15th Nov 2017
Every build has its own very individual design and specification process, as well as timeline and budgetary requirements. All three elements critically impact the way each project should be planned and executed – and for that reason, building contracts need to be as varied and unique as the individuals who require them.
Part of the StuartBarr CDR mission is to provide a tailored build service for each and every client. In order to achieve this the organisation needs to ensure complete flexibility; tailoring of the way we build, the teams we put together for each job and, importantly, the way we structure our contracts.
This 3-phase project at Lopemede Farm required more flexibility than most. Architectural plans were commissioned to a limited level of detail, leaving circa 40% of the specification to client - contractor collaboration. The client needed the flexibility to make ongoing planning decisions as the project progressed to be able to incorporate new ideas or to respond to budgetary changes. Needless to say, a standard build contract would not have sufficed…. and nor would have a standard team!
Site manager Chris Ellis (master of planning and time management!) was an obvious choice to lead the job. Taking the bull by both horns, Chris was onsite throughout, ensuring maximum efficiency and ruthless sourcing! Known for ensuring that projects come in ahead of timelines and within budget he proved his reputation on this particular build.
The project involved the conversion of disused barns and fam buildings into two residential dwellings and an impressive function suite, as well as extensive external landscaping to form a courtyard garden. The old timber frames of the barns were to be retained and materials were to match in with the old brick and stone, without exceeding the labour and materials budget.
The function suite includes a kitchen and WCs and as well as open plan events space. The facility is impressive and highly adaptable thanks to its vast square meterage. Stunning timber-framed feature glazing, manufactured by BarrJoinery, runs to the full height oak-beamed ceiling on both sides, allowing daylight to stream into the original barn.
The whole project took 8 months from start to finish. A year later, the whole three phase conversion is inhabited and fully operational. In the client’s own words, “Having a project managed build was definitely the best decision I could have made. Chris and his team had everything under control throughout, allowing me to get on with my day job. Farming is one of those things which can’t be put on pause! I would measure a build on three parameters: whether it came in on budget, on time and without undue stress. Those are the three negatives we always hear about the construction industry. This project was not stressful because I had Chris to take that on for me. It was completed ahead of schedule and in budget.... completely transforming my perception of building trade!”
We thank our clients for letting us share their build and for the opportunity for our team to grown and learn through this project.