surrounding area, whilst retaining a unique feel. It is now fully complete with all necessary services and utilities together with a new electrical sub-station.

ADDED VALUE

As the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 had only been introduced two months prior to works commencing and were due to complete after the October 2015 transitional period, we arranged a workshop at our client’s offices with the Design Team, where we delivered a seminar on the new regulations. This seminar identified the duties of all parties involved in the project and we detailed how these were to be complied with. This seminar was crucial to the delivery of the project as due to the time constraints, all parties were required to understand their roles under the new regulations as soon as possible.

Following the issue of the Health and Safety File, we met with our client’s asset management team to assist with uploading the information onto their asset portal. This was made possible as, prior to works commencing, we requested one electronic and one hard copy of the Health and Safety File Information. By assisting our client in uploading this information, they could ensure all data was captured and future maintenance could be budgeted, planned for and implemented.

Our Principal Designer maintained 24-hour mobile phone access so that any queries raised could be dealt with as soon as possible.

This whole lifecycle approach we take to Health and Safety File information is unique to Faithorn Farrell Timms and we believe that it provides added value to our clients as retrospectively attempting to capture asset management data can incur high costs.