Efficiency and cost savings to the programme ensured the Midlands’ largest Marks and Spencer’s store opened an impressive 6 weeks ahead of schedule.

The second phase of the masterplan for the delivery of the £100 million town centre at the former Longbridge Rover site which O’Brien delivered for Morgan Sindall included a 150,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer store, a six floor multi storey car park and a 500 space surface car park, access roads and service yards along with an additional 45,000sq ft of retail, restaurant and café space.

One of the biggest challenges was the tight programme of works to achieve Marks and Spencer’s requirement to open the store in time for the busy run-up to Christmas. It was vital that we worked collaboratively with the main contractor, the design team and our supply chain to reduce the programme duration by simplifying the design, provide innovative solutions and reduce the risks to the programme to guarantee the critical dates were achieved.

“The Longbridge project includes the Midlands largest Marks and Spencer store and must be open for Christmas 2015. As with any project where ground conditions are challenging and the operational time-frame demanding, unavoidable issues can arise. Selecting a key supply chain partner with O’Brien Contractors’ pedigree significantly reduces these risks and we are delighted with their pro-active approach that is providing a number of solutions that facilitate optimum progression, without increasing costs.”

Paul Limb MCIOB, Senior Project Manager, Morgan Sindall

Key Benefits

By adopting a proactive approach to the project, we were able to deliver a number of programme and design improvements and some outstanding environmental sustainability benefits, including:

  • Prevented considerable savings in abortive works and eliminated potential future contract overruns through an initial site survey prior to receipt of the works order that identified the earthwork plateaus had been left at incorrect levels by the previous contractor. The contractor was instructed to return to site to create plateaus at the correct levels prior to commencement of the main contract.
  • Environmental sustainability improvements by using crushed demolition materials in car parks, temporary haul roads, trench backfills and making up the levels eliminated the need for importing materials and also reduced the requirement for off-site disposal.
    • Unsuitable capping material already on site was screened to provide a suitable material for use on site. The waste fines from the screening operation were used as blinding for sub base and surround material to underground services.
    • Unsuitable excavated material was remediated with lime allowing it to be used as structural fill on site and eliminating the removal of unsuitable material and the import of suitable.