Office Refurbishment, St Albans

Design and Build refurbishment undertaken in an occupied office block, with adjacent offices and construction site, and to meet critical end date owing to incoming end-users.

Architect: GDM Architects
Quantity Surveyor: Arcadis
Location: St Albans
Duration: 17 weeks

In late 2022, we were directly appointed via the Client’s Framework to fit out the fourth floor of an occupied office block that would be used by a Government Agency Body. We were appointed at RIBA Stage Three for a design and build contract to develop the design for fit-out of two open plan offices, a four-person office, an open workspace for hot-desks, single offices, various sized meeting rooms, interview rooms, boardrooms, circulation spaces, an activity zone, wellbeing area, kitchenette, and W/C’s, in accordance with the Client’s Workplace Design Guide.

Our work included developing the MEP, fire-stopping, ceilings, partitions, door-sets, moveable walls, kitchen, reception desks, decorations, finishes, and FF&E. We worked with the client through the design subprogramme to ensure the early provision of design proposals for their review and approval. This allowed us to secure the early order placement for long-lead items, including glazed partitions, sliding folding partitions, acoustic discs, acoustic wall lining, and bespoke wall coverings.

During the construction stage, we were considerate of the live environment of the occupied commercial office block. Our Disruption Management Plan (DMP) focused on satisfying the key local stakeholders’ bespoke mitigations. We coordinated early engagement with the Landlord and Facilities Management Team, involving them in the design development and approvals process, and also provided key health and safety submissions to their team during mobilisation and construction.

We continued to ensure the safety, security, and segregation of end-users occupying the above, below, and adjacent offices during construction. Key controls included our noise, dust, and vibration strategy, which was regularly reviewed through on-site monitors. Our full-time, directly employed, site liaison officer ensured a positive interface between all parties to discuss health, safety, and continued protection of end-users’ daily routine.

We mitigated the key risk of high public footfall and vehicle traffic during construction due to the adjacent residences, offices, train station, and car park. We collaborated with another construction company working on a separate contract within the lower floors and entrance of the building, sharing our master programme, weekly look-ahead programmes, and forthcoming delivery/collection schedules.

Through our transparent, collaborative, and problem-solving approach, we ensured a soft-landing handover that achieved the agreed practical completion date. This was a critical project benchmark, owing to the incoming CPS staff who required immediate use of the newly fit-out offices.

Other projects completed for this client include:


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