It’s a well-known irritation. You wait months, years even, for a road to be re-surfaced and then just days later some utility company or other digs it up to install pipes, cables, fibre, whatever.
Really? Doesn’t anyone ever speak to each other? Isn’t there somebody, somewhere holding a master plan?
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. New customers need connecting, pipes fracture and need repair, new technology comes along; unforeseen requirements for infrastructure but necessary none the less.
We can face similar issues when our own projects come to completion: ‘Fitting out’ elements can sometimes bring challenges.
Often, at the point the fabric of a building is complete, the fit-out details have yet to be defined, or even designed, but their inclusion may well have an impact on the finished structure. And, much like a newly tarmacked road, the last thing anyone wants to do is cut into pristine walls and ceilings to install services or structural support for fittings or equipment required as part of the fit-out.
So, why might you have to? Generally, it’s the result of a lack of information or a change in requirements. Sometimes the full specification of the equipment to be installed isn’t available; perhaps the final operator has yet to be confirmed or the end user decide their requirements. Maybe the equipment originally specified has been superseded during the course of the project.
In all these cases, including the appropriate infrastructure in the building from the outset is essential and it’s where experience really counts; providing conduits and back boxes to deliver power to all possible locations, including pattresses or reinforced walls to receive fixings and ensuring the structure of the building can take any future potential load.
With foresight, ICT and audio-visual equipment, signage, storage, fittings, blinds & curtains, even artwork can all be accommodated successfully and without damaging the finished structure.
At DCP our knowledge and experience of working in specific sectors; health, education, catering and leisure informs our expertise in the infrastructure required for the specialist fittings typically encountered in a build.
But we can also handle the not so typical ones! So, if anyone ever asks for part of an 18th century ceremonial state barge to be incorporated in their building we’ll take it in our stride.
When it was first suggested that a finely decorated carved wood representation of the Fishmongers’ Company coat of arms, weighing many tonnes, be hung off what was intended to be a lightweight partition in the Britten Building at Gresham’s School, it did provoke a bit of head scratching.
The carving, a stern piece from the Fishmongers’ Company fourth stage barge which operated on the river Thames continuously from 1773 ‘til 1856, was originally mounted in Fishmonger’s Hall in London. It was given to the school to commemorate the longstanding relationship between Gresham’s and the Fishmongers’ Company; they gifted land to the school, the sale of which facilitated the construction of the Britten Building.
As a result of careful co-ordination between engineer, contractor, art conservators, and a specialist fine art logistics company, the magnificent and weighty carving now hangs, safely and securely, over the staircase in the award-winning Britten Building at the school.