Partner’s Boost to Social Housing Portfolio

Dale Potts
The social housing portfolio at the Teesside office of international project management and cost consultants Faithful+Gould has received a boost with two new commissions, totalling £5 million.

Having worked with Darlington based Railway Housing Association (RHA) for several years Faithful+Gould was initially awarded a contract to provide budget estimates during the feasibility stage of a redevelopment scheme in Shildon to provide 31 apartments for the elderly. Initially the project looked at refurbishing and remodelling the existing facility. But it quickly became apparent that the more cost effective solution was a tailor made new build. Following on from this, it has been appointed to provide client representative and quantity surveying services on the scheme.

The £4 million project which is due to start on site in early May and is being undertaken over two phases, will see the construction of a two storey timber frame residential development on Alma Road. Comprising 17 two bed and 14 one bed apartments, it will also boast communal facilities such as a gymnasium, hair salon, laundrette and a conservatory which will open onto landscaped communal gardens.

Phase Two, which is due to commence in the third quarter of 2008, will see the completion of the associated external works and landscaping and the construction of a further 11 timber framed two bed bungalows on the same site.

Undertaking a client representative role on the project under PPC2000 allows the client, contractor, consultants and sub-contractors to work together as members of a partnering team. Faithful+Gould’s role within this will be to co-ordinate and monitor progress. As quantity surveyor for pre- and post- contractual services, it additionally procured the construction element of the works via OJEU as well as agreeing the maximum price for the project, managing the cost information throughout the duration of the scheme and processing valuations.

Associate director Gary Marshall commented, "Our north cluster team boasts significant experience of delivering similar projects for a wide range of housing associations, but this is the largest scheme we have undertaken for RHA and the most significant for several years from the Stockton on Tees office.

"The partnering team faces some challenges during the life of the project as the site is extremely small with the existing building still housing residents until the first phase of the project completes in March 2008. Tenants will then be moved from their former accommodation into their new apartments. This will allow the demolition of the existing block and the completion of phase two, comprising the bungalows and external works. In addition, our role will involve managing stakeholder expectations of a high quality development within a tight budget as well as ensuring that the construction works cause minimum disruption to the residents that are to remain within the existing building throughout the construction period."

Karen Lathan, chief executive of Railway Housing Association, said:

"We have a good working relationship with Faithful+Gould's team - its knowledge, experience and specialist skills were an obvious choice for our latest project. It is extremely rewarding to see partnering working to deliver high quality accommodation for the elderly. Developing good quality properties at affordable rent continues to be a high priority for us."

In addition, Tees Valley Housing Group has appointed the same Faithful+Gould team to a £1 million project which will see the construction of nine two-bedroom apartments for teenage mothers on Coney Avenue in Bishop Auckland.

The apartments have been commissioned to aid the bringing together of young mothers in a supported environment in which they are able to interact with people in a similar position to themselves, and learn independence. In addition, the facilities will provide outreach support to young parents in the wider community. The development will also comprise office space, staff accommodation, communal gardens, laundry and lounge area and a guest bedroom.

Faithful+Gould is undertaking a client representative role, again under PPC2000. In addition to monitoring the progress of the partnering team it will also be aiding the funding application value engineering and risk management.

Completion is planned for August 2007.

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