Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

Fire Reinstatement of Triangle Shopping Centre, Basildon

Multi-disciplinary services

The Project

Following competitive fee tendering, Faithorn Farrell Timms was appointed by Basildon Borough Council to provide Employer’s Agent, Architecture, Principal Designer, and Clerk of Works services for the redevelopment of a small shopping parade following fire damage.

The site, on High Road, Langdon Hills, previously contained a single-storey block of five commercial shop units.  Langdon Hills is a suburb of Basildon and with no substantial shopping centre nearby, the shopping parade with parking facilities provided an important amenity for local residents.  A fire, which started within the extract ducting from the Chinese takeaway, caused significant damage and the building was demolished to ground level as a consequence. 

Our Role

Paul Whalley attended on a weekly basis throughout the contract works period and provided a weekly report including weather conditions, health and safety, reports against programme, elemental progress review, early warning issues, defects identified, labour on site, building control and planning condition matters.

Drawings were submitted for a two storey building incorporating six commercial units on the ground floor and five flats above, along with increased parking provision.

The Challenges

  • The progress of the scheme was subject to close political scrutiny. The Triangle parade has been rebuilt twice due to fire damage, thus concerns relating to the building’s vulnerability have been a key talking point.
  • There was considerable local interest in the proposed designs, which were consulted at an open event in the adjacent British Legion premises.
  • The requirement to retain a temporary building on the site created significant logistical problems, particularly in relation to access and health and safety.

The Solution

The units were substantially constructed in concrete and masonry to mitigate susceptibility to fire damage. As a further precaution, a dedicated water mains supply was provided for sprinkler installation in both the commercial and residential units. Extract ducting from the takeaway units was pre-installed to roof level incorporating regular access panels to facilitate inspection and future cleaning.

The tender incorporated the provision for a temporary McColl’s building to be placed on site. It was important for our client and local residents that a temporary shop facility was provided on site for as long as possible during the works and that the commercial units could be occupied quickly. The tender therefore allowed for sectional completion of the commercial units with the residential units being completed later.

Added Value

Community interests were listened to by reducing the number of flats originally proposed, as requested at the consultation, and the tender incorporated the provision of a temporary McColl’s building to be placed on site as this was important for our client and the local residents.

 Paul Whalley, a Partner in the Potters Bar office, personally provided the Employer’s Agent and Clerk of Works services, from inception to completion. Additional resources were required for holiday periods and snagging for practical completion, when building surveyors from the Potters Bar team attended site.