The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement and nursing home for 300 retired British soldiers. The South Grounds of the hospital not only provide a tranquil sanctuary for the Chelsea Pensioners, but host the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, attracting more than 157,000 visitors every May. By 2014, there were two issues affecting use and access across the site; the existing asphalt was well worn and ageing, and an inadequate drainage system was causing continual flooding issues.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds is a unique, central London site with an unusual demand on its infrastructure. It is dormant for most of the year with a few small private functions, until it hosts the Chelsea Flower Show, where 800 people spend 33 days building 20 show gardens. During this time, many heavy construction vehicles and up 400 tonnes of materials are dropped off. The Royal Hospital Chelsea wanted a durable carriageway and modern drainage system solution to last for years to come.
Marlborough were challenged with the construction taking place on a conservation area with many 300 year old protected trees, this meant it took materials 2-3 hours to get on-site.
Client The Royal Hospital Chelsea Date September 2013 – February 2014 Duration 6 months Value £2 million
Upgrading 10,000m² of new carriageway
Laying 884 tonnes of 10mm super colour exposed material
Installing 3km of ornamental kerbs and channel blocks
Upsizing the drainage network across the site
Increasing the storm water capacity
Arisings reduced by 96%
Lorry movement reduced by 87%
Recycling in-situ reduced timelines by 50%
Marlborough’s 25 years’ experience of building carriageways, whilst overcoming on-site operational issues of large drainage projects, put them in a strong position. Marlborough’s Operatives had previous experience of operating recycling machines, hand laying ornamental granite kerbs, whilst their teams of Drainage Specialists could lay new drainage and modify existing areas.
“Marlborough nurture and attract people who take care and have pride in their work. Several gangs of Operatives worked tirelessly for 6 months to reconstruct drainage networks, lay more than 3km of high quality bespoke granite kerbs and granite channels blocks to ensure positive drainage. The technical compliance, attention to detail and level of quality finish along the entire carriageway was exceptional”.
Mark Chiverrell, Technical Director Project Centre
“One of the things I value most is their very collaborative and transparent team culture. It makes a big difference to have a contractor who wants to work closely with us and is supportive and responsive. With Marlborough, I get a team who are attentive, work collaboratively and honestly with me and don’t lose focus on delivering first class communications and compliance.”
Carly Norris, Project Manager Operations, London Borough of Hackney
“We saw huge benefits in appointing Marlborough as our full service contractor and we’re impressed – they’ve delivered consistent high quality service and superior quality control across every project. Marlborough, provide us with a ‘one-stop’ shop solution – we get the same quality of service and better control across all aspects of the project.”
Darren Bryant, Principal Engineer, London Borough of Enfield
“Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with a lot of different contractors and Marlborough is one of the few companies that are passionate about delivery. With Marlborough we get one team, with the perfect blend of skills and experience: established gangs, proactive Project Managers and fully engaged Operations and Senior Directors. Time after time, Marlborough has proved themselves to us and pulled out all the stops to get the job done."
Rob Wybrow Construction Manager, Be First on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council
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