This final phase of the client’s redevelopment of a 19th-century printworks as a campus facility was always going to be tricky given the inability of the budget to meet the ambition. With bags of experience of delivering similar refurbishment schemes in heritage buildings, Jason Bamford needed all his smarts to stay true to the vision without running out of money.
He delivered over £400,000 of savings through the initial value engineering required to bring this scheme within budget. Subsequent wins included his changing the double glazing to an acoustic single-glazed option.
Buildability is key to affordability, and with the project centrepiece a steel and precast lecture theatre, Jason had to find a way to lift the hefty precast concrete elements (one section alone weighed 2.3 tonnes) into the confines of an existing building with underfloor heating already in place. His elegant solution was to use a lifting beam on an A-frame positioned in steel channels so it could be slid into place without concentrating the load.
His ingenuity was also up to the task of replacing the large section missing from the building’s internal cast-iron balustrade. His idea to replicate the design for the missing section with plaster-cast panels made off-site, fixing them in place using timber and plywood, was simple but strikingly effective.
Jason was entirely impressive on this scheme. He managed to dodge spanners of all shapes and sizes thrown into the planning by a constantly changing design and scope of works. He agreed all methods and materials with the planning and conservation teams before they could be adopted. He picked out a careful logistics and safety path for a tight site in the heart of a big city on a busy main road and adjacent to a live campus with 10,000 students. And, of course, the project had an immovable completion date, due to term times and events, adding even more pressure to the process.
Yet his success is clear. He delivered on time and to budget, and the client has extended a £50m tender opportunity to Interserve for a new campus in the city.