Premier Construction South West

Bibio: In focus

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Bibio Limited formed in 2009 and has since brought a plethora of much needed affordable housing to local communities in Devon and Cornwall. 

The firm is currently working on a development of 18 houses on behalf of West Country Housing Association which is set to complete the project in March 2015.

Bibio only build for housing associations and are well known for developing affordable properties in rural areas. The Polperro Development, located in Sandhill, Devon, has been in operation since 2009 and comprises one bed flats, as well as two, three and four bed houses.

Premier Construction caught up with Gavin Caldwell, Head of Construction at Bibio, to find out more about the project:

“We tendered for the Polperro projector and were awarded the tender by West Country Housing, who is the client. We have acted as the main contractor during the project working alongside numerous subcontractors including Unilec, Oliver & Sings, Heritage Roofing and Beaumont Drylining.

“Works began in November 2013 and so far we have nine houses set to reach completion in the next few months. The other nine properties are in the process of construction; with the timber frame super structures having been erected recently.”

Gavin added that works have been severely delayed, by approximately five months, after the on site team discovered a water main that needed diverting. On the site plan the water main was featured in a section of the site away from the houses, however when works began the team realised the water main was actually in the centre of the site and so it needed diverting.

Bibio therefore had to apply to Thames Water to get permission for a water diversion and after gaining permission were able to relocate the main. This cost the team a lot of money and time by putting the works schedule back by five months; only half of the properties could be constructed whilst the diversion works were underway and this is why the final nine properties are only just beginning to be built.

Bibio have mainly undertaken all of the construction works on the site directly including all of the ground works. The firm are a turnkey developer and so deal with sites from start to finish, from the design stage through the building process to completion.

The on-site team began works, on the first nine houses, by conducting a reduced dig and stripping away all of the grass and top soil. The team then reduced down the ground to create the base of the road and built up from that using imported stone. They then began excavating the foundations and pouring the concrete, before the bricklayers began works on the structures themselves.

The timber frame superstructures were then installed by crane, the roofs were placed on top and the outside of building was rendered. With regards to the interior finish of the properties Bibio install kitchens, flooring, white goods, as well as all of the decoration.

Works still to complete include external landscaping works and the final nine properties, which were delayed due to the repositioning of the water main. Some of the units are available on shared ownerships schemes and others can be rented.

Gavin Caldwell commented:

“It’s been superb to see the site progressing; despite the delays we are still delivering the scheme within the housing associations requested timescale of March 2015.

“As a company we pride ourselves in delivering affordable housing where it is needed and trying to do so in conjunction with parish councils. We try and build houses that are affordable to live in to tackle fuel poverty; building environmentally friendly houses mean the bills for tenants and owners are more affordable and so this is one of our aims.”


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