Project

Ipswich Coroner’s Court

Brief

Concertus were appointed to carry out the necessary re-modelling work to facilitate bringing the services together within one building.

Following the transfer of responsibility for the Coroner’s Court from the police to Suffolk County Council, a review of the facility was undertaken by the council. The review aimed to investigate whether the Court’s services could be geographically rationalised within one location. Following this, Concertus were appointed to carry out the necessary re-modelling work to facilitate bringing the services together within one building. We were appointed due to the breadth of our experience, and the fact that we could provide a multi-disciplinary service for the required disciplines to enable successful delivery.

Key Info

Type:
Feasibility, Masterplanning

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Duration:
6 months

Client:
Suffolk County Council

Contractor:
SEH French

End User:
Ipswich Coroner’s Court

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

We worked with a number of stakeholders on this project, including commercial tenants who occupied the building throughout construction.

Our experience and skill set meant we were able to advise and consult on how to deliver the most effective programme for the end-user, whilst minimising the impact on existing tenants. We were instrumental in establishing the client and end user’s requirements for the new facility. This led to the development of a thorough brief, aimed at meeting both present and future requirements for the Court. This meant the Concertus team was able to propose and implement a design that was fit for current requirements and had an element of future-proofing to enable the Court to take advantage of modern technology.

In addition, we had to obtain planning permission for change of use so that the area of Beacon House which housed the Coroner’s Court could be used by the public. We also worked closely with the IT team at Suffolk County Council to ensure their requirements were incorporated within the building infrastructure. For instance, additional cabling and screens were installed to enable live interviews and tele-conferencing, allowing the possibility of witnesses giving evidence remotely.

Alongside the remodelling of the Coroner’s Court, the project incorporated several refurbishment elements. These elements included replacing air conditioning units, installing a new ventilation system for the first floor, upgrading the lift, and providing energy efficient sensor lighting on the first floor.

Testimonial

“This is the first time a purpose made provision has been created in the county for the exclusive use of inquest hearings. This new facility will enable the team to work in a more streamlined way, making full use of modern digital technology and provide the best service possible for bereaved families in the county.”

Jane Parker, Head of Registrars Service & Lead Manager for Coroners Service, Suffolk County Council

Result

Delivered on time and to budget, the new Coroner’s Court is now a centralised hub for the multiple services provided.

The court now operates from modern facilities that provide a conducive, appropriate, and sympathetic environment for the Coroner’s team, professionals, volunteers, and visiting families.

 

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Project

Old Kent Road

Brief

This project’s site was based on Kinglake Street in Southwark London.

This project’s site was based on Kinglake Street in Southwark London. At the time the site consisted of 48 council managed garage spaces. The proposal for the site was to develop a complex of accessible homes in a car-free environment. This included 21 residential units comprising 4x three-bed houses and 17 flats of various combinations. In addition to this, the proposed development included a commercial unit with a floor area of 117sqm on the ground floor. All flats and houses needed to abide by the Lifetime Homes Guidelines and the London Mayor’s Standards and 2 of the properties had to meet the Wheelchair Standards.

Key Info

Location:
Old Kent Road, Southwark

Project Duration:
18 months

Project Type:
New Build (Housing – mixed use/commercial, flats and houses), Demolition
Client:
Aspen Build Ltd

End User:
Southwark Council

Project Value:
£12 million

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Structural + Civil Engineering

Scope

Our team was asked to work on stage 4 of the project after receiving stage 3 from Pollard Thomas Edwards.

Due to the guidelines we were asked to work with, we double checked the layouts we had been given and found they were not in line with the Lifetime Homes Guidelines, Wheelchair Standards, or the London Mayor’s Standards. With these guidelines in mind, we went through the design and amended it to meet the higher requirements.

Our Structural Engineers liaised closely with our Architects to adjust the structure accordingly. Being a multi-disciplinary practice made this process simple as these teams work within the same building. The Structural Engineering team ensured any architectural changes would not have a significant impact on the cost of the building. They made sure the building was optimised and as light as possible (one of the client’s requests). We needed to pay close attention to the foundations of the original building and guarantee the two buildings would work structurally. The buildings also had to work with the site conditions and be as safe as possible. Assisting our client with a Party Wall Award was also included within the scope of works.

Our architectural designers met with Aspen Build Ltd to discuss wall types, building structure, and mechanical and electrical services. Regular attendance at our client’s meetings allowed us the opportunity to provide information directly to their client and answer any queries. Our team had monthly meetings with Southwark Council to ensure we remained on programme and answered any questions raised regarding final detail and overall cost. The programme included tight deadlines. These were communicated to the relevant people and continuously met.

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Result

Careful consideration of the brief and project requirements, while working closely with our client meant that the project proceeded according to plan and fulfilled client expectations.

Demolition started on site in mid-November 2019 and the building work commenced in mid-February 2020, leading to completion in October 2020.

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Project

Lavenham Road

Brief

The requirements of the brief were to provide a new respite and supported living care home to replace the existing building which was outdated and no longer suitable for the intended use.

The project was planned to improve efficiencies within the service provision by enabling on-site management and save on revenue costs. Concertus, along with the client, worked to a brief incorporating strict guidelines from NHS England who funded the project. The budget was time critical and subject to achieving milestones, including obtaining planning consent by the end of 2018 and making a start on site by the end of financial year 18/19.

Key Info

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Type:
Demolition, New Build

Location:
Suffolk County Council – Adult and Community Services

End User:
Home Group

Project Value:
£1.8 million

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

Scope

Initially we were instructed to complete a feasibility study, support the funding bid, prepare information and submit a planning application.

The site posed several complexities such as being steeply sloping and experiencing a possible contamination which had to be investigated by a series of site investigations. It was also of interest to archaeologists due to being in the vicinity of a Bronze Age cremation site, as well as Roman and Iron Age finds. Following receipt of planning consent, we carried out the full design and project management through to completion. Our collaborative approach to project delivery included continued client and stakeholder engagement during design and construction phases of the project.

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Testimonial

“Concertus have supported us through clear project management and ensured we met our deadlines and signed off each stage of the project when required. The design team have been engaged and responsive, listening and responding to our requirements and incorporating them into the design and bringing forward learning from other projects that we have been able to incorporate and use.”

Amanda Dunn, Adult and Community Services, Suffolk County Council

Result

We worked closely with a number of statutory bodies and advisors including NHS England, occupational therapists, the local planning authority, building control, the fire service and acoustic engineers.

By meeting all of the client’s requirements and ensuring the building worked efficiently for everyone involved, completion successfully took place on time and within budget.

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Project

Hope Church

Brief

We were tasked with developing the vision and design for the atrium entrance and the former cinema auditorium spaces.

The iconic Odeon building, built in the early 90s in the centre of Ipswich, was previously a 5-screen cinema. After years of the building sitting derelict, Hope Church purchased the building with plans to transform it into a centre. This building would provide extra accommodation for the local community.

The client’s brief required the space to be used by individuals from the church and also to provide a space that could be utilised by other members of the public passing by.

Key Info

Type:
Regeneration

Location:
Ipswich, Suffolk

Client:
Hope Church

Disciplines:
Interior Architecture

Scope

We created a scheme that complemented the existing architectural shell and the brand aesthetics.

We were able to work closely with both the client and the end user throughout the duration of this project. The bright and airy double height atrium space features a geometric central reception desk, a large café, dining space and flexible working and meeting areas. These spaces incorporate a wide variety of flexible seating, all of which complement the modern, neutral aesthetic.

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Result

We aimed to maximise the useable space so that the room could be used for various functions.

The auditorium design accommodates 500 seats and features a centre stage that is fully equipped with a sound system, AV and colour changing lighting. This allows the user to customise and manipulate the environment to suit their needs. We aimed to maximise the useable space so that the room could be used to hold a range of events such as worship, mid-week and weekend services, and large conferences.

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Project

Hollingwood Hub

Brief

The existing lock house, at the time of the brief, had been vacant since 1967 and fallen into disrepair.

As part of the regeneration of the Chesterfield Canal, the Canal Trust raised funding to create a visitor centre, café, offices and a small exhibition space. The existing lock house, gifted to the Trust as part of the curtilage of the canal, had been vacant since 1967 and fallen into disrepair. As the building is of historical importance, the Trust sought to retain the building.

Key Info

Type:
Refurbishment, Remodelling, Extension

Value:
£500k

Location:
Hollingwood, Chesterfield

Contractor:
Balfour Beatty

Client:
Chesterfield Canal Trust

End User:
Chesterfield Canal Trust, public

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Landscape Architecture, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

Scope

Having completed the initial feasibility, our team were awarded the contract for the design and build project.

The existing lock house was stripped back to a bare shell, cast iron cavity wall ties were replaced throughout, roof timbers and flooring were replaced, and a new extension was provided to house a café and exhibition space. Offices for the Canal Trust are now within the lock house.

The site presented challenges as it had a height restriction (below a pylon), was contaminated and there were drainage issues which resulted in unforeseen costs. Our value engineering works reduced these costs significantly and ensured the works met the tight budget. We also made sure the costs to run the building would be kept to a minimum by using natural ventilation, installing energy-efficient boilers and designing the roof to enable solar panels to be fitted in the future (when funding was available).

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Result

Local history groups enjoy using the building and there are regular visitors to this community hub.

Chesterfield Canal Trust were very pleased with the end result which was delivered within their time frame. This new facility has allowed them to raise additional funds as well as raising awareness.

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Project

The Stevenson

Centre

Brief

The client wanted us to create a vibrant community hub that the local residents could be proud of.

The Stevenson Centre was in desperate need of refurbishment to bring it up to modern standards. The principal aims of building this fit for purpose amenity were to strengthen community cohesion, encourage the development of community services and support the health and wellbeing of the local community.

Along with our support, the Parish Council submitted a planning application and received planning permission to extend and improve the centre. However, there was insufficient funding to proceed with the scheme. In 2017 we were asked to pick up the project again to investigate funding sources, progress the design and proceed to tender to enable firm costings to be established.

Key Info

Type:
Extension, Feasibility, Remodelling

Value:
£430k

Location:
Great Cornard, Suffolk

Client:
Great Cornard Parish Council

End User:
Great Cornard Parish Council, the public

Contractor:
SEH French

Duration:
28 weeks

Disciplines:
Building Services Design, Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

Close collaboration with the Parish Council Steering Group enabled the centre to remain open throughout the duration of the construction works.

Our team were asked to project manage the delivery of this project. This included the management of the consultancy team and all stages of the project (from inception to completion). We carried out significant research, including user surveys and investigation into funding streams, with the Centre Manager. We also assisted with the funding bids and successfully secured grant funding which resulted in the client being able to expand the extent of the works. Funding for the project was provided by the earmarked funds put aside by the Parish Council, a Public Works Loan Board loan and grant contributions from the Great Cornard Town Land Charity, The National Lottery – Big Lottery Fund, Babergh District Council Grant Aid – Community Projects and Lord Belstead Trust. These generous grants allowed this key community hub to become a great facility for the growing Great Cornard population.

Throughout the project, we worked with the Parish Council Steering Group to tailor the design to their needs and to meet the budget available. The completed design package was sent to tender via the Suffolk Construction Framework and five tenders were received. Having evaluated the tenders, we provided a Tender Analysis Report. This report identified potential value engineering to the works to match the funding available. Working with the steering group, a list of priorities was identified which allowed works to be added back into the contract if further funding became available. The contract was awarded to SEH French and work commenced in April 2018.

The client was given accurate monthly progress and cost updates during the works which allowed them to make informed decisions and be fully involved in every step of the project. Essential to the success of the project was the close working relationship with the Centre Manager, the Project Manager and the Construction Manager on site.

Testimonial

“This project has been an excellent example of teamwork and collaborative working. It has been very well managed by the client, the contractor and the consultant.”

Tony Bavington, Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, Great Cornard Parish Council

Result

The project was delivered on time and to the budget.

The extension and refurbishment of The Stevenson Centre has created a fit for purpose community amenity which serves a population of over 10,000. The extension to the main building houses a large community room, kitchenette, two further meeting rooms, additional storage space and toilet facilities.

A wide variety of classes and community group sessions are held at the centre on a regular basis. These include stroke support, weight management, arts and crafts and table tennis. In the first six months after completion of works, there has been a substantial increase in the number and variety of organisations using the centre. This was the fundamental aim of the Parish Council at the start of the project.

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Project

Felixstowe

Seafront Gardens

Brief

The project involved a major one kilometre long park enhancement, which included surrounding streetscape improvement works.

The Suffolk seaside town of Felixstowe has a fantastic tourist trade. Attracting people from the local area and further afield, one of its greatest assets, publicly-owned Felixstowe Seafront Gardens, had fallen into disrepair. However, in 2011, Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) started a £4.8 million rejuvenation project as part of a town-wide regeneration programme with match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Parks for People programme, in awarding the funding, placed strict criteria on the scheme, for example on measures to increase the range of audiences, the number of volunteers involved and their knowledge and skills. These measures were aimed at improving management and maintenance and the overall heritage value.

Key Info

Type:
Regeneration

Value:
£4.8 million

Location:
Felixstowe, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk Coastal District Council

End User:
The public

Contractor:
Breheny Civil Engineering Ltd

Completion:
November 2015

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

Works included encouraging ecological biodiversity and replanting the historic Edwardian planting scheme.

The regeneration project included the following works:

  • Restoration of two historic pavilions and water features.
  • Resurfacing the path network and improving access.
  • Installation of a heritage trail with community-generated artwork.
  • Interpretation panels and wayfinding to improve the legibility of the gardens.
  • Restoration of the historic rockwork walls.
  • Improving security by installing light fittings and CCTV cameras.
  • Rationalising street furniture and recreating historic seating.
  • Installing a new timber-framed shelter.

 

The project has also enhanced the setting of a redundant theatre, the Spa Pavilion, which sits adjacent to the gardens and reopened in November 2015. The design of the circulation space and studio hall with a lower flat roof ensures the scale is appropriate and not overbearing. The use of curtain glazing helps provide visual separation between the two main parts of the development.

Testimonial

“We are so pleased to see the completion of this unique project in Felixstowe. Since the gardens reopened, we’ve had a great response from local people and tourists visiting the area. We’ve already seen more people using them and the addition of lighting in the gardens means visitors are able to enjoy the gardens on winter evenings.”

TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal Cabinet Member for Customers (Community and Leisure)

Result

The gardens are once again an attractive and much needed community area.

Occupying a prime site along the cliffs and complementary to the beach and sea, the gardens are enjoyed by visitors and residents of all ages – from young families playing and picnicking on the grass areas and professionals taking a lunchtime stroll, to health-conscious enthusiasts who use the network of paths and steps to improve fitness.

Also, the gardens are accessible, enabling local people with impaired mobility and elderly residents to enjoy the restored space. Tourists are also enjoying the gardens once again, with a wide range of organised holiday tours, associations and groups making frequent visits.

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Project

The Mix Stowmarket

Brief

We were asked by our client to design the building and external environment for a multi-purpose facility for 13-19 year olds.

The aim of the project was to enhance the Children & Young People’s Services for Suffolk County Council by creating an environment that provided diverse, flexible, and social spaces to support educational outputs.

Key Info

Location:
Stowmarket, Suffolk

Client:
Suffolk County Council – Children and
Young People’s Services (CYP)

End User:
Youth of Stowmarket and surrounding areas

Project Value:
£5 million

Project Completion:
December 2013

Contractor:
Barnes Construction

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Project and Programme Management

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Scope

Concertus oversaw an evolving multi-disciplinary team, heavily focused on collaboration and the needs of young people.

The Council wanted the new design to preserve and enhance the character of the area, whilst creating an innovative space. Therefore, the overriding design philosophy was that the building conveyed an “Alice in Wonderland” feeling, where the front facade is in direct contrast to the interior design.

The first floor accommodation benefits from a direct connection with a line of trees on the southern boundary. This not only ties the building to the external environment but also allows the tree canopy to screen the building from neighbouring properties.

By utilising the fall across the site and forming the three-storey elements, the proportion of developed site is less than 60%. This enables the formation of an undercroft, together with the courtyard gardens, providing vital space for young people to gather in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Testimonial

“Through our design an outdoor area has been created that has provided vital space for young people to gather in a controlled environment.”

Annett Thompson, Senior Project Manager, Concertus

Result

There is now a fit for purpose and modern facility to provide community and youth services in the area.

As a result of collaborative and innovative work between Concertus and the stakeholders involved with this project, The Mix was successfully completed and exceeded the client’s brief. The building provides world class, multi-purpose youth facilities for young people and the community; featuring a performance hall, sound and art studios, advice centre, housing unit, garden, and a café. This has meant that there is now a fit for purpose and modern facility to provide community and youth services in the area, fulfilling the council’s aim to enhance the services they provide for the children and young people in Stowmarket.

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Project

Eye Library

Brief

We were appointed to undertake the development of the proposed new library in the town centre.

The existing library was in a state of disrepair and it was considered that the site would be more valuable if it could be developed in part for housing. The capital receipt for the proposed housing needed to cover the proposed new build costs of the library so that there would be no additional cost to the County Council.

Key Info

Type:
New Build

Value:
£600k

Location:
Eye, Suffolk

Duration:
6 months

Client:
Suffolk County Council – Corporate Services – Corporate Property
End User:
Suffolk Libraries

Contractor:
R G Carter

Disciplines:
Architecture, Building Services Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

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Scope

Our multi-disciplinary team worked closely to provide a variety of successful solutions which met the client’s requirements.

The sale and acquisition of land was carried out by our Estates team.

We needed to tailor the design to suit the tight programme deadlines and lower the impact on the local community. An offsite manufactured Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS) was implemented to reduce road closure times which resulted in a faster construction process. Collaboration with Suffolk County County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk Libraries was necessary to deliver a space suitable for a modern library in the town centre. The closure of the car park had to be planned in advance to ensure it was programmed to suit key shopping periods. Library staff were included in key decisions on internal design and layout to make certain the space designed was dedicated to their use.

A high level of recyclable materials were integrated into the design (for example aluminium windows and timber cladding). These materials reduced the impact on the environment and lowered costs.

Testimonial

“It’s been a great team effort with Suffolk County Council, Concertus and RG Carter working together with Suffolk Libraries to deliver a modern library facility that will provide a better library environment and experience for everyone in the local community.”

James Powell, Suffolk Libraries

Result

The project was delivered within budget and by the client’s ambitious deadline.

The library has been very well received by the local community, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Libraries.

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Project

The Ness

Brief

The client asked us to help develop an area of Lowestoft (Ness Point) with the aim of enticing tourists.

Our Project Management and Quantity Surveying skills were called upon to assist with this plan. Ness Point is the most easterly point in the UK and the community wanted to feel pride in their heritage.

Key Info

Type:
Project Management

Value:
£774k

Location:
Lowestoft, Suffolk

Duration:
12 months

Client:
East Suffolk Council

Contractor:
Blakedown Landscapes

End User:
Lowestoft Town Council, the Public

Disciplines:
Project Management, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy

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Scope

We managed the procurement of both the Landscape Architect and the Contractor.

Specific outputs for our Project Management team included overseeing the project management for the design and construction phases, attending regular partner engagement meetings and steering group meetings, preparing progress reports and ensuring the project’s aspirations were met within the budget.

Our Quantity Surveyors provided support with the tendering process for the appointment of the Building Contractor. This included preparing tender documents, managing the clarifications from the contractors, analysing the tender returns and reporting to the joint board of East Suffolk Council and Lowestoft Town Council. The Quantity Surveying team also prepared a schedule of works and created a cost report to assist the Architect and ensure the design came within the tight budget.

Other duties we undertook were collaborating with the Environmental Engineers to prepare the Soil Remediation Report for the site, liaising with Suffolk Wildlife Trust and advising on the funding expenditure. Our previous experience on the Felixstowe Seafront Gardens project, working with East Suffolk Council, provided valuable knowledge and benefited this project.

Testimonial

“Concertus have worked diligently to manage the costs, designs and the overall budget.”

Richard Best, Communities Project Manager, East Suffolk Council

Result

Proactive management meant that works could continue during the Covid-19 disruption.

By liaising closely with the client and contractor, supply chain issues were proactively managed, ensuring that the works could continue during this difficult period.

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