Blind Veterans UK
Length of Contract
Owen Ellis Partnership
The Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) project involved the complete renovation and alteration of the existing Grade II listed four-storey building and the construction of a new three-storey extension to provide 40 en-suite bedrooms, 14 care rooms and facilities including residential lounges, dining rooms, bar, gymnasium, therapy suites, craft rooms, workshops, new kitchens and administration offices. This initial work included a complete strip out of the building and extensive demolition to the ground floor areas to accommodate the new kitchens, dining facilities and workshops; with the installation of 20 tonnes of new structural steel supports.
The new extension, named The Poppy Wing, comprises of a three-storey steel frame under an insulated slate roof and features sandstone and limestone cladding to echo that of the existing building. The Poppy Wing is linked to the existing main block on three levels and comprises a new full height glazed link.
The whole building project has been carefully designed to be perfectly suited to the needs of its end users. A major part of the work involved improving access - such as widening corridors and the installation of a new lift, as well as incorporating rails with tactile signals to help with orientation.
The work to the existing Grade II listed building included sections of re-roofing, roof repairs, and replacement of lead work to valleys, box gutters, ridges and flashings. Extensive work was required re-building the large chimney stacks (some over 4m high) and involved carefully recording detailed features before removal and re-building.
Both the new and existing building benefitted from new electrical, mechanical and IT installations as well as total refurbishment of the existing windows and installation of secondary glazing. New ceilings were fitted throughout with extensive re-plastering to the existing building. Extensive restoration and replacement of the sandstone was necessary due to exposure of salt air over a number of years. Externally, the work comprised the construction of new car parking facilities, footpaths, retaining walls, lighting and both soft and hard landscaping.
Located within a residential area of Llandudno and sharing the same site as a warden controlled sheltered accommodation complex, the site was very much a 'live' environment. Therefore the safe removal of excavated material off-site, deliveries of materials and sequencing of activities required careful planning and close liaison between our site management team and Blind Veterans UK (St Dunstan's). Local residents commented on this success: "We would like to thank all involved in the construction of the new Llandudno centre. We have been very pleased with how little mess or inconvenience that occurred during the work and can speak on behalf of the residents living here at Maes Berllan".
We are proud to be able to boast an "incident free" project due to our proactive approach to health and safety as Mick Bynre, Project Manager explains: "This was a very challenging project. Wynne Construction did an outstanding job with planning the sequencing of work and handling the logistics within tight timescales as well as ensuring the health and safety of all concerned. They minimised the impact of working in the live environment and established good communication channels between all the parties involved. The project, which included demolition work and decontamination, was completed without a single reportable accident". During the project, Wynne Construction adopted the principles of site waste management and participated in the Considerate Constructors Scheme achieving an excellent score of 34.5 points (86%) in the CCS Monitor's Site Report.
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