London & Quadrant Housing Trust

New Build Housing at Three Garage Sites, Welling

the project

We were appointed by London & Quadrant (L&Q) to act as Employer’s Agent for the design and construction of eight new build properties spread over three separate garage sites in Welling – Bennett Close (two houses), Darenth Road (three flats) and Douglas Road (two flats and a house).  The garages were vacant and had fallen in to disrepair.  L&Q wished to appoint a single Contractor for all three sites, let under three separate JCT Design and Build Contracts.  Our client had obtained conditional planning permission to demolish the existing structures.

our role

Our brief was to review all current project information, make recommendations for further investigations, prepare a tender package, review tenders and produce a tender report, prepare the contract documents and administrate the contract acting as the client’s agent for the duration of the works up to the end of the rectification period.

We were tasked with finding an approach to allow for best value to be sought by appointing a single Contractor but with the flexibility that, if one site should not go ahead, there was a mechanism in place to allow the remaining sites to proceed.

the challenges

In some cases, access to the sites was limited by narrow driveways therefore tendering Contractors were tasked with submitting a logistics plan of how they would service the site with deliveries and how materials would be stored.  Their approach to logistics, minimising impacts on neighbouring properties and maintaining a safe environment for the public realm was assessed as part of the tender evaluation process.   The garages themselves were also found to have asbestos containing materials and a number of live mains services were highlighted as potentially running under the site.

the solution

Pre-tender surveys were expedited by FFT and included as part of a comprehensive tender package – the additional survey information provided important knowledge for the pricing contractors such as the quantum of asbestos in the buildings, and the commissioned geotechnical report advised on foundation types which would be suitable given the ground conditions.  We appointed a utility surveying consultant to map the existing services which highlighted where infrastructure would potentially be impacted by the footprint of the new buildings.  This information allowed tendering Contractors to provide robust costs which were free from provisional sums and exclusions.

added value

The L&Q team responsible for the project were a new arm of the organisation, tasked with reviewing their existing property holdings and assessing potential for new build dwellings in under developed areas.  Our experience with development allowed us to review a number of sites with the team, highlight the challenges faced by each and identify those most likely to offer development potential.

The three garage sites formed part of a review of ten separate opportunities and following our advice, were selected to proceed.  As L&Q are a large organisation generally developing sites of over one hundred units and via s.106 agreement with large house builders, smaller development is new to their business and we were able to offer bespoke advice on the opportunities and how best to action them.