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The White Barn project encompassed extensive high quality refurbishment and extension works to an existing Grade II Listed residential barn in the heart of the Kent countryside.
The original scope of works underwent major adjustments during the early project stages following concerns with the stability of the existing timber structure. Further analysis by conservation timber specialists, revealed that a number of the beams either required replacing or strengthening to meet safety requirements. Working closely with these specialists and Conservation Officers, the team were able to offer a proactive solution to the client which encompassed incorporating new oak into the frame. All stages of this process were carried out in close consultation with the Conservation Officers and full accordance with Listed procedures. This approach essentially added value to the overall project with no detriment to programme and budget.
Prior to the works, the client decanted to a nearby cottage and was effectively on site for the duration of the project. Excellent relationships were subsequently developed with a collaborative approach from the client, Baxall team, designer and supply chain. Similarly, the Mechanical Designer resided nearby in a similar barn conversion; this made client liaison much easier and he was able to offer first hand advice based upon his own experience.
The Baxall management team carried out early stage liaison with all neighbours advising of the works programme and likely disruption. This was further reinforced via daily and weekly briefings and advance notice of major deliveries, noise and dust. A Traffic Management Plan was devised to suit all residents essentially ensuring all deliveries and site traffic were kept away from busy morning, lunchtime and afternoon periods and when children were on school leave.
An initial concern for the team was the historic presence of ground water and likelihood of flooding as a result of adverse weather conditions. This was proactively addressed through the careful management and planning of drainage works to ensure that any potential problems were thwarted. A value engineering exercise enabled the team to offer the client both a cost and time efficient alternative to the specified roof repair works. Working closely with the architect, this encompassed the strip off and replacement of the roof using a new watertight design which removed the need for a temporary facility and meant that works could carry on below, thus speeding up the programme. It further proved more cost effective to add in new insulation and change the existing tiles which were subsequently used to replace the metal roof on the adjacent cottage, giving a much more aesthetically pleasing look to the building.
Sustainable innovations included the use of sheep wool for insulation, underfloor heating, high-specification glass and the installation of new energy-efficient boilers. The project was delivered both to exceptional quality and safety standards, duly reflected in an impressive Considerate Constructors score of 34.5/40 and CSSE Safety Award.
Thomas Croft Architects
J M Loades & Associates