The 7 storey building had been configured as a labyrinth of small offices, retail units and plant rooms, which led to very inefficient circulation and access routes through the building. A key challenge was altering the existing ventilation routes, including into a substation housed within the building. Extensive negotiation with UKPN was required in order to get their approval for the new ventilation strategy.
We advised the Client that proposed external redecoration works be procured as a standalone work package and not as a part of the main works contract. This route was followed with the Client engaging a specialist external facade contractor to complete who used abseiling for the works as opposed to expensive scaffolding.
The building was occupied throughout the works, and we managed this challenge by ensuring careful phasing of the works to minimise disruption. Sensitive liaison was needed with the existing tenants as the works progressed, keeping them regularly updated with regards the works being carried out. This liason process was particularly important when the Client secured a major letting to a University tenant. A change of main contractor in 2020 was also managed with minimal disruption.
The project threw up a number of challenges for the team, including carrying out the works during the pandemic and changing the main contractor early on in the process, but these and other issues were dealt with by the Client and project team working well together. Agreement with UKPN of the revised ventilation routes to the existing sub-station helped simplify duct routes elsewhere and the successful negotiation of CAT A contributions was a great benefit to the project.
Notwithstanding the changes required to the UKPN sub-station, the project was completed without service interruption for the tenants. The separately procured external façade works transformed the look of the property and helped clearly highlight the works that were also being done internally to the market. The replacement of the majority of the central plant and services throughout tenanted spaces brought improvements in energy efficiency. A review of the configuration of one of the retail units also enabled an increase to net lettable area.
Once complete the Client placed the building on the market and we provided support to the sales and negotiating team with due diligence reports required.