The impressive new build Crematorium on behalf of Wealden District Council has now been delivered providing a much-needed facility for the local community. Located on a 30 acre semi-rural site outside the village of Horam, the new Crematorium is a modern building designed and built to accommodate multi-faith services and ceremonies.
The design incorporates a ceremony hall housing 120 seated, 30 standing, an overflow foyer for 20 and an overflow waiting room for 30 additional mourners. State-of-the-art audio visual equipment is linked to the overflow areas where services will be streamed onto large screen TVs and a webcam facility will allow mourners to view services remotely.
A separate waiting room and book of remembrance room are located close by. Externally, car parking for 150 vehicles has been provided with a provision for both disabled visitors and electric car charging points. The grounds are part landscaped, part wooded and part wildflower meadows hosting 6,500 trees, 27,500 plants, a flower court, reflection pond and gardens of remembrance. To further its green credentials, bat and bird boxes have been installed.
Construction of the new Crematorium faced a number of challenges all of which were expertly overcome by the team to negate impact on programme and budget. Upon contract award, the absence of 278 works arrangements or surveys on services applications created initial delays. Programme issues were counteracted through alternative temporary arrangements for site access and set up.
With overhead pylons running across the site, height markers were used throughout and restrictions imposed on all machinery and equipment to prevent damage. The diversion of ground water using 9 pumps was carried out to counteract the impact of the natural swales which ran throughout the site.
The presence of wildlife including newts and badgers required engagement with the Ecologist and the use of fencing to segregate the works areas from their habitats.
Working with the client and local community throughout, a number of CSR initiatives were instigated and delivered by the team including support to the local Cuckoo Trail maintenance, material donations to West Kent College and the delivery of site tours and demonstrations to carpentry, brickwork and multi-trade students. Regular local community and client site walkabout tours were hosted by the Project Manager and the team donated new Christmas lights to Horam village.
The project was delivered on time and budget including a number of additional works for the client. Exceptional levels of performance were achieved culminating in a Considerate Constructors Scheme National Silver Award.