Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

Refurbishment of Student Accommodation, University of Brighton

The refurbishment of student accommodation across three blocks at the Varley Park Campus

THE PROJECT

Faithorn Farrell Timms were appointed by the University of Brighton in April 2017 to design, specify, tender and manage the refurbishment of Student Accommodation in the Kingston, Framfield and Selsey blocks at the Varley Park Campus.

Built circa 1990, the three blocks consisted of six flats, each flat contained six to eight bedrooms and two WC’s and shower rooms. The refurbishment of the blocks consisted of:

  • The redecoration and replacement of carpets to bedrooms
  • The replacement of shower/bath installations
  • The replacement of WC’s
  • The redecoration and replacement of floor finishes to common areas
  • The replacement of lighting with LED lighting and presence detection

OUR ROLE

  • We produced tender documentation and the Pre-Construction health and safety file.
  • We sent the tender documentation to six contractors and answered queries
  • We reviewed the tenders submitted and made recommendations to our client as to the most ecomomically advantageous tender and scored each contractors quality submission
  • We undertook pre-contract and progress meetings and issued minutes accordingly. We conducted design meetings with our client and campus managers
  • We produced contract documentation and certificates and reviewed the contractors Health & Safety file.
  • We visited the site on a weekly basis and issued site inspections reports as well as reviewing contractors’ valuations and issuing certificates of payment.
  • We undertook the final inspection, issued snagging reports and carried out a review of O&M files.

THE CHALLENGES

There were already construction works in progress on the site while our project was being delivered. Rights of access through the construction site to Selsey and Framfield blocks would be in place however there would be time restrictions.

The contract period could only be seven weeks due to the accommodation being let out at the start of the summer holidays to foreign language students. This meant that it would not be possible to complete all of the proposed works and handover before the students returned from the summer holidays.

THE SOLUTION

To overcome the potential issues with access to the site through the existing contractors site, we arranged a meeting between the two contractors to establish the requirements of the main contractor and risk assessments were undertaken and method statements agreed.

It was imperative that there was regular communication between the main contractor to the site and Bramber Construction to review programmes and agree delivery dates and times. Bramber were asked to keep a record of any delays caused by the arrangement.

The contract ran smoothly and, although some delays were experienced, it did not affect the completion date.

In order to reduce a 12-week programme into seven weeks, we called a meeting with our client and the campus manager to review the scope of works and establish which work should take priority and what could be withheld to be undertaken another time. Once the reduced scope of works was agreed, negotiations were held with the winning contractor to agree a revised programme and contract sum. A Schedule of Reductions was included within the contract documentation.

ADDED VALUE

Extra time and care was taken in the design and colour schemes for the student accommodation. We decided that it would be agreeable to provide some bold colours by way of feature walls to give each block identity and interest and create a homely feel. We enlisted the help of Dulux and produced a mood board with 3D mock ups of the colour scheme options for our client and campus manager.

FFT managed the project well. The University had limited time and budget available compared to aspirations. FFT helped the University to deliver a programme on time that had maximum impact on our student experience.

Andy Christmas

Head of Facilities and Estate, University of Brighton