The design utilised 6 core house types to provide Officer, Other Ranks and adapted living properties. The project spans 3 distinct sites, Bulford, Ludgershall and Larkhill and extensive Section 106 Offsite Highway Works.
Due to the high-speed delivery requirement of this project, the output of the scheme has been well in excess of industry norms, with an average handover rate of 16 house per week, rising to 20 per week at peak output. This complex, high-volume, fast-track homes project is Lovell’s largest exclusively contracting scheme and the delivery rate is unprecedented in UK low rise housing, building on the success of our performance at MOD Stafford. In addition to the housing development, Lovell has undertaken extensive Off Site Highway works associated with the 3 sites as part of the Section 106 obligations MOD agreed with Wiltshire Council.
Notwithstanding numerous unforeseen Relief Events and the extensive replanning of Larkhill following Lovell’s appraisal of the original outline Client design; the works have been carried out largely ahead of programme. The final Larkhill handovers suffering due to the effects of Covid-19.
From a standing start in 2016 with no local presence in the area Lovell has effectively created a new Regional Business that became its biggest revenue producer within a very short space of time, involving new premises, staff recruitment, transfer, logistics, accommodation, etc. The project has by necessity been innovative. We entered into the Pre-Commencement phase of the project with our focus upon building a strong supply chain and a robust programme for delivery. Having no pre-existing regional presence in Wiltshire, the early assembly of a portfolio sub-contractors and suppliers was key. The success of the project and strong relationships built up in the area will be pivotal to the company’s future success in the locality.
During the Pre-Commencement phase a feasibility study for the Larkhill site revealed major topographical issues within the outline design. Lovell undertook a re-plan of the design on behalf of the client resulting in a vast cut and fill operation of c. 250,000m3 of chalk movement and the addition of Phase 4, the eastern facet of the design. This involved a new Planning submission to Wiltshire Council.
The key differentiator of this project is the speed of delivery and the safe management thereof. Due to the necessity for speed of build out, safety has been at the forefront of all planning and so with lessons learned from MOD Stafford we inserted 2 buffer periods, the first of 4 weeks after foundations to remove civil engineering from the superstructure build. A second was introduced upon completion of the superstructure envelope allowing construction of the garage and service connections prior to internal trades commencing. This may feel counter intuitive but is crucial to the safe progression of works at such a demanding run rate. The plot build cycle is extended but the buffer periods ultimately hasten the build process, enabling a safe, sequential and methodical approach.
Speed of Delivery
Speed of build has demanded extensive use of off-site manufacture, i.e. timber frames enabling superstructure completion within 22 weeks from foundations (including an extensive Acceptance process). This innovative approach has been taken a step further at Larkhill where we engaged two timber frame providers to work ‘side by side’ collaboratively in an arrangement not seen before in UK housing development. Through the use of a highly efficient form of modern construction and further enhancing of renewable energy the development provides a standard equivalent to level 4 of the erstwhile Code for Sustainable Homes.