Nine Elms Point
Client: Barrett Homes
Nine Elms Point is a new residential and commercial development along the South Bank of the Thames. The development consists of seven distinctive apartment blocks, taking design inspiration from the history of the area, famous for lock making.
Focal to the design of the development was providing greenery for the residents, a place where they can escape from busy lifestyles and reconnect with nature within above the rooftops of Central London. The internal courtyard, sits on top of the roof of a four storey building containing amenities for the complex including gym, supermarket, and cinema room. It was imperative that the luxury apartments were complemented by high quality, beautifully landscaped areas.
Scope of works:
- Installation of subsoils and sub bases to the entire area
- Soft landscaping including planting of over 100 semi mature trees, hedges, conifers, shrubs, herbaceous, grasses and bulbs to lawn areas
- Installation of irrigation system and rain detection system
- Installation of ducting and street lighting
- Street furniture installation
- Path construction and use of various surfacing materials
- Construction of water feature and rill
Before construction to create the garden, our teams were required to carry out extensive substructure works. Between the ground level of the garden and the superstore roof is 2 metre vault which contains a polystyrene block system to reinforce the ground whilst maintaining a low surface mass. Within this, our teams installed irrigation systems, channel drainage for rain run off away from paths, and ducting for power to the lighting. Over 2000 tonnes topsoil and sub bases were lifted into the site to build up the roof for the garden to be created.
Paths were constructed connecting the apartment blocks to the garden, and weaving through the space. Paths were surfaced with a resin bound aggregate, Celestia, Granite paving and edging. The paths are lined with rich lawns, and semi mature trees, providing an established look from completion. Within the garden there is a nature area comprising of native shrub and grass species densely planted surrounding a small opening within trees, timber seating area and boulders. The garden contains a stunning water feature installed by our teams. Two raised Rills were built using granite which fed running water slowly into a granite pool area with waterfall feature. The garden is complimented with bespoke street furniture, lighting and uplighters.
Outside of the garden, within an area described as the podium our teams installed raised granite planters with shrubs and trees and a linear path providing a walk way between apartment blocks. This was bordered with hedgerows to give residents on this level privacy. Small outdoor areas directly outside apartments were also installed with paving by our teams.
Challenges / overview:
Whilst carrying out our works, other contractors were carrying out roofing, window installation, and other works to complete the stylish homes. All of which including our teams were required to share a small narrow access route in the street below the site, and coordinate use of cranes to lift materials into the site, causing what only could be described as a logistical nightmare.
The project commenced in July 2016. At the time, there were 9 cranes available on site to lift materials into the working area on the 4th floor site. There was no storage areas on the ground floor, all materials needed to be lifted from delivery Lorries directly into the garden. All materials were delivered to site in pallets and 1 tonne bags in consideration of the weight restrictions of the crane.
The scheduling of crane usage with the 20 other contractors on site was carried out through daily logistics meetings between main contractor project manager (MCPM) and contractors’ Site Managers. Prior to the meeting, each contractor needing crane usage was required to send an electronic request of how many lifts they needed to schedule.
Getting a crane slot became more difficult as the programme progressed and areas of site were handed over to the client. Every few weeks a crane would be removed from site as buildings were being occupied. Cranes operated from 7am to 7pm every day on site. In the event that a delivery was delayed, it was the responsibility of contractors to coordinate between themselves to swap and rearrange accordingly. In the last stage of our works between March and September 2017, only 2 cranes were present, resulting in logistics becoming even more complex.
The project took over 12 months to complete due to the logistical complexities encountered by our team. Each crane lift took approximately 40 minutes from load off the lorry to getting into the site area, and were limited based on the dimension and weight of the loads. It is estimated that a project of a similar size on the ground with conventional access would have taken half of this time.