Steely determination to succeed
When we were tasked with building a brand new factory extension for tableware manufacturer Steelite International, our contracts manager and Excellence Award winner Ged Carr stepped up to the mark to make sure everything ran smoothly. In this blog, he talks us through some of the challenges the team encountered during construction and how, working in partnership, they were overcome.
Our work on the Steelite factory extension has been rewarding from start to finish and it’s thrown up its fair share of challenges which we were more than prepared to deal with. The team and I were tasked with constructing a 22,000 square foot factory extension on a brownfield site and I’m delighted to say we turned the work around in record time. It took just eight months to transform the site into a working factory.
These kinds of projects never do go smoothly and we’re prepared for any challenges which present themselves during the course of our work. It was business as usual for Steelite throughout the construction of the extension, so we took this into account throughout the contract and adjusted our work accordingly.
When we began to excavate the ground in January, we discovered that it needed to be stabilised first. With the ground being very soft, this meant that instead of installing a 300mm layer of piling mat as planned, we had to triple the thickness to 900mm to make sure our staff and equipment were safe and that the building was going to be completely stable.
By far the biggest challenge which cropped up during the process was the unexpected discovery of a gas main underneath the site of the new factory building. We had to build ramps around the gas main to ensure the health and safety of everyone on site, and then construct the steel framework of the building around the gas main. Specialists were called in to divert the main and it was then business as usual.
Despite the challenges we encountered during the contract, we completed the work to deadline and held a topping out ceremony in July which was attended by Novus chairman Stuart Seddon and Steelite chief executive Kevin Oakes, who was extremely happy with the finished extension. It was great to be involved in such a major project, right on my doorstep, and I look forward to the next one!
Watch a video of the Steelite construction process here:
Build Back Better: The Novus Food Bank Appeal
At the end of 2020, 32% of Novus colleagues voted that Novus should support local food banks and subsequently we launched the Novus Food Bank Appeal in December as part of our wider Build Back Better Campaign.