Heathside & Lethbridge

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Heathside & Lethbridge is a large housing estate in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is undergoing a phased regeneration to demolish and rebuild new homes for Family Mosaic, providing affordable, shared ownership and private sale homes.

Scheme Monitor David Cowperthwaite was very impressed with what he saw during the site visits. Commenting during his second visit, he said: “This previously award winning project team has continued in the same vain and excelled in creating the highest standards that the industry offers. I offer again my congratulations to all those involved with this successful project. A pleasure to visit.”

Industry Image spoke to Rydon to find out more about this project and to ask about some of the good practice initiatives they have put in place.

1. Please can you describe the project you are working on?

Rydon was appointed to build Phase 1 of the scheme over a 105 week period, working simultaneously alongside another contractor.

Works comprise:

  • Delivery of 138 mixed tenure homes.
  • All homes to include general needs, shared ownership and private sale units over 4 and 6 storey concrete frame blocks.
  • Undercroft parking.
  • Handing over units in phases to enable decant process from the existing estate to the new estate to begin earlier, facilitating the demolition of future phases.
  • Installation of green roofs as the most sustainable way to attenuate and utilise rain water, and enhance the overall biodiversity of the site.
  • Installation of a District Heating System to serve the entire housing estate.
  • Incorporation of Sustainable Urban Drainage system, an aqua system storm holding tank which collects rain water to ensure that the main municipal drainage is protected from flooding.

2. How have you incorporated the Scheme into your site?

Posters and banners of the Considerate Constructors Scheme were displayed to the main hoarding line that faced Blackheath Hill and main entrance gate. There was also a clear display of banners and posters within the site to inform and ensure all operatives were aware of the importance of our participation in the Scheme. All staff were issued with employee cards containing information on the Scheme during site safety inductions. An engagement meeting was held with the directors of our subcontractors so they could sign up and commit as members.

Key noisy activities were programmed to commence after 09.00 and noise reduction beacons were installed to the reversing alarms on forklift trucks and other mechanical plant.

The Rydon team built a strong relationship with the local community. A full-time Resident Liaison Officer, Christine Edwards, was based permanently on site and liaised with local residents during regular surgeries, as well as organising a number of events including a book club, luncheon club, green finger campaign and a 5-a-side tournament with winners receiving medals.

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

Heathside and Lethbridge is located in a densely populated area of south east London and so parking was a big issue. One of our client’s requirements was the enforcement of a no parking policy to the scheme and to surrounding residential areas, as it was a particularly sensitive issue for current residents of the existing estate.

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4. How have you been able to overcome these?

We created a number of innovative ways to encourage our site staff, visitors and subcontractors to consider alternative methods of transport. This included:

  • Encouraging the use of public transport - highlighting where bus, train, DLR and Overground services were available.
  • Establishing car and van share schemes.
  • Provision of a cycle store.
  • Ensuring pedestrian routes were in good order with appropriate signage provided.
  • Providing access to people of all abilities.
  • Promoting the use of a website that our site operatives found useful to identify local property owners who were willing to rent their drive.

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

Life saving
Two of the Rydon site managers recently saved the life of a subcontractor who was working on site and suffered a heart attack. Mel Skilton and Scott Frasier both had St. John Ambulance First Aid at Work training as a requirement by Rydon and acted quickly when Plumber Ian Brown collapsed on site. Ian was given lifesaving CPR for 20 minutes until the London Ambulance Service arrived. He has since made a full recovery and returned back to work.

Prince’s Trust
Rydon has for many years been a sponsor of The Prince's Trust's Construction and Services Industry Group. Rydon gave a total of 12 local young people, aged 18-25, the opportunity of a two-week long work experience programme through the Prince’s Trust called ‘Get into Construction’ covering basic skills in carpentry, joinery, plastering, brickwork, painting and decorating.

Resident engagement
Regular contact with local residents was established through newsletters, resident meetings and social events organised by the on site Resident Liaison team throughout the delivery of the project. Residents were also notified through letter drops of any particular periods of noisy or disruptive work. One of Rydon’s directors, Simon Moore, gave a group of local children on the estate the opportunity to visit the countryside and see animals at his farm in Sussex.

Local environment
A site specific environmental policy was led by advice from a consultant ecologist. A full carbon footprint monitoring procedure was established with energy consumption and all mileage associated with the project being recorded. Bird and bat boxes were installed in the buildings as well as green roofs and SUDs (Sustainable Urban Drainage) to manage surface water run off. We also supported a local conservation area and donated seeds for residents to use for planting boxes that they had on their private amenity spaces.

6. Any other comments?

As a result of the Prince’s Trust programme, 100% pass rates were achieved by each of the 12 local young people and they have all secured CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) cards – essential to get work on a construction site.

Two full-time labourers were taken on board on site and another was taken on with our maintenance division, Rydon Maintenance.