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Wednesday, 3 June

A Construction Compendium

Willmott Dixon Interiors has completed a Category B fit-out of 39 Victoria Street for the Department of Health (DoH), providing a new head office environment.

The project, procured through Scape Group’s Major Works framework, will enable the DoH’s team to relocate from their current office in Richmond House, Whitehall.

Willmott Dixon Interiors was the lead designer working alongside the DoH to create a contemporary environment that embraces modern, agile working methods with hot desks and standing desk areas. The modern office space is attracting interest from other Government departments as they look to adopt similar working practices.

The use of BIM helped Willmott Dixon Interiors win ‘Best overall BIM project’ at the recent RICS' BIM4SME awards.  It was hailed as an example of best practice in all areas, from the point cloud survey and 5D quantities take-off, to supply chain engagement and translation to the client’s CAFM at the end of the project.


Overseas and postgraduate students driving UK student accommodation construction sector, says specialist

Demand for student accommodation with increased amenities is continuing to grow across the country fuelled by overseas and postgraduate students, says an expert in the field.

Property and cost consultancy, Thomas & Adamson, has seen a marked increase in revenue this year from the student accommodation sector in line with expected growth in the sector, according to partner and student accommodation specialist at Thomas & Adamson, Brian Donaldson: “Over the course of the year we have seen a ten per cent increase in student accommodation projects going to site, which confirmed our projections. In addition, we are finding the number of clients looking at student accommodation as the catalyst for development of their existing sites is also continuing. This is borne out by recent studies suggesting around ten per cent of all commercial property investment is directed through student accommodation.”

Thomas & Adamson is currently working with clients building property to house both overseas and postgraduate students, as well as clients who are working directly with universities for the undergraduate market.



Britcon has completed the construction of a new tipping station for Singleton Birch at its Melton Ross Quarry near Kirmington in North Lincolnshire. The £200,000 contract was to deliver a new concrete structure and surrounding civils work for access to sorting materials.

Britcon had previously delivered the £400,000 Quarry Fines building on the same site to house a bulk store, screen house, crusher house, microlime plant and ancillary facilities. It was subsequently appointed to deliver the new tipping station because of this site experience and existing long-term relationship.


Eric Wright Group

Multiple divisions of the Eric Wright Group have worked together to deliver 30,000sq.ft of prime industrial space, suitable for trade counter occupiers, on the outskirts of Manchester. The site will now be managed by Eric Wright Facilities Management and forms part of its growing £60 million+ property portfolio.

 Developed by Maple Grove, the Group’s development arm and built by Eric Wright Construction, the  £2.5m Victoria Trading Estate comprises seven units ranging from 2,600 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft; each complete with loading doors and designated car parking.


New Government Hub Underway in Leeds

Developer and asset manager MEPC has started groundworks on the government’s new regional Yorkshire hub in Leeds. A ceremony marked the beginning of the construction phase following two months of site preparation, with the new 378,000 sq. ft. building scheduled for completion at the end of 2019. Housed within MEPC’s masterplan, the combined Buildings 7 and 8 form the new hub which will be a BREAAM excellent state-of-the-art working environment for over 6,000 civil servants, let on a 25 year lease.

This project is part of the Government’s wider plans for building a strong Civil Service base across the UK. The Leeds hub will transform central Government's estate by accommodating multi-departmental workforces in shared buildings including HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Digital. This will deliver taxpayer savings, build Leeds' strength as a front runner in digital skills, act as a catalyst for regional growth in Yorkshire and ensure the delivery of the best quality service to the public.


Education Sector Boosts Growth for Watson Batty

Watson Batty Architects has seen projects across the education sector currently account for almost 30% of turnover. Mark Sidding education director said, “Watson Batty has successfully designed and delivered a number of projects recently on behalf of the ESFA including Dixons McMillan Secondary Academy in Bradford and Temple Learning All Through Academy, in Leeds. Further ESFA funded projects are currently underway at Wynyard Primary School in Stockton-On-Tees and The Stephen Longfellow Alternative Provision Academy in Leeds. Other projects recently completed include a new £3.6 million annex for Hollybush Primary School in Leeds, and a £10 million refurbishment and link building extension for Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre at Sheffield Hallam University."


Atkins/Arup to design Crossrail Custom House station

The Custom House station in East London will must be completed without causing major disruption to the existing Docklands Light Railway’s (DLR), Custom House station and the adjoining Excel Centre.

A joint team from Atkins, Arup, Allies & Morrison, Crossrail and Laing O’Rourke collaborated to develop the design for the station,. This had to work around a number of constraints including a very narrow site; existing utilities; existing DLR remaining fully operational throughout construction; a busy footpath and congested Victoria Dock Road and a public right of way.

Atkins’ programme delivery director, Simon Layzell said: “By maximising the use of offsite fabrication techniques, we will be able to guarantee quality before assembly begins and also significantly reduce the time needed to complete the build. Also minimising the amount of material coming to site will make it a far more carbon critical design.”

Once opened the station will welcome regional and international visitors to London’s largest conference centre, ExCel London and create an important transport interchange for the Elizabeth line, DLR and local buses.

Picture: The DoH office at 39 Victoria


Article written by Brian Shillibeer


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