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Creating new homes at Mustard Wharf, Leeds

Forming part of one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration projects in Europe, Mustard Wharf is a new residential Build to Rent development overlooking the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

Our Mustard Wharf residential development scheme comprises 224 private Build to Rent units housed within three 9-storey residential blocks. As well as residential, the three main build projects together offers 8,640 sq. ft. of commercial and amenity space, plus offices, restaurants and other leisure facilities.

The scheme is situated on a surface car park site at Granary Wharf, overlooking the Leeds and Liverpool canal in the popular Holbeck area, located next to the landmark Tower Works site. The site is strategically important to the wider regeneration area of South Bank in Leeds.

The superstructure of each block has an insitu concrete frame with slip formed cores while the façade is made up of SFS framing with traditional brickwork and stone banding. There are areas of rainscreen cladding with curtain walling, punch windows and sliding patio doors. The scheme has been delivered to achieve the Homes Quality Mark (HQM) 4-star accreditation.

Project summary

    • Client: Legal and General Investment Management
    • Sector: Accommodation
    • Location: Yorkshire & Humber
    • Services: Pre-Construction, Construction, Construction Management, McAlpine Design Group, Construction Support, Customer Care
    • Completion date: 2021

Tackling complex logistics

The scheme represented a logistical challenge in terms of three key factors; the site was immediately adjacent to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, had an interface between craneage and railway infrastructure and was in close proximity to other construction projects running concurrently.

Our project team developed robust processes for working adjacent to the canal and Holbeck, which we presented to the Canal and River Trust (CaRT) alongside our client, L&G Investment Management.

Regular communication with a representative from CaRT was maintained throughout the construction phase.

Build strategies included:

  • Construction of a retaining structure prior to bulk excavations
  • Employment of dewatering measures
  • Redirection of run of water routes to prevent contamination of canal water
  • Repaving of the towpath once work complete

As Mustard Wharf is located next to the Western and Southern Rail Line, we worked with Network Rail and the client to ensure that our proposals for our two tower cranes met their requirements and passed through their approvals process to secure a full BAPA to allow the works to progress.

Logistics strategies included:

  • Down rating of the cranes lifting capacities to reduce risk of overturning
  • Free slew measures to prevent the cranes oversailing the railway
  • Use of sheeted scaffold to prevent material falls onto the rail line
  • Enhanced anti climb measure to prevent urban exploration
  • Exclusion zones to prevent close working to the rail line

To both maintain our programme and to minimise disruption to the people and businesses in the area, we setup a contractor working group with the adjacent main contractors.

This helped coordinate large deliveries and make each other aware of any exceptional circumstances, including road closures.

This project was carried into the immediately adjacent Tower Works development, also under construction by Sir Robert McAlpine, which started in the Spring of 2020.

Delivering quality and programme savings

We were engaged early in the scheme using a Pre-Construction Services Agreement. During this initial period, we engaged with the design team and conducted a comprehensive strategy review of traditional bathrooms with multiple trades on-site vs prefabricated bathroom pods.

To minimise the programme duration and to increase quality on site, we elected to utilise prefabricated bathroom pods. During the construction phase we worked closely with our modular supplier and conducted a series of factory visits and quality inspections to ensure these key elements of the project met with our collective aspirations.

The use of bathroom pods led to a programme saving of over eight weeks.

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