26 January 2021
Quartzelec, a leading Contracting Service provider, has continued to deliver on prestigious M&E/construction schemes during these challenging ‘Covid-19’ times. The £6m+ development in Chapel Street / Dearmans Place in Manchester being the most recently completed and where Quartzelec had been on-site from the beginning, supporting this significant re-generation scheme.
Four residential blocks collectively provide 995 one, two and three-bedroom apartments and use a new open plan ‘concept’ layout to maximise useable living space by removing the hallway traditionally found in apartments, giving them a distinct Manhattan style feel. The blocks, up to 22 storeys high, include new shared gardens, public areas and parking. The redevelopment of the 4.4-acre prime location brownfield site is adjacent to the five-star Lowry Hotel and within walking distance of the Spinningfields business district and main retail centre.
“This has been a significant local project for us and is one of the largest single new M&E installation contracts we’ve worked on to date,” stated Dave Birchall, Quartzelec’s Senior Contracts Manager for the project. “The project has not been without challenges, but we were up to the task every step of the way.”
Quartzelec undertook the full M&E services to all the landlord areas servicing the residential apartments as well as key communal areas, working alongside main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine.
The works across the development included the fit out of four new substations that now provide power to the development, along with two mechanical plant rooms housing the site boosted cold water supply and the wet riser pump room.
A total of 300 parking places across four levels serve the development and incorporate secure access control with 60 CCTV installed cameras across the site. Over 5000 low energy microwave-controlled LED lighting units - to maintain the required lighting levels and to provide the benefit of reduced energy consumption - have also been installed over 68 residential corridors as part of the electrical and mechanical services to all areas of the development.
Full domestic sprinkler protection has also been installed within the apartments and escape routes along with Dry and Wet risers to the four blocks, providing enhanced levels of fire safety protection. The corridors have further protection by way of a comprehensive smoke clearance system within each block, controlled by local activation of a smoke detection system.
“We were delighted that Sir Robert McAlpine, as the main project contractor, recognised our ability and entrusted us to deliver all M&E elements,” added Keith Fisher, the general manager for Quartzelec’s M&E operations. “Our experience, skills and having the key engineers needed to deliver this prestigious project; coupled with our ethos to always work to the highest standards whilst delivering solutions both on time and on budget, were key factors in our appointment and we have proved that the trust placed in us was well justified. This strategy has enabled us to be regarded as ‘trusted’ partners by a growing number of leading construction companies and continues to help us build upon our expansion plans.”
Project elements for this prestigious development of nearly a thousand new ‘quality’ homes included: installing all necessary panel boards and metering; individual power and lighting installations for each unit along with a common area low voltage containment system; the door access, fire control and CCTV systems; general internal and external lighting; power for ancillary services including the lifts and smoke/ general ventilation systems and other building services; plus all the required Satellite TV, Cat5e, communication and intercom distribution systems with all associated cabling. Provision was also made for electric vehicle chargers and various supplementary fittings like panel, heaters, hand dryers, lighting within the public access, concierge, and cleaning services areas for each of the buildings.
During the project, Quartzelec were awarded ‘Subcontractor of the month’ a total of four times from main contractor Sir Robert Mc-Alpine in recognition of the team’s leadership, ownership and visibility of the project’s Safety, Health, Environment and Quality commitments – reflecting well on the group’s robust SHEQ culture.
Keith Fisher continued: “Pushing through to complete the installation during a pandemic brought its own challenges, but our teams were meticulous in following all site implemented health and safety requirements as well as social distancing measures including thorough and regular washing of hands as well as sanitising before accessing the work site with all necessary PPE and facemasks.”
Commenting on the project, Richard Poulter, Building Services Manager for Sir Robert McAlpine added:
“This was the first major contract we awarded to Quartzelec, having been impressed by the quality of work delivered on competitive projects over recent years. Their initial tender was thorough, they were highly competitive, as well as realistic in the time, resources and requirements needed to deliver on the project. Throughout project delivery they have demonstrated real flexibility to work alongside other contractors, ensuring smooth project flow and in-line with our SHEQ demands, particularly when the additional requirements to comply with Covid-19 safe practices were added in recent months. This has been a large and complex construction project and Quartzelec has been equal to the task at all stages.”