Garage Infill Sites

Robert Woodhead Ltd were appointed to deliver 29 traditional new build homes across 6 former garage sites. This project was one of the first projects where Leicester City Council entered the new-build housing market.

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Project Introduction

Collaborative working was clear between our site team and the novated design team lead by A&G Architect. Adopting a ‘One Team’ ethos we overcame many challenges, especially under our 13-week lockdown in 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic. As an experienced contractor in this market sector we are working closely with the council and remain on track to successfully complete the new homes, in time for the Mayor’s Opening Ceremony on the 16th April 2021.

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Working Together Remaining As One Team

We worked collaboratively with the client’s appointed design team, sharing values across each of the businesses and we found working together to share design information and efficiently responding to RFI’s enabled smooth delivery on-site. Variation in levels at the Maplin Road site, required the need for installation of Gabion baskets. The engineers were unable to gain access to the site due to the strict enforcement of the 1st Covid related national lockdown. Our site team proposed the designs for the Gabion baskets, which were reviewed and approved by the structural engineer.

Overcoming Environmental Challenges

All 6 sites were prone to nuisance by urban foxes, including, persistent fouling on-site, damaging cement finishing on foundations, potential damage to stock including contamination, and health and safety risk to staff. Our HSE Manager, managed this by incorporating solid fencing around the site boundary. Training was undertaken on site and we informed the community, discouraging them from feeding the fox.

Community Engagement

Early community engagement included, letter drops with a project brief and 24-hour contact. A community notice board was on the site hoarding detailing the project activities which may impact noise levels or dust. Just in time deliveries for off-peak hours were planned, to avoid (pre-Covid lockdown) school rush hour or peak commuter times. With single access and egress routes to the site entrance, local site staff were appointed to the project, encouraging the use of sustainable travel.

Asbestos Management

LCC had arranged for the garage sites to be demolished to slab level across all 6 sites. Our works included the breakup and removal from site of the concrete base slabs. Known asbestos below the slabs at Brocklesby Way, Maplin Road and Felstead Road, meant we appointed an accredited specialist to safely remove the asbestos from site. SOP’s and RAMS issued by the Asbestos Specialists, were reviewed and approved, ensuring works were carried out and completed safely. Safety briefings, asbestos awareness training/checks and Toolbox Talk Training sessions were held with our operatives and sub-contractor workforce.

Overcoming Material Shortages

With Leicester City being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the army being deployed to install a block perimeter around the city, we were quickly faced with material shortage. We immediately engaged the Council and worked collaboratively with the design team to propose solutions with the forecasted material shortages. Designs were modified to incorporate cladding in place of continuous brickwork. Steel fencepost was used in place of concrete fence post, changes offering the same level of durability and longevity as the original specification.

Adding Value To The Project

All units were sat on strip foundation and delivered to standard lifetime homes, premier guarantee property (LABC), space standard and successful building control. The first 5 sites were delivered to council housing standards. Internal fit outs complied with the Council’s repair and maintenance team’s requirements. Specification was compiled, data sheets and life-time costing for materials and appliances that offer savings and long-term maintenance. The internal fit out of the 12 units at Felstead Road were upgraded in line with our recommendations.

Miles Martin, Project Manager at Arcadis Design Team said:

“I have been very impressed with the proactive and collaborative approach from the Woodhead team. They have gone the extra mile to help find solutions to the project challenges in a very professional, open and competent manner. They have also worked very hard to deliver a high quality product to the client’s satisfaction.”

Whitwell Cluster

Milner Road