Diary Entry No.2 – Construction begins

This is an exhilarating stage for the entire team involved; the beginnings of the both the newest and largest CREST pavilion becoming reality.  After thorough research, design and planning the CREST Pavilion, one of the most sustainable projects in the UK is now ready for construction to commence with site clearing having already commenced as this entry is being written.  Work on the Hub and the Research & Development Lab are all progressing well with their completion expected before Christmas which will be an exciting milestone for all involved as it will allow progress of the project to be seen. The design, Passivhaus and BREEAM considerations, planning applications, building control submissions and contract tender process are now all complete.  Due to the nature of this building being one of the first of its kind anywhere in the UK or Ireland, the skills required by the contractor can be hard to find, the materials and components can be specified but if the contractor isn’t sure about what they are doing it can cause major problems for both ourselves and the client, with the margin for error almost nonexistent to ensure that the BREEAM excellent rating is achieved.

The excavations have begun on site in earnest with the contractor stripping the existing concrete and substructure to lower the site levels to allow the foundations to be dug and the construction of the ‘Glulam’ frame to begin in the New Year with the fitting of the SIP panels to follow at the end of January.

For the construction to be Passivhaus standard, Carbon neutral and BREEAM excellent, it is imperative that the pre-build drawings are precise so that the construction team, from suppliers to builders, are all in agreement about how to proceed through the building phases.  The weeks leading up to the works commencing on site have been crucial to ensure all drawings and documentation were completed before onsite activity began. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes with the entire design team communicating to ensure that everybody was up to speed on all the intricacies of the project.  At Paul McAlister Architects we always aim for a partnership approach to construction, involving everyone, which facilitates team focused progress.