The Client’s View – Tonbridge Extra Care Housing Project

The Client’s View – Tonbridge Extra Care Housing Project

Masonry Frame Systems engaged with Jenner Contracts Manager, Michael Withers for a mid-programme review. They’re currently 20 weeks into a 26 weeks programme to build the whole structural envelope of the 3 storey 59 apartment Tonbridge Extra Care facility. Here’s what Michael had to say about the project to date;

“Initially we were looking at a traditional masonry solution for the project, however due to time constraints and a firm handover deadline set by the customer, we approached MFS to discuss alternative build methods which could significantly reduce the build programme.

As well as shaving over 3 months off the programme, a huge factor for us was the management role that MFS would provide, effectively taking over the whole superstructure build, including being involved in the design and co-ordination. Their early involvement with our Design Manager has been fundamental to the project delivery. Jenner have been able to take an overseeing role from an architectural and structural engineering standpoint with MFS managing the build.

The other key benefits have been the lack of waste on site and the fact less internal scaffold is required. The project has opened our eyes to the potential this method has, especially in terms of being less reliant on labour due to the more mechanical system. That said, we were also impressed by the Dutch labour installers who MFS brought over from Xella (Silka block system manufacturers). Their experience and pace of working on site showed us how, given time, this system could overtake traditional methods in the UK.

The block build process and the Silka material itself (which can be used in all weather conditions), not only improve the build programme timeframe, they also support the sustainability and efficiency values. We’re working towards a BREEAM certification for the project, with sign off already received from NHBC and Building Control. We’re just waiting on the sound rating for the internal walls since these have only been tested in a factory and not on site.

In all, the potential is great. With more skilled labour in the UK and more testing on site, rather than in factory conditions, this method ticks all the boxes.”

Read more about the project here


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