10 Woodcock Street, Birmingham

Client: Birmingham City Council

Value: £38.6m

Duration: 105 weeks

As part of its Business Transformation programme, Birmingham City Council has carried out an extensive office rationalisation and improvement programme. It was planned to consolidate its portfolio from 55 buildings to 9 buildings, providing new office space with excellent support facilities for approximately 9,000 staff. The Woodcock Street development is one of these 9 projects.

The Woodcock Street offices project is the largest purpose designed and built office accommodation for Birmingham City Council in over 100 years. Now completed, the 22,000m2 accommodation for Local Authority employees can accommodate over 2200 staff from multi departments spread over 5 storeys. The lower ground floor car park accommodates 78 car spaces including 8 disabled spaces and 128 bicycle spaces. A two storey ancillary pavilion with a net area of approximately 1,100m2 is located close to the main entrance of the office building and will provide potential use as commercial office space, retail or leisure facilities. The site is located just to the north east of Birmingham City Centre. The design of this proposed refurbishment was developed to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating and will contribute in terms of efficiency of the overall target of saving £100 million as stipulated by the ‘Waiting for the Future’ initiative by 2016.

The Clients established budget of £40million was required to include all fees. To ensure we achieve this budget Thomas vale utilised Target Costing exercises through 2009 to achieve a confirmed cost of £38.6m with agreed programme of 105 weeks. The Client instructed us start the construction phase in July 2009, we immediately mobilised and started on site in August 2009. Sustainability and energy efficiency were and are, high on agenda with an ‘excellent’ BREEAM (2006), rating specified from the outset.

The project was very restricted, in that it was a ‘footprint site’ with the building occupying the majority of the available land with highways on all four sides of the site. The actual construction of the building was based upon a structural steel frame supporting pre-cast concrete flooring throughout, the external wall panelling is a pre-cast concrete panel clad in a combination of natural limestone and features ‘stacked effect’ brickwork. The building has been designed to accommodate a difference in the existing levels on the site of approx 6.0m. As part of the construction process, a major retaining wall structure had to be allowed for. For speed of erection, Quality and Health and Safety, we opted to use a pre-cast concrete retaining wall system. This has since proved to be extremely successful and has allowed us to be on time programme during the winter months in the challenging groundworks section of the programme. The ’undercroft’, up to the retaining wall, of the building will accommodate a 77 space car-park and further office space.