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Date: March - July 2020

Client: Birmingham Community Healthcare, NHS Foundation Trust

Value: £200,000 approx.

Form of contract: Intermediate JCT 2016

Brief Description of Works

The scheme comprised of the extension to the existing car park to provide additional car parking spaces together with the provision of cycle storage, lighting and new road markings.

The scheme design originally included for a “Grasscrete GC3” pavement laid on top of a sustainable drainage system. This effectively attenuated the surface water run off into the existing outfall system for further disposal into the main Severn Trent Water sewer in Nineveh Road.

St Stephen’s centre is located on Nineveh Road, Handsworth, Birmingham and is a community Healthcare facility for child healthcare. The centre specialises in care for vulnerable children and is manned by trained healthcare workers.

Contractor/Client Relationship

Due to the sensitive nature of the healthcare provided by the client, it was clear from the outset that all site personnel needed to be aware of maintaining distance from the existing building in order to ensure privacy at all times. McVeigh Construction has extensive experience of working on NHS Trust properties over the years and has always respected the individual challenges of each site. Pre start meetings with the site team, where the importance of this particular constraint was fully explained, ensured that all those involved were properly briefed as to the code of conduct that was expected. This was successfully achieved throughout the delivery period and demonstrated the company’s close working relationship with the client.

The Constraints and Challenges

One of the main constraints encountered was the limited site access which was via a single entrance driveway off Nineveh Road which passed closely by the centre’s building. All plant, transport and materials had to use this narrow access road which resulted in the careful planning and scheduling of both transport and deliveries.

However, the main challenge of this scheme related to the proposed pavement design which was based on a ground investigation report procured by the scheme design engineer. McVeigh Construction carried out initial trial hole excavation to discover a significant amount of ground water was present within 500mm of the existing ground levels. The water logged nature of the ground meant that the proposed pavement design had to be urgently reviewed. McVeigh Construction worked closely with the design engineer and cost consultant to develop an alternative design to resolve this issue. The re design proposed a deeper drainage layer stabilised with a Tensar grid layer and changing the surface course from “Grasscrete GC3” to permeable block paving. The drainage system was also amended to include for a concrete baffle to separate the different depths of drainage layer and for drains to capture and filter the storm water on its passage to the outfall. This major design change caused a delay to the contract and the site team had to leave site for a five week period while the engineer developed the design.

Although this issue created additional costs to the contract, these were minimised by McVeigh Construction by successfully sourcing cheaper, recycled materials for use in the drainage layers.

In addition 30% of excavated materials were deposited on an adjacent open space area, in order to minimise the quantity to be disposed off site and reduce costs to the scheme accordingly.

Client Satisfaction

The NHS Trust representatives and project team overseeing this project were delighted with the outcome and McVeigh Construction once again received several compliments upon completion.

Overseeing difficult challenges, whether due to site access or design issues, has become a hallmark of McVeigh Construction over fifty years of trading. Moreover, the experience gained builds confidence and underpins the company’s success.

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