Innovative construction techniques combined with a whole-team approach helped Lindum successfully complete its biggest ever building contract.
The £17m Valentine Court development, off Tritton Road in Lincoln, was the most significant project the company has ever undertaken.
It involved building 70 four-storey town houses for Castle Square Developments to accommodate 469 students from the University of Lincoln.
Taking just over a year to complete and involving more than 120 Lindum employees and 285 subcontractors, the project was successfully handed over on time for the students to begin moving in on Friday 13th September.
Following completion, Lindum received a thank you letter from the University of Lincoln and MD of Lindum Construction Simon Gregory, said he was incredibly proud of the project team.
“This has been a huge team effort, from conception right through to delivery,” he said. “We designed and installed a complex Mechanical and Electrical system capable of powering a large development on a limited electrical supply. All 469 rooms have hot water and heating provided by just four boilers that are located in a plant room. This will save money and make it much easier to service.
“Unusually, each bedroom has a prefabricated ensuite bathroom pod, which were manufactured off site. During the planning process, we set up a mock bathroom on the Lindum Business Park and each contractor was invited in to practice their part of the set up.
“This meant we established the installation process before we started on the ‘live’ site, again this saved time and reduced the margin for error. Managing the timing of this was crucial because there was only a small window of opportunity to get them in, or risk jeopardising the whole build programme.”
During construction, for the first time ever, Lindum installed a fingerprint recognition system to monitor who was entering and leaving the site. Some days, there could be up to 200 people working at Valentine Court and this was a new and efficient way to keep the building site secure.
Simon said the hard work of the team continued right up until the final hours of the development.
“Lindum’s motto is ‘teamworks’ and this was really put into action in the final weeks of the project,” he added.
“While the site team were hard at work ensuring all the construction, landscaping and snagging works were completed, a contingent of office based staff were sent to site to help unload furniture, carry it into the rooms and make sure each townhouse was given a ‘builder’s clean’.
“It was this team effort that helped us get the project over the finish line. If we hadn’t handed over on time, the university would need to have found alternative accommodation for almost 500 people.
“This has been an extremely prestigious project for Lindum and we are delighted to have worked alongside our client Castle Square Developments and other local businesses to deliver it.
“There have been a number of challenges along the journey and it is testimony to the great teamwork from all parties to have achieved successful completion.”
Castle Square Developments Chairman John Lockwood said: “We are delighted to confirm that Valentine Court has been delivered by a locally-based team. It has been a real pleasure to work with Banks Long & Co and Lindum Construction on this important project.
“We are extremely proud of the result which, once again, highlights our confidence in the continuing growth of Lincoln and the quality of our partners’ workmanship and experience, which has earned them fine reputations.
Castle Square used Banks Long & Co as development consultant and project manager for the scheme, which was designed by Stem Architects.
Banks Long & Co Managing Director Tim Bradford identified the opportunity for the scheme. The firm’s project management team, headed by Director Simon Bridge, went on to oversee its development.
He said: “Valentine Court is made-up of seven accommodation blocks. They comprise 63 six-bedroomed town houses and seven 13-bedroomed town houses, which includes accessible rooms.”
“We join Mr Lockwood and Lindum Construction in welcoming the first student cohort moving into these new homes on time at the start of this term.”
Lindum Construction was awarded the contract to build the student homes after entering a competitive tender process.
Valentine Court will be operated directly by the University of Lincoln.
Chris Spendlove, University of Lincoln Registrar said: “It is great to work with local companies and the Valentine Court townhouse development marks an exciting new direction for University of Lincoln student accommodation.
“It has already proved popular and students and their parents have been delighted with both the quality and design of the accommodation.”