Wolfson Auditorium, Star Pavilion at Jodrell Bank

Star Pavilion at Jodrell Bank, The University of Manchester

Completion and fit-out of the Wolfson Auditorium and associated facilities

Contract Sum: £770,000
Contract Duration: 16 weeks
Client: The University of Manchester
Project Manager/Quantity Surveyors: Capita
Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Key Challenges: Renegotiating costs and revising a programme inherited from a previous contractor; delivering to original timescales.

Jodrell Bank Observatory site is part of the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The Star Pavilion completes a trio of structures within the Discovery Centre.

We were approached as a trusted partner under The University of Manchester’s Construction Partnering Framework when an original main contractor had gone into administration. Our approach was to offer immediate resource – carrying out due diligence on costs and values expended by the client, working closely with the design team and approaching critical path sub-contractors to ensure the completion date was not compromised.

Star Pavilion is a 440m2 single-storey building comprising a steel frame, clad with insulated composite metal panels and an aluminium-profiled insulated composite roofing system. The superstructure, cladding and base floor slab were in place together with some preliminary drainage and trunking.

Firstly, we undertook a detailed condition survey to determine remedial works. We then applied a damp proof membrane and raised floor levels, which meant changes to curtain wall and door specifications. Once we had created the internal shell, erected plasterboard walls and MF ceilings for office, kitchen and WC facilities we installed retractable seating, blackout blinds and acoustic curtains in the open plan area.

The building was designed to meet the BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard. Compliance criteria included ecology surveys and KPIs. We exceeded targets in waste reduction, diverting 95% of waste from landfill.

We were often operational from 6am until 9pm and gave weekly progress tours to the operations team.

The deadline for handover was determined by a scheduled episode of BBC Two’s Stargazing Live, which was broadcast to an audience within the Star Pavilion.

We were requested to undertake an extension to the café at a later date.






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The Star Pavilion facility at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre was delivered on-time and to an excellent standard in challenging circumstances. Manchester and Cheshire Construction proved to be a proactive, quality-focused contractor with exemplary liaison skills with the client and, in particular, the end-user. I look forward to working with the M&C team again in future.

Richard Sleigh, Project Manager, Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure

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