A key challenge to the project was finalising the contract sum through the second stage procurement process. A Cost Plan and package split methodology had been agreed with the Contractor, however individual work packages were consistently being returned over the Cost Plan allowance. Our cost data resources and market research was unable to reconcile the value of work package tender returns with our estimates. Our commercial team undertook a forensic review of the package tender information. The resulting recommendation to the Client was to commission new measured tender documents for tendering. This strategy did add time to the programme but the re-pricing exercise saw the Contract Sum agreed within budget.
The completed development provides state-of-the-art facilities which meet the changing demands of higher education. The envelope utilises a pallet of mixed materials including local flint, brick and curtain walling with contemporary detailing, while the curved auditorium facade is clad in weathered steel fins.
The building was among the first university projects to be registered for WELL Certification within the UK and won a Gold WAN Award (Education Category), Landscape Institute Award, Civic Trust Award and RIBA South Award in 2022. It is currently a 2022 finalist for the AJ Architecture Awards. West Downs is the fourth major project Jackson Coles have carried out for the University of Winchester.