Articles

Northpoint Health Centre

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Sewell are constructing a brand new £13 million state of the art health centre at Northpoint, Bransholme in Hull. The site is next to the busiest shopping centre in the city so becoming part of the community was an important objective very early on in the process.

Project Manager, Sean Henderson, explains how Sewell has made the Scheme part of the project.

List the ways in which you have incorporated the Scheme into your site?

  • Art work “wrap” to the site hoarding – much more aesthetically pleasing!

  • Supporting the local Methodist Church.

  • Engaging with the following neighbours: community centre; shopping centre; businesses; local schools; local PCSOs; and security – sharing intelligence.

  • Using local labour from “HU” postcodes wherever possible.

  • Safety awareness using Ivor Goodsite, the industry mascot!

  • Making everyone aware of our commitment to the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

  • Encouraging the workforce to use the shopping centre outside of working hours.

  • Letters to residents regarding on-site activities.

  • User group site visits.

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Since the beginning of the project, what challenges have you faced?

The challenges have been numerous to say the least, but the teams’ forward planning and continued intervention are now paying dividends.

Here are few of the challenges we have faced:

  • Traffic and pedestrian flows – the shopping centre has over 160,000 customers through their doors each week and every one of these has to pass by the site safely, whether in a car or on foot.

  • Continuous intervention with the site’s immediate neighbours: Northpoint Centre Management; Bransholme Methodist Church; Alfred Marshall Community Centre; and the Hull City Council Customer Service Centre to name a few.

  • We have no areas to store or lay down materials as the site is not far off the footprint of the new building, so deliveries have to arrive just in time using a booking in system.

  • This is the first occasion Sewell has operated a site using a tower crane – wow, what an experience!

How have you been able to overcome these?

We started liaising with the North Point Shopping Centre nine months before the project commenced and after everyone’s input, a strategy and plan was developed which is going brilliantly.

The team, throughout the project, has kept in weekly contact with all the adjacent neighbours, residents and businesses. We meet with local police on a monthly basis and our security is linked with the same service provider as the shopping centre so we’re able to share intelligence. The Hull City Council – North Carr Tasking Group hold their monthly meetings in our site accommodation so we are able to “tap in” to what’s going on in the local community and help out where we can.

Could you detail a few examples of good practice you have put in place on site?

We started this very early on in the design by looking at construction techniques that lessen disturbance in the area; we used pre-cast flooring in lieu of traditional decking and in-situ concrete to reduce traffic and avoid longer working hours.

Other examples include:

  • Providing a 12 bay car park for Bransholme Methodist Church in return for letting us use some of their land for our welfare and site accommodation set-up.

  • We have links with two local primary schools and have done site visits with Ivor Goodsite. We currently have a competition running for the best health and safety drawing which will be included in next year’s company calendar.

  • Claire Suggit, Assistant Centre Manager, did a climb up the tower crane for charity.

  • Community arts interventions that will be incorporated into the project. We kindly borrowed an empty unit in the shopping centre for a three day workshop where shoppers dropped in to do some basic sketches.

  • Commitment to training and apprentices.

  • A stats board indicating the money spent in Hull and the percentage of local labour working on the project.

Do you any other comments you’d like to add?

Here at Sewell there is great commitment to using local labour and businesses as we believe this is the greatest thing we can give back to the community in which we serve. We encourage team work by creating internal initiatives and awards for ideas, whether on health and safety or simply on ways of doing something a bit easier. The site operatives have formed their own committee to drive these ideas forward. We have our security guard as our ‘front of house’ – Paul greets visitors and operatives alike and he’s a big hit with ladies at the community centre - often seen bringing him soups and stews for those cold long days!

Sewell own and operate these buildings for the next 25 years, so even when we complete the construction phase, we often find ourselves returning for one thing or another which is why it’s important we start off on the right foot with all the end user groups.

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