Interserve Press Office | Nov 10, 2011
Interserve, the international support services and construction group, is on track to deliver a £77 million college at West Bromwich, which is testimony to the intelligent insight of collaborative working, and is going to be integral to the regeneration of one of the UK’s most disadvantaged regions.
The new college building is a flagship scheme for Sandwell and for Interserve, bringing together, as it does, a raft of solutions that together add up to a truly iconic building in the West Midlands. This 25,300m2 multi-storey facility is due for completion in January 2012 and will accommodate up to 10,000 full and part-time students. The college will include an automotive centre, beauty and hairdressing salons, computer suites, construction workshops, engineering labs, fashion and photography studios, a sports hall and a theatre. The building’s striking modern design creates a real sense of excitement and visual drama for the local landscape.
Affordability of the scheme has been heavily affected by the Learning & Skills Council (LSC). Having agreed a budget with the college, a LSC funding shortfall required Interserve to collaborate closely with its client and supply chain members in order to accommodate a reduction in construction costs. This equated to an effective cut of circa £8 million, which was achieved through extremely careful value engineering through close consultation with all parties concerned.
Commenting on this part of the process, Val Bailey, Principal and Chief Executive of Sandwell College said:
“Interserve has been superb working with us. Between us we have built a good mutual understanding.”
The most significant cost reduction was achieved by raising the building height by one metre, which considerably lowered excavation costs. A further major cost-saving was realised in remediating contaminated soil on site using seaweed bacteria.
Sandwell College replaces three existing campuses in Oldbury, Smethwick and West Bromwich with one central campus. The new building comprises two converging wings. The main wing rises from two storeys at one end to eight at the other, topped off with a wave-like roof. The building has a steel and concrete frame. Lower and upper ground floors will provide a mixed use space with six floors of teaching rooms above.
Interserve has fulfilled its obligations to sustainability at the site through measures such as rainwater harvesting and a combined heat and power plant, which have resulted in a BREEAM rating of Very Good. The input of Interserve Engineering Services and Interserve Interiors is also a key element of the success of this project.
Throughout the project there has been an emphasis on keeping expenditure and employment opportunities within the local area, and in addition it has enabled the employment of six apprentices on the site.
Other local schemes which Interserve is currently engaged on, with a construction value of £126 million, include Rowley Learning Campus, Smethwick Learning Campus, Tipton Learning Campus, Oldbury College of Sport and Wednesbury Learning Campus.
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Interserve's vision is to be the Trusted Partner of all our stakeholders. We are one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society's infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK, has revenue of £1.9 billion and a workforce of nearly 50,000 people worldwide.