Murphy was contracted by MARSA Holdings to build nine high-end four bedroom townhouses on a portion of the site of the Old Imperial Laundry in Battersea, London.
Located within a predominantly residential area, the terrace sits in a former industrial setting. The aim was to create a modern version of the Victorian terrace, with clean lines, vertical emphasis and a solid, secure and sustainable construction. The project included all internal work too, such as kitchens, bathrooms, carpentry, plastering and all electrical installations.
The contract started in January 2017 with the demolition of part of the Old Imperial Laundry. A show-home was completed in August 2018, and the other eight homes were completed a month later.
As the site was in a densely populated residential area and the footprint of the construction covered 100% of the site, logistics was a key challenge.
The site was on a one way residential street, where parking was maintained on one side. The restrictions enforced meant that articulated lorry deliveries were not possible.
Meanwhile, impact on neighbours was another complication. Not only was noise an issue, but potential structural impact on adjacent buildings required consideration. The necessary excavation, piling and installation of deep drainage tanks was therefore challenging.
Finally, as logistics was a consistent problem, installing utilities and overcoming engineering challenges quickly and straightforwardly became of paramount importance.
Our experience of managing complex, densely populated urban sites has made this project a success.
To overcome the traffic issue, we implemented CLOCS and FORS management systems – processes we are renowned for having acquired a FORS Gold accreditation. Meanwhile, to manage the issue of noise, we carried out an initial assessment and met with the local Neighbourhood Watch authority to ensure any concerns were addressed. Acoustic barriers were also an effective means of keeping disruption to a minimum.
As for structural issues, we were committed to a process of detailed checks twice a day to ensure any damage was avoided. And on this issue, our ‘One Murphy’ approach – which refers to our ability to self-deliver all aspects of the construction project – was vital.
For example, from design approval our piling team were on site within three weeks; an independent subcontractor would have taken at least eight. And because we are licensed to implement utilities independently, we were able to save time and money.
Additionally, having our own plant and in-house engineers was instrumental in keeping the site as organised and controlled as possible – and therefore in keeping the project on time and on budget.