Diary of a Project Monitor November 2021
– Colin Ranshaw –
During the last few weeks I’ve seen a shift on sites. While the impact of Covid is still very visible in the form of signage and anti-bac gel (our new normal dare I say), life on site is seemingly getting back to normality. It is a refreshing change from the past 18 months to hear site workers being reminded of the safety hazards of working in shorts rather than under the duress of working two meters apart in their masks. However, behind the scenes, sites are still catching up on months of supply chain delays. I also hear that timber and concrete products’ supply seems to be easing, so let’s hope this trend continues into the new year. I will pick up on this topic in my next update.
A highlight from recent trips has got to be a site in the Pennines. The stunning courtyard setting boasts the most spectacular views. Using local stone and the talents of local craftsmen, it really is a sight to behold and worthy of its award nomination. If only the weather was as impressive, although it certainly provides a good excuse to install underfloor heating across all levels which, while a luxury to some, feels like an absolute necessity in this part of the country as I discovered first-hand on my last visit.
In total contrast, a converted office block in Newcastle-under-Lyme has reminded me that we should never judge a book by its cover. On the outside, what was a nondescript office block is being totally transformed with new windows and render. The understated building conceals a hive of activity in the form of a well organised site that is running on schedule and promises to deliver a first-class product. With the majority of work shielded from the great British weather, this well-planned reconfiguration hasn’t resulted in any supply chain issues at this stage and looks to finish on time with no dramas to report. I’m reminded that there is beauty in simplicity.