Lewes District Council

Coldstream House, Seaford Refurbishment

the project

Faithorn Farrell Timms (FFT) were initially instructed by Lewes District Council (LDC) to prepare a Feasibility Report and budget estimate as part of a larger brief looking at external redecoration and repairs to Sheltered Schemes. The brief required us to review all external areas and internal communal areas and to consider condition and suitability of existing mechanical and electrical services. The reports were well received and after various discussions with our client, the scope of work and timescales were agreed, and we were instructed to tender the project at a number of Sheltered Schemes including Coldstream House.

our role

FFT were instructed as Contract Administrator and Principal Designer. These roles included the design and specification of the refurbishment and monitoring the works during the contraction phase. We conducted various weekly meetings with the Contractor and residents on site and reported back to our client on progress and financial matters.

the challenges

Our initial challenge was communication with the residents. It became apparent that the residents had been promised the refurbishment at various times during the last ten years, however it hadn’t yet happened.  When we initially met the residents, they were very sceptical and frustrated.

the solution

It was clear that communication and reassurance would be key with the residents. Before we tendered the project, we held a meeting on site to discuss the proposed work, address any concerns and listen to their frustrations. Our client reassured the residents that the project would be going ahead, and we discussed the proposed timescales. To encourage them to feel more involved with the project, we worked with Dulux Paints to create mood boards and colour schemes for the communal areas on each floor to help with wayfinding. The mood boards were then left with the residents and they were asked to vote on their favourite colour schemes.

added value

A full scaffold was erected to the building to enable repointing and roofing repairs. Once the scaffold was complete and signed off, we undertook a close inspection of the brickwork with the Contractor. It was noticed that there was horizontal hairline cracking between the brick courses indicative of those associated with wall tie failure. With permission from our client, FFT undertook inspections of all the elevations and confirmed wall tie failure was present in the two most exposed elevations. An instruction was given to extend the Contract by two weeks to allow for the wall tie replacement.