Grange Court Retirement Apartments, Solihull

Client: Aspen Retirement Limited
Contract Value: £2.7m
Programme: 54 weeks
Completion Date: November 2010
Form of Contract: JCT Standard with Contractors Design 2005
Contracts Manager: Brendan Rourke
Quantity Surveyor: Paul Reeve
Site Manager: Richard Arthur
Architect: Armstrong Burton Architects
Engineer: Armstrong Burton Architects

Built on a site previously occupied by two houses (both of which were demolished as part of the contract), Stepnell were tasked with building 24, one and two bedroom apartments, contained within a three storey building.

As with previous projects for the client, traditional construction (masonry and precast concrete) was used. To compliment this, various elevation treatments including vertical tile hanging, render, mock Tudor features (sympathetic to the surrounding area), brickwork and stone features were utilised. Like other projects for Aspen, the building was constructed to meet NHBC & Robust requirements as well as Lifetime Home standards.

An issue arose at the early stages of the project due to a Tree Preservation Order on two Yew trees to the front of the proposed building. This, along with the need to not overlook neighbouring properties determined the positioning of the building within the allotted space. The design team further prevented any neighbour issues by dropping the articulation in elevations (stepping the front of the building) and fitting obscure glass.

Another potential issue was the small size of the site and the fact that it was very restricted. This was averted with the use of a specialist, remote control tower crane.

Much of the project’s success can be attributed to the excellent relations between client and ourselves.