Lew Evans House

Southwark Council

Proactive management prevents programme slippage at
Lew Evans House

Covid-19 hit towards the end of this project and new ways of working had to be introduced to meet the new protocols. Adjustments to the programme were made to suit the requirements of residents and the needs of the Contract Administrator.


Name: Lew Evans House

Client: Southwark Council

Type: Refurbishment

Duration: 12 months

Value: £0.9m


  • Scaffolding assembly
  • Window replacement
  • Brick and roof repairs
  • Juliet balcony replacement
  • Fascia and gutter replacements
  • Fire escape doors and FRA works
  • Skylight repairs and fence renewals
  • Electrical remedials and periodic tests
  • Lateral mains replacement and OT WC damp investigation
  • Construction of new staff room and communal decorations


  • Effective COVID safety measures implemented quickly
  • Delays minimised
  • No extra cost to client because of COVID-related issues
  • Improved living conditions for residents
  • A trainee bricklayer employed from estate

The experience of our site delivery team in conjunction with that of our contract, commercial and procurement teams helped to ensure that we met the revised programme, expected quality and revised budgets set and agreed by the client.

We proactively managed the programme by looking ahead planning of all resources and deliverables. By doing this rather than reacting to programme slippage we created more time for anticipating the problems. We originally included a small initial float within the programme for unplanned issues such as weather.

Our effective Covid-19 protocols were established and working practices put in place during the works. This ensured we had the tools to react and mitigate contract slippage.

We identified tasks and responsibilities that were on the critical path so we prioritised these works.

By using the project risk register we were able to prioritise the risks that we faced and allow for expedient mitigation measures to be put in place.

How customers were engaged and communicated with

The works were project managed to ensure detailed, honest, and transparent communications with the residents and other stakeholders. We listened and incorporated feedback to enable the least disruptive and most efficient means to programme the project works. We used varied methods of interacting in addition to regular meetings including, where Covid protocol allowed

The Site Manager visited each property daily to monitor progress of works and ensure quality of workmanship. A check was carried out at the end of each working day to ensure the property was clean and secure.

When works were completed, the Site Manager and/or foreman conducted a snagging visit, this helped us achieve ‘right first time’. The resident was involved with the snagging visit, giving them an opportunity to raise any issues and overall ensuring that they were satisfied with the works carried out.

How diverse customer needs were met

Hiring bilingual or diverse employees who not only speak some other language but also have unique insights into different cultures and beliefs helped us create an improved customer experience.

Value for Money achieved for the client

We agreed not to charge the client any additional prelims for the extensions of time on the project caused by the Covid pandemic.

Improvements in KPI performance

Our KPIs improved as we managed more intensive communication with the residents of the blocks, especially when Covid protocols were put in place. Residents were extremely pleased with all the additional safety measures and contact arrangements that were put in place during this period.

Positive social value outcomes

We were able to take on a trainee bricklayer from the estate during this project and they are now a full-time employee. We also managed to give some work experience to a couple of students before the Covid lockdown came into place. We managed to do some estate planting and gardening works to a couple of overgrown sections of the estate gardens.

How IT was used to integrate with the client system and add value to the service

All KPIS were completed on the client’s IT system by our RLO.

All asset improvement works, new kitchens, bathrooms, windows etc. were provided in an excel spreadsheet in the agreed client format to be uploaded to the client’s IT system.

Key Challenge and how it was approached and Managed

The key challenge on this project was the Covid pandemic. We had to write and implement Covid protocols to allow for suitable access arrangements to complete a successful project. We managed the resident’s expectations of completion dates and project duration with improved communications and newsletters. By readjusting the programme and working safely we were able to keep resident satisfaction levels high.

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