GCC’s strategic plan was to consolidate its offices, sell off assets to fund capital, save revenue in maintenance costs and sustainably rejuvenate an existing structure rather than demolishing and building new outside the city.
Complex challenges included: 85 phases (62 in a live environment) working around 2500 staff; an evolving brief with change of use implications; building whilst designing and costing to achieve the needs of multiple stakeholders with specific deadlines; budget constraints; city centre site, archaeological implications, tight logistics and road closures; asbestos six floors up needing a high-rise roofing solution; a huge seagull problem; maintaining complex systems e.g. Police CCTV and traffic signal controls for the whole of Gloucester.
The project developed from energy-efficient re-cladding and window replacements to re-engineering of work spaces for multiple stakeholders and tenants who were inspired by the transformation and benefits of high-quality office accommodation and wanted to be a part of it.
GCC staff were kept in situ for the duration of the works and over 2-million safe-working hours was achieved by intelligent planning and phasing; thorough communication methods, mock-ups and rigorous testing.
Originally GCC considered moving staff around the building so the new façade works would only occur in unoccupied areas. This proved logistically difficult when they tried to implement a plan involving multiple moves for 2500 people: it involved huge movement costs and productivity concerns.
Working collaboratively with GCC in workshops and trial runs, Kier created a method of working that left staff at their own desks whilst work was completed. Working out-of-hours with GCC custodians, moving desks and cables 1.5m away from the walls, Kier fitted soundproof temporary screens, carried out window and facade works, then moved everything back. The collaboration of the staff working in that environment ensured a stress-free experience, ultimately saving GCC circa £3m in moving costs.
Shire Hall’s ‘Retrofit’ will improve energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs, cut carbon emissions, overcome poor ventilation and damp; improve health and well-being of occupants; increase building adaptability, durability and resiliency.
Negotiations with the NHS integrated their design ideas into the re-location of a Social Hub on the site of the former magistrate’s court to create better, fit-for-purpose facilities connected to Shire Hall. They also became a tenant in Shire Hall.
Liaison with Gloucester City Council re-housed 70% of their staff in block 4, consolidating and saving costs. Kier programmed the exit of Gloucester Constabulary from 6 floors of the building and refurbished their new Shire Hall reception whilst ensuring their CCTV was integrated and maintained.
Collectively embracing social value, the team created positive steps towards social and environmental change: e.g. better working environments; social inclusion; environmental efficiencies; local procurement and a social value return of 76p per £1 invested.
" Kier have been absolutely fantastic – professional, collaborative in their working practices and passionate about their work whilst being exceptionally proactive with testing and mock-up procedures for the cladding specification and window design which has given us greater confidence. "Executive Director of Corporate Resources, Gloucestershire County Council
" We’ve worked with Kier for 14 years. Shire Hall is their biggest contract to date with us. It’s been enjoyable; they’re very professional. They are open for change and challenge. "Head of Delivery Services Gloucestershire County Council
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The re-emergence of Gloucestershire County Council’s (GCC) Shire Hall after its retrofit and refurbishment reads like a fairy-tale. Over 165 weeks and 82 phases of collaborative, innovative team-working, the part-listed, part 1960’s building, an eyesore, tired and inefficient, was responsibly and dynamically transformed into an elegant and highly sustainable workplace.
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