Faithorn Farrell Timms were appointed by Brentwood Housing Trust in July 2017 to act as Contract Administrator for the redevelopment of the site at 75 Warley Hill, Brentwood. The site comprises of a block of 17 flats incorporated within a converted detached 1900 house with 1960/70’s three-storey extensions. The rear grounds include car parking and lawn area. There are residential properties to the sides and rear.
The works include:
- The refurbishment of the exterior and common areas of the flats
- The installation of heating and measures to address damp and condensation
- The development of the rear garden to provide four new houses, each with a private back garden
Our client wished to use an established Chinese manufactured steel frame modern method of construction to take advantage of the economies of cost and speed of construction. Additional economy would be achieved with the purchase of the majority of the materials for construction of the houses from China.
As well as acting as Contract Administrator, we were also appointed to act as Principal Designer and Quantity Surveyor and are providing Party Wall advice as the housing development within the rear grounds is to be constructed close to adjacent properties.
We worked closely with the architect, structural engineer, mechanical and electrical engineer and civil engineer in the development of the designs.
The programme requirements were to implement new heating within the flats in 2017, to commence the block refurbishment including a new roof, windows and doors, cavity insulation, repair of rainwater goods and construction of the new houses in summer 2019.
- The implementation of heating was carried out as a separate contract within the time frame required. The brief necessitated individual consideration of a variety of issues of water penetration and condensation within the various 17 flats.
- The brief required the appointment of one contractor to refurbish the block and build the new houses.
- The construction of the four houses is a complex project due to the confined nature of the site, the sloping grounds, the adjacent neighbours, the configuration of the drainage and the subsoil type and the restricted headroom through the undercroft of the blocks to the rear grounds preventing access by plant.
- We also had to consider the logistics relating to the implementation of significant construction works in close proximity to an existing occupied block.
The existing flats have electrical night storage heaters. We procured a contract for replacement of the storage heaters with Fischer Heat heaters which are advanced units compared with the original heaters, having the facility for trickle charging to maintain capacity throughout the day. Installation was completed, and the residents have been delighted with the product.
We decided to procure the contract for the block and houses using the JCT Intermediate Contract with Contractor's Design 2016. The alternative of a Design and Build contract was considered but we would not achieve the benefits of contractor's input due to the considerable design implemented to enable the purchase of the Chinese system and materials. There has been extensive preparation of the designs to ensure that accurate ordering from China is undertaken at a sufficiently early stage.
We have undertaken early engagement with the neighbours to address potential issues relating to the requirements for access and notification under the party wall legislation.
We advised our client to employ a civil engineer with specialist skills in relation to drainage design due to the complication of a main sewer diversion under the site of the buildings and also to implement the most economic design for providing surface water drainage to soakaways.
We attended site with the supplier from China to assist with the inspection and measurement process for the replacement of block windows to ensure that the correct products and designs were accounted for.
In undertaking the installation of the heating, we have provided support and guidance to the residents during the snagging process relating to the operation of the heating controls.
We also attended an evening Board meeting with the Trust to explain our proposals.