Project outline

Murphy was the principal contractor on this mixed-use development of residential units and offices, as well as retail and cultural space. The development was in planning for several years, and replaces a derelict petrol forecourt, car showroom, basement garage and offices.

Working with the local council, Murphy (on behalf of Folgate Estates) is addressing the shortage of local housing, as well as maintaining local business and creating a new art gallery. The scheme aims to protect the listed wall and cause as little disruption during construction as possible.

Hannover Green is marketing the scheme on behalf of Folgate Estates and Murphy was awarded a JCT Design and Build contract.

Three main design consultants worked with the Murphy team at workshops from concept stage. Monthly project team meetings and reporting were also scheduled with the client and stakeholders.

Key challenges

One major challenge was retaining the Grade II listed party wall; a large façade to the rear of the site. In order to ensure the wall was kept stable, underpins and temporary supports were installed at the demolition stage and will remain throughout construction. The wall will be monitored, with a permanent façade retention system established on completion.

With offices and flats neighbouring the site, minimising disruption was essential. Murphy used hydraulic pulverisers and crunchers, which limited noise, as opposed to traditional pneumatic processes. Construction News ran a special report showcasing these techniques.

A one-way carriageway leads to the site. In order to ensure safety for all road and footpath users, Murphy employed traffic marshals manage all access/egress. Additionally, due to the high footfall and late-night party venues nearby there is 24-hour security on site; keeping it safe for workers and passers-by.

The site is located on a cycle superhighway, which means the same carriageway is occupied by a large number of cyclists. Therefore, Murphy organised a HGV/cyclist ’exchanging places’ event; allowing cyclists and drivers to understand each other’s perspective. And to reduce HGV numbers, satellite yards were used for bulk deliveries, with goods shuttled to site on demand.

In order to safely set up the project, the road leading to a resident block was closed. This presented challenges for collecting rubbish. To solve the issue, staff take residential bins to an agreed collection point.

  • Street view of building.
    Street view of building.
  • Interior detail.
    Interior detail.
  • Front facade.
    Front facade.
  • Reception entry.
    Reception entry.
  • Front facade at dusk.
    Front facade at dusk.
  • Commercial space.
    Commercial space.
  • Paul Street flat.
    Paul Street flat.
Project delivery and innovations

Construction innovations like the five fly-over props (as pictured above) proved extremely successful. Hydraulic passive fly-over props were offered up for circa 16 weeks, as opposed to traditional raking steel props which are harder to remove. This created considerable time and cost savings. It was the first time Murphy had used this technique for this application, made possible by the extensive knowledge of our structural ground engineers. The team also used high-strength concrete mixes and a PERI jump formwork system, saving time as it sped up laying the floor-slabs and verts in reinforced concrete.

Murphy utilised the capabilities of its specialist units who provided 250 CFA piles and utility connections/disconnections. The power sector also assisted with substation establishment, cable pulling and transformer setup. Plant was readily available from the local Kentish Town depot.

Murphy also worked with Global Street-Art; allowing a local artist to come and decorate the site hoarding which enhanced its character.

With multiple consultants and sub-contractors with design responsibility employed on this scheme, it was imperative to share information easily. The team used a SharePoint platform for collaboration, providing a space to share files easily.

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