8 VIEWS Preparatory work

Architects should meet regularly with the client and end users at the tender stage to ensure the accuracy of information

within the pre-construction services pack Rod Wooldridge, Jenner Contractors

provision of detailed surveys and accurate, in-depth project information is fundamental to ensure a seamless construction. Likewise, it’s always important to understand the level of ‘out-of- hours’ working that will be required so that we can make adequate provision in our pricing.

Good quality surveys

M&E and structural surveys are integral to the smooth delivery of a project from the tender stage onwards. For some projects it is useful to undertake intrusive ‘opening up’ surveys to provide as-built infor- mation in certain areas of the building. This level of detail also helps us determine suitable subcontractors to appoint to the project, capable of carrying out the work. We request that R&D asbestos surveys are undertaken as soon as possible so that we can programme in the specialist removal of any asbestos, avoiding delays when on site. Full drawing sets (design and working drawings) and specifications, are a necessity.


It is critical that architects consider buildability and availability of materials, particularly specialist furnishings. One key example of this on healthcare projects is specialist door sets, which have long lead-in times. Furniture layouts are very important, and room data sheet meetings, held with the client and end-users, confirm room layouts are delivered exactly as agreed.


Careful phasing of the work is imperative. This should be considered well in advance of site works commencing, and with consultation from the design team and premises staff. It is important to hold a pre-start meeting with the end-users to discuss the programme and the main issues. Construction programmes should allow for lead-in and sub-phase handovers, and phasing plans should show where temporary partitions are to be sited.

Communication & collaboration Regular meetings with staff, end-users, employer’s agents, the client and architects, from the pre-construction phase and throughout the project, are crucial. We hold initial meetings on site with all project stakeholders to introduce our team, discuss the work and address any issues. Flexibility is key when working in live environments and I always aim to meet at least weekly with practice managers through- out the project to ensure they are satisfied with how the work is progressing, and to provide an outline of the work planned for the following week.


Ideally our site compound will be adequate in size with sufficient space for all plant and materials (including spares), easily accessible but stored securely. Our compound is segregated from our areas of work and inaccessible to staff and patients. As with all our refurbishment works, we implement systems to control dust, fumes, noise and vibration. We use portable partitions that are fire proof, sound deadening and secure.

Despite extensive planning and efficient contract management processes, every project requires a high level of flexibility and co-ordination, especially in occupied premises, such as healthcare schemes. Post-contract review meetings allow us to examine our performance at every stage of the works, identifying successes and where improvements can be made. Lessons learned are shared and incorporated into future contract management processes, ensuring we continually improve the service we provide to our clients and supply chain partners.

Rod Wooldridge is site manager at Jenner Contractors ADF APRIL 2018

It is vital to undertake as much preparation as possible before working in staff and patient areas. This includes meeting end-users, architects and the client’s team to discuss health and safety, security, access and schedules of work. Due to the invasive nature of some work, we often need to arrange for out-of-hours working. Ideally, this will have been identified and included in our tender sums. We always put the needs of the patients and staff first and

co-ordinate our activity to minimise the impact on their daily routines. In live environments we have to maintain services (including electricity, fire alarm, security systems, telephones, heating, hot water and air conditioning), and often duplicate some. This requires close co-ordination and communication.

Robust health & safety planning This is essential to ensure the safety of staff, patients and our construction teams. Plans will have been approved well in advance, and I am responsible for ensuring that the controls are implemented correctly and that the procedures are followed. I make sure all site personnel are fully inducted and attend toolbox talks, monitoring their performance and adherence to health and safety controls throughout the project, and taking action if needed. Meticulous organisation is key to ensure this approach is effective.

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