Rye Hill

Southwark Council

Internal and external refurbishment of seven occupied residential blocks

This was a challenging project due to the additional structural works and issues with existing chimneys venting into the estate loft spaces as well as ACM Insulation being identified. Covid-19 then added additional programme stress due to works being carried out to occupied premises.


Name: Rye Hill

Client: Southwark Council

Type: Refurbishment

Duration: 30 months

Value: £4.5m


  • External concrete and brickwork repairs
  • Decorations
  • Asphalt repairs
  • Roof repairs and renewals
  • Roof space compartmentation
  • Emergency lighting
  • Kitchen and bathroom renewals in accordance with the client criteria
  • Electrical remedial works
  • Installation of fire detection (LD2)


  • Effective Covid safety measures implemented quickly
  • Delays minimised
  • No extra cost to client because of Covid-related issues
  • Improved living conditions for residents
  • Trainee RLO and electrician employed from the estate

How works were planned and delivered on time

This was a challenging project due to the additional structural works and issues with existing chimneys venting into the estate loft spaces as well as ACM Insulation being identified. Covid-19 then added additional programme stress due to works being carried out to occupied premises.

Adjustments to the programme were made to suit the requirements of residents and the needs of the contract administrator.

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 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 protocols 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

  • We got to know our customers and sought out culture-specific knowledge
  • We listened actively and recognized patterns for communicating
  • We created a welcoming environment by having a diverse workforce

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 additional works and by Covid.

Improvements in KPI performance

Our KPIs improved on the project 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 RLO and an electrician from the estate during this project and they are both now full-time employees. We managed to do some estate planting and gardening works to an overgrown section of the estate gardens as well as some decorating to the residents hall area.

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 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 identification of structural and ACM issues to the loft spaces. These works that had not been specified by the client but were required to complete a successful project. We managed the resident’s expectations of completion dates and project duration with improved communications, newsletters and coffee mornings. By completing all of the specialist additional surveys early in the programme and by giving an updated realistic programme, we were able to keep resident satisfaction levels high.

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