The project entailed the conversion of ‘MillHolme’, a grade ii Georgian country house which had recently been substantially renovated and converted to provide a number of en-suite living units for JCB’s overseas staff and visitors.
We were commissioned to undertake this project with an almost impossible time frame after the purchase of the clients preferred building to convert fell through and thus the fixed time frame to utilise grant funding looked doomed. But through careful project managment, by adopting a clear vison, open dialogue to get all parties to ‘buy in’ to the strategic goal’ we were able to overcome the usual hurdles in the minimum time frame. East Staffs Borough Council were particularly assitive in expediting the mandatory planning and listed building consent as were the contractors who submitted competative tenders knowing the challenge that lay ahead.
Stoke on Trent based ‘Broadstaff Construction’ won the contract and immediately mobilised to set about the task. They made excellent progress until what seemed to be a modernised Georgian Building in excellent condition, exposed its dark secrets; once we opened up the ‘dummy ceilings’ we discovered that many of the upper floors were barely structurallly sound enough to support their own weight let alone meet the demands of a modern day educational establishement. Furthermore an infestation of woodworm was discovered which introduced a serious unexpected delay to the time scale and extra costs. Although this raised tensions on the project to a new level, with the full commitment of all concerned we were able to overcome these major hurdles with absolute minimum delay and were able to juggle the contract specification to mitigate the effect on cost.