Project Management

Case studies

High Road, Tottenham, London N15

The development comprised the design and construction of 40 flats, 4 houses and 7 commercial units. 20 flats were for shared ownership and the remaining dwellings for affordable rent.

Client London and Quadrant Housing Trust
Contractor Geoffrey Osborne Ltd
Architect Ankur Architects
Contract Sum £5.0m
Eco/Code Very Good

The project

This Housing Corporation funded scheme is on a busy main road with zero parking. Initially undertaken by Ujima Housing Association it was subsequently transferred to London and Quadrant Housing Trust.

Our role

When Churchill Hui was brought in by Ujima as employer’s agent, this scheme had already been designed and a contractor selected, so we were unable to assist in assessing the contractor’s suitability.

In practice, our role proved quite challenging and went far beyond its normal remit. This was due to the original contractor failing to meet its obligations and the eventual demise of Ujima.

Our initial task was to assess an unfamiliar French concrete pod-based MMC system. This was forestalled as the contractor neglected to provide translated technical information.

We subsequently discovered that the French MMC company had gone into receivership. The contractor advised that production would be transferred to Spain. But on visiting Seville, we found no evidence of this. It also became apparent that on site foundation and frame works posed a real risk of sub standard construction.

A lengthy adjudication process ensued with Churchill Hui providing numerous witness statements. Once a final decision was reached, we re-tendered the project under OJEU rules and a new contractor, Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, was appointed.

The transition to a new client and contractor included preparing a new financial estimate. This proved accurate to within 1% of the final contract sum. We also met with planners, the local authority and residents to reassure them over problems associated with the scheme.

The result

The need to rectify early mistakes, protracted adjudication, and the transition were all major issues in themselves. Notwithstanding this, the project was successful in terms of quality and aesthetics and has been well received by all.