Playing to our Strengths
Gallagher is featured in the latest edition of South East Business in an article that highlights how Gallagher brings together complementary areas of construction expertise to create competitive advantages and greater efficiencies.
By bringing together its expertise as a groundworks and civil engineering contractor with the construction materials it is able to supply from its own quarries, Gallagher is able to deliver projects for its own property developments and for third party clients. The Gallagher formula has brought tangible benefits to a number of recent projects including:
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Playing to Strengths
Maidstone-based Gallagher has been known as a groundwork and civil engineering company for 40 years and is recognised across the South East of England.most of its work is carried out for major main contractors such as Kier, BAM Nuttall, Simons, Vinci, Bowmer & Kirkland, Sisk, McLaren, RG,Interserve and Carillion.
In delivering these projects, the Gallagher teams have benefited from being able to use materialssupplied from Gallagher’s quarries, along with the technical knowledge of how to make best use of the materials and how to select the right material for the job.
These materials include washed and unwashed aggregate (from sand to boulders and everything in between), recycled aggregates, ready-mix concrete, topsoil manufactured from green waste and process). The quarrying creates landfill sites for inert site materials and in recent times there has also been a marked increase in the supply of ragstone block and random walling stone following the company’s investment in a 3m diameter primary saw.
As a private company, Gallagher is not constrained by the mood of third party investors and city analysts and the suggestion in quarters that companies that only do one thing have some kind of advantage. Gallagher believes instead that there is great competitive advantage and clear efficiencies in welding together complementary areas of service and products.
Gallagher puts this competitive advantage to maximum effect in delivering projects for its own property developments and for third party clients. The company is particularly careful not to drift into becoming a high turnover main contractor and does not wish to dilute the specialism that goes with being one of the largest groundwork contractors in the south east of England.
To get ‘the best of all worlds’, Gallagher is selective on which projects it bids for as main contractor in order to play to its strengths and provide maximum benefit to its clients.
Clients procuring large programmes of schools or retail stores are best served by the larger main contractors, which then employ Gallagher as a specialist sub-contractor. Gallagher is able to offer a client a competitive price for each overall project that takes into account the area where there is usually greatest uncertainty - in the ground.
It is Gallagher’s experience and expertise in groundworks that enables the company to do this while at the same time coming up with the most cost-effective solutions to problems. This helps clients to make the decision to invest as it reduces the risks involved.
The Gallagher formula has brought tangible benefits on a number of recent projects including:
“NEXT” at Eclipse Park
This is a 2,400 sq m (26,000 sq ft) retail development with two levels of mezzanine floor creating sales and office/store areas of more than 5,500 sq m (60,000 sq ft). It is a £5m lump sum design and build contract over 33 weeks, with NEXT fitting-out contractors given access after week 29.
The building is not a ‘crinkly tin shed’ like many retail developments. Modern construction techniques have been adopted to deliver a bespoke high quality design while keeping cost and time implications to a minimum. The walling is a mix of Planar structural glazing, natural German limestone and Kentish ragstone cladding and Corium brick slip facing brickwork fixed to 175mm thick structural composite insulated panels that span column to column without the need for secondary steelwork.
Work started on site just before Christmas 2013 when the ground was so waterlogged that surface water was running off the site onto the carriageway, which meant the first job was to install the sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS), designed by Gallagher and its consultants and using material from Gallagher’s quarry. The system had immediate impact and the site coped with the extremely heavy rainfall earlier in 2014 without difficulty. The store is due to open to the public in November 2014, just in time for Christmas.
Castacrete at Medway City Estate
In October 2013 Gallagher received a call from Castacrete, which had a highly-specialised piece of manufacturing equipment on the way and needed a building to put it in.
Working with Castacrete and planning consultant John Collins from dha Planning, Gallagher took hold of the project and ensured the design was prepared, planning permission obtained, materials procured and the building constructed - including specialist rails inserted into the ground slab to very fine tolerances – ready for the specialist machinery to be delivered.
This was all carried out in a live operational environment and the £1.3 million project was completed at the end of May to enable the specialist machinery to be installed during June 2014.
Sydenham Retail Park for Kier Property
This is a 200,000 sq ft retail development on an old gas works site, land which is notorious for causing problems with bad ground and contamination.
Gallagher was appointed as specialist sub-contractor by Kier Construction for £3.5 million of phase 1 groundworks and civil engineering. It was later agreed by all parties that Kier Property should award the £6 million lump sum design and build contract for phase 2 to Gallagher as the main contractor, given the scale of work in the ground and Gallagher’s proven ability to deliver the buildings above ground.
This created cost and programme savings for the client, whose programme needed to be completed on time for incoming tenants such as B&Q, Toys R Us, Next, Pets at Home, P C World and Halfords on phase 1 and Mercedes on phase 2. Phase 1 is
complete and occupied and phase 2 is due to be finished at the end of 2014.
Units G & H Hermitage Court, Aylesford, Maidstone
These new units at this successful business park were constructed for the Gallagher pension scheme. Each building is just over 470 sq m 5,000 sq ft) and has been constructed under a lump sum design and build contract. While on the inside they are high specification grade A offices with lifts, air conditioning and raised floors, the external design required particular attention to detail to reflect the semi-rural setting and the design of buildings A to F.
Rather than follow the rustic design of the other buildings at Hermitage Court, a much more contemporary design was chosen, featuring curtain walling and manufactured zero maintenance Cedral boarding, with Kentish ragstone plinth walling around the base of the buildings and to frame the curtain walling.
Unit H is let to Havas and part of Unit G to Superior Care, with only 3800 sq ft remaining.