Tonbridge Extra Care Housing, Tudeley Lane – Project Debrief

With severe time constraints and a very tight handover schedule, Jenner Contractors Ltd of Folkestone first approached us to discuss what alternative build methods we could put forward that would ‘fast track’ the construction shell, to significantly reduce the build programme with assured delivery.

After a fully consultative process, it was agreed that the Xella GmbH Silka system offered the best opportunity to achieve the timescales. MFS, in co-ordination with Xella, were engaged to construct the whole structural envelope of the 3 storey 59 apartment Extra Care Facility in just 26 weeks.

6 months on, we have been able to handover on schedule, and everyone would have to agree that our involvement in the project, and the use of the Silka system has been a resounding success.

The successful completion of this project is significant; a clear testament to the Silka system and our ability to manage and organize complex projects. We have proven that we can maintain a schedule in a difficult climate, not to mention an acute skills shortage.

Jenner have been a supportive working partner, enthusing about the potential of the Silka system and the client suggesting they wish they had used this system on a sister project, which we see as the ultimate endorsement.

When you crunch the build programme by 50% you actually increase the intensity by 200%. The logistics behind this are an exercise in their own right. We are extremely proud of the achievement, both in its entirety and in individual successes. On this project, we were the first contractor to commission 3 new mini cranes into the UK and we trained 8 operatives on site in a live environment.

We are all too familiar with the ‘managed chaos’ that often masquerades as a construction project. The difference between success and failure often coming down to those that can keep the plates spinning whilst others fall. Increasing the intensity two-fold just compounded this, and it is testament to the organisation, preparation and planning of the entire project team that we were able to keep all the plates spinning.

That is not to say that we managed to get it right all of the time, and that there are certainly a few lessons that we will be able to draw on for future projects, continuing to refine and improve our processes. However, the possibilities in utilising the Silka system are huge and this project has given us the confidence to invest further, to take us to the next level.

Watch our timelapse video of the full superstructure build, from foundation to roof

If you would like to find out more about the team here at MFS and how we can effectively manage your build project’s superstructure, speak to a member of our team today.