"Always great to have Accent on our projects. Very approachable and always willing to assist on site, with design and most importantly respectful and helpful towards our clients."
Technical Services Manager - Morgan Lovell
The Reading Campus refurbishment project represented a major undertaking by Morgan Lovell, with a total value in the region of some £25million. The mechanicals alone would cost £6m, and so to limit exposure, Morgan Lovell, split this aspect further, awarding the installation of over 200 WC’s, 60 urinals, 20 thermostatic showers and 9 hydration stations to Accent Services – a plumbing package with a total value of £1.3m. In fact this amount would increase by a further £300,000 during the course of the project as HVAC installations for two stand-alone buildings on the site were added to the contract.
In February of 2021, in order to help secure the project for Morgan Lovell, Accent’s Brad Burnell began assisting with costs and samples. As is to be expected with a project of this scale, there were several changes to the spec. and Brad’s diligent approach in ensuring that there were always hard samples on site for client meetings was a helpful factor in securing the project. “Going the extra mile,” Brad explains, “is how you get to be, and to maintain, the position of Morgan Lovell preferred contractor”.
A typical example of the kind of alteration encountered was when it became apparent that a particular design of gold tap specified by the architect was only available on an eight week lead time. Brad was able to research suitable alternatives and provide a workable solution that met the criteria for aesthetics, function and crucially, delivery time.
Maximum efficiency, minimum disruption
With 11 of the 21 office spaces occupied, this project was always going be a logistical challenge. A challenge further exacerbated for Accent by the need to operate to a 7 day notice entry permit system, designed to minimise disruption to the tenants and ensure maximum advance notification of work taking place in their area. ROI (Refurbishment In Occupation) projects require a meticulously planned, phased installation which must strike the perfect balance between efficiency and minimal disruption. To this end, wherever possible, Accent operated out of regular office hours. They also employed a dedicated Site Supervisor, Paul Tott, who occupied an office at Reading Campus for the duration of the project to provide a single point of contact for all parties and to liaise internally with Accent’s Contracts Manager Jack Brown. This ensured seamless integration at every stage of the project.
BREEAM and WELL Building
In order to achieve the desired BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) “Excellent” certification for Morgan Lovell, a raft of stipulations had to be observed. Fastidious logging and reporting was a persistant requirement along with many materials stipulations. This ensured valuable points could be scored in the in the areas of “Energy and water use”, “Transport” and “Materials”.
21 toilet blocks and a basement level changing room with showers, collectively required over 150 taps. These were all fitted with flow restrictors to reduce rates to no more than the designated 3.5 ltr/m. Some of the taps were of a matt black finish, and so to avoid compromising the design scheme, flow restrictors had to fitted inline, rather than as attachments to the taps themselves. Water shut off valves throughout were installed to guarantee no costly and environmentally hazardous leaks could occur. At Reading Campus, if a toilet block is unoccupied for more that 15 minutes, a solenoid valve is thrown and the water is switched off. Infrared proximity sensors detect when a person enters, and the water is switched back on automatically.
To meet the required “A class” insulation of pipework, phenolic insulation was fitted throughout. This offers the best thermal performance of any insulation board on the market giving thermal conductivities as low as 0.018 W/mK.
Reading Campus is rated as WELL Building Standard Platinum. This certification, initiated to support the health and well-being of the occupiers impacted in several ways. Among other things, Accent used non solvent based adhesives, to remove the risk of possible future contamination of the workplace.
Campus Studios and The Farmhouse
As the project progressed, a need arose for two extra spaces to be tackled. Not plumbing this time, but Accent’s stock-in-trade of HVAC. Brad met with the Accent design team and the schemes were planned, approved and costed. Contracts Manager Jack Brown, alongside Site Supervisor Paul Tott oversaw integration with existing works and the installations were carried out on time with negligible disruption.
This was a major project for Accent Services, presenting the usual host of challenges large projects create today, with Accent playing a key role in delivering valuable points toward the BREAM Excellent and WELL Building Standard Platinum certification that Morgan Lovell demanded. It also provided a great demonstration of the flexibility and adaptability at the heart of the Accent approach to business. An approach that further cements our well earned position as Morgan Lovell preferred contractor.
MAIN OFFICE WINGS
THE FARMHOUSE &
198 x WC’s with Concealed cisterns and Flush plates
159 x Wash hand Basins with Matt
Black Wall mounted Infra red taps
60 x Urinals
25 x Disabled WC’s
20 x Thermostatic Showers
9 x Hydration Stations
VRV Heat pump VRV Systems
Indoor VRV Fan Coil Units
Air Handling Unit with DX Coil / Condensers
WC Extract Fans
Booster Break tanks
Electric Overdoor heaters
Intelligent Touch Controller (iTM)