Mears Projects was approached by the Brighton branch to convert an old factory into a state of the art housing centre where it could effectively deliver its £200 million, 10 year repairs and maintenance contract for Brighton & Hove City Council. Mears and council staff now work together in this purpose designed facility. The 2000 sq ft building had stood empty for years, and although structurally sound, was in a poor condition. An outline specification and budget was agreed, drawings prepared and planning permission obtained. Mears Projects developed plans with a team of specialist contractors, working in partnership with the council and the management team in Brighton. Work commenced in October 2010 with a strict deadline of May 2011 around the council’s commitment to move staff from other premises. The works included the following:
• Roof: The existing roof was completely insulated, recovered and solar tubes providing natural daylight to the atrium, galleria and offices were installed. • External Walls: These were repaired and insulated with additional openings formed and new aluminum double glazed windows installed in existing openings. • Internal Areas: Mezzanine floors and staircases were constructed providing 1500 sqm of extra floor space. Open plan offices, meeting rooms, a canteen area, toilets and kitchen areas were formed with noise insulated partitioning. • Other Key Elements: Excavation for and formation of new pit lift, running new below-ground drainage and substantial repairs to existing external steel cladding.
The collaboration between Mears in Brighton and Mears Projects continues with support on the branch’s prestigious retrofit project, ‘The House That Kevin Built’, refurbishment of void properties, and internal & external works on key tenanted properties. Partnering Manager James Cryer said: “As a branch we are geared up to do day to day housing repairs, but it is difficult to go from that to do larger projects or outside the scope of works we do. The housing centre in Brighton was a £2m project and Mears Projects completed this in time, and on budget. We came to Mears Projects as it meant we did not have to outsource new work we were not geared up for. It was great of us being able to keep it all in house at Mears.”