The Client Brief

Smiths Detection is a global leader in threat detection and screening technologies.  We first met the client in 2015 when they were embarking on the relocation of their UK headquarters.  Having been in Watford for in excess of 30 years, this was a significant move for the business with change management impacting people, processes and geographical location.  The brief was to support the organisation through the acquisition of new premises and then manage and coordinate the redesign, extensive refurbishment and specialised fit out of the premises, involving complex building services installations, within a strict budget and aggressive timescale.  

Our role included building surveying, project management, employer’s agent and cost management duties.

Our Solution

Working closely with the client and contractor, we had a series of focused meetings to understand their current position and agree how the various departments would be engaged to formulate the technical design brief for the new facility, which is highly specialised in terms of the nature of the operations undertaken.  We reviewed the programme and agreed with the team deadlines for deliverables and approvals stages to achieve the tight timeline.  

Having regard for the programme constraints, we agreed an enabling works package with the contractor to fast track isolated work packages where feasible.  Simultaneously, the main scope of work was finalised with the client’s construction partner utilising a design & build procurement solution to aid effective overlap of design and build.

Parallel with dealing with the construction contract works, we provided technical review of the lease and managed and coordinated the landlord’s approval, collateral warranties, wayleaves and fibre install, planning applications for supplementary plant and perimeter fencing.  By working closely with the contractor and planning consultant, the electrical power upgrade, construction of a new sub-station and local authority highways modifications to the car park entrance were all concluded successfully.

The Result

We worked with the client and their construction partner effectively to successfully deliver circa 25,000sqft of office accommodation and a highly specialised production facility across 55,000sqft within the £11 million budget.

Smiths Detection relocated and commenced operations in their new modern facility in Hemel Hempstead in October 2016.  

A very challenging and technically demanding project with tight cost and programme parameters.  It was also a very enjoyable and rewarding project demonstrating what can be achieved through strong and effective project management.