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Construction of a New Community Hall


Escomb, Bishop Auckland


Client Durham County Council

Architect Leigh Cooper Associates

Completion Setember 2009

Value - 220,000

Having built a virtually identical Community Hall at Manfield near Darlington in 2005, the challenge was to build a 10% larger hall in 2009 for 10% less money and demolish the existing hall which contained asbestos. The challenge was set.

We worked with the design team to reduce the costs without affecting the overall quality of the building. The following are just some of the changes that were introduced to achieve our target:

1. the original building was rendered the new one was changed to brick
2. the fancy ceiling in the hall was simplified
3. the floor finishes were changed to cheaper but equal quality materials
4. we located the building to make use of the existing tarmac around it to create external footpaths/breakout areas
5. we reused the existing block paving around the new hall
6. we were able to build the building quicker and cheaper because of the knowledge we and our sub-contractors had gained on the first hall

We also introduced a few improvements from feedback on the original design, these included:

1. Extra WCs To serve larger functions/number of people
2. Storage directly off the main hall To allow for more equipment to be stored
3. Chair Rails around the hall To protect the walls

Just before works commenced the bat survey revealed that the existing hall had a bat population. This affected the works as the new hall was going to be built on the site of the original hall but this could not be demolished until alternative accommodation had been created and not before September. We therefore had to work quickly with the planners and designers to come up with a scheme that would allow the new hall to be built around the existing and incorporate the various bat mitigation measures so that the existing hall could be demolished in September. Again we were able to help bring the scheme within the original figures and work commenced on site.

Having previously built a virtually identical unit in Manfield the onsite works were relatively straightforward and the building was built within the required time period with very few snags at completion and at the end of the 12 months defect liability period. Again there were no reportable accidents and on this particular project there were no recorded accidents.