Ryan Harris, a site manager for Hill Partnerships, won the recognition of fellow construction experts with the ongoing development of a 202-housing project at Faroe Close, Maldive Road, in Basingstoke.
The demolition and construction of 202 new homes to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 for Sentinel Housing Association – north Hampshire’s biggest not-for-profit landlord – is being achieved with (as Ryan puts it) :“a great team who strive to deliver the best the profession can give.”
Ryan said: “Everyone on the team is delighted to have been recognised with such a fantastic award and it further illustrates our ethos, which is to have great pride in delivering a perfect product and doing the job that we do.
“I believe that winning the award highlights the importance of one particular thing that I stand by, and that is being able to provide the right environment for contractors to come in, do their work and finish off 100 per cent, before introducing another element of the work.
“I have seen a lot of clients pushing to get work done, but not allowing contractors to do their jobs, and you suddenly lose control: people lose their pride in getting the job done and everything that goes with it.”
He added: “That’s why it is essential that we are doing here is underpinned with those elements, particularly considering the size of the project – otherwise you could quickly lose control of the whole site.
“So having excellent contractors and good leadership certainly helps. We operate on a basis of trust: the only way to complete the scheme on budget, on track and to the highest standard, is to work together.
“The team is really delighted with the award and to be personally recognised by someone else in the industry is wonderful. It also helps to earn respect around you, particularly from your peers. To be honest, it is better than a pay rise.
“It also enables you to personally measure yourself against others in the industry. But I am hungry for it and just want to press on and strive for even better standards, because ultimately the customer, client and contractor all win out.”
He started out at the age of 17 on a management training course within the construction industry; since then he has been an agent, assistant site manager, site manager and now senior site manager.
Ryan has also taken on a trainee site manager from a local college to begin training and to help on site. He said: “It is yet another example of us trying to put something back into the local community.”
This development is Hill Partnerships’ fifth regeneration project and it is working together with CHBC Architects – with whom they have previously worked on a similar scheme at Bishops Green in Newbury – in addition to Sentinel Housing Association.
The Faroe Road development, worth £21.8 million, commenced in January 2010. A four stage programme has been planned.
This involves 18 houses and flats in timber frame constructed by January this year, and a second phase which involves the construction of 55 units due for completion this summer.
The final phase, being the construction of 35 units – houses and flats in timber frame – is scheduled for completion in August 2012
On the current project, one block is being constructed using concrete frame, lightweight steel infills and bolt on balconies on the fifth floor. The remainder of the houses and flats are being constructed in timber frame. Coinford Ltd carried out all of the groundworks and R.C Frames on this project.
Bat housing will also be incorporated within the roofs of the timber frame structures.
Various materials are being used in the development, including: brick, render, rain screen cladding, zinc cladding, glazed balustrade, tiled roofs, single ply roofs and aluminium fascias.
Gas savers are being incorporated into the majority of the units, and this has aided in both the removal of PV across the project and the inclusion of Enhanced Construction Details whilst still achieving Code 3.
The site is in close proximity to a major junction and neighbouring businesses. Coordination of deliveries and traffic management will be essential for minimising disruption for this project and is high on Hill Partnerships’ agenda.
There are two primary schools nearby, therefore school visits and talks are being given to explain the work and the dangers of construction sites to pupils.
Regular updates are being provided throughout the duration of the project to these schools and also to Everest Community College and The Vyne Community School (11-16 year olds) and 1st Popley Scouts and Guides.
One particular challenge for Ryan and his team has been the need to discourage nesting birds during the demolition phase in which likely openings were covered with netting.
In addition, a noise and vibration monitoring strategy was simplified and negotiated for agreement with the local authority’s environmental officer within a short time frame. Close liaison and communication in relation to the programme, along with the requirements of the various service providers, has been integral to ensuring the efficient coordination of services.
The Hill group of companies, through Hill Partnerships, is one of the leading names delivering affordable homes in the UK: it creates communities, whilst embracing modern and sustainable methods of construction.
Its reputation is built on close working relationships with housing association and public sector clients. They create added value through an innovative approach to product and process, project management and an efficient supply chain partnering.
Hill delivers a turnover of more than £100 million and has a wide range of projects, including: new build, estate regeneration projects, refurbishment/decent homes schemes, and residential-led projects with integrated facilities, such as: community buildings, learning and educational resources, commercial spaces and medical and health facilities.
It employs over 200 staff in Waltham Abbey, Bicester, Cambridge and Norwich, with projects in East Anglia, London, the South East, west London and the Midlands.