Project Description

John Foster Building Refurbishment – Liverpool John Moores University

Sector: Education
Client: Liverpool John Moores University


The project was delivered on an 1890’s grade 2* listed building and consisted of the remodelling and refurbishment of 1,800m² of general teaching facilities, IT laboratories, staff office accommodation and toilet facilities. The key issues relating to project delivery were primarily understanding the client’s drivers in terms of building form, functionality, security and budget.

The project was delivered to a strict programme as the facility had to be completed for the commencement of the new academic year as any delay would have had a catastrophic impact on business continuity for the client. Our approach on this project was to work closely with the client’s design team to agree the client’s brief as quickly as possible, engage with all the relevant key stakeholders and agree a risk management strategy that identified, assessed, quantified and reduced all substantial risks.

One of the key issues was business disruption and several key elements on the project were delivered out of hours to ensure the client maintained business continuity. In addition, noisy activities on site were stopped at key times to ensure that noise pollution did not impact on critical activities.

During the mobilisation period, and prior to commencing works on site, the approach was to hold a series of stakeholder engagement meetings with the design team, the client’s project team and the ends users of the facilities. This allowed the construction team to fully understand the client’s key objectives and constraints. Moreover, the stakeholder meetings allowed the construction team to fully understand the key issues for the client, identify options for phased delivery and to fully develop a logistics plan which allowed the University to maintain business continuity on the campus throughout the project. Minimising business disruption was critical on this project as the University’s main library, operating 24/7, was located on this campus and could not be impacted by the project works.

In addition, the University utilised this site over the summer period for graduation events, open days and student clearing following the release of the ‘A-level’ results in the August.>/p>

The client’s budget on this project was extremely challenging as the works included the upgrading of the building services infrastructure, introducing large items of plant and equipment to control environmental systems and to fully update the IT infrastructure. To address this issue, we facilitated a series of workshops with the client’s design team to undertake a comprehensive value engineering exercise to solve problems and identify and eliminate unwanted costs, whilst improving function and quality. The aim of the workshops was to evaluate all aspects of the project and consider the availability of materials, construction methods, site logistical issues, site limitations and restrictions, planning, costs, etc.

Why Hightown Group?

It’s not just the experience that we have with managing new builds and refurbishments that sets us apart. We’re committed to being a transparent business that is fully customer focused and delivers on expectations. That’s one of the reasons why many of our clients come back to us again and again.

Not only do we believe in delivering the best, we’re a family owned business that cares passionately about the environment. All our practices and processes have sustainability running through them, whether that’s sourcing the right materials from local suppliers or ensuring that all our waste is recycled or repurposed rather than disposed of in landfill.

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Our Clients

Our clients include some well-known, international names that span a range of sectors. Whether you operate in the education, aviation, research, residential or pharmaceutical sectors, or somewhere else entirely, Hightown Group ensure you get a construction team that know how to deliver.

If you’re looking to build a relationship with a main contractor you can count on, get in touch with the team at Hightown Group today..


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“AG Hill Chartered Building Services Engineers have worked successfully with Hightown Construction on several projects across the University spectrum. Hightown proved that they are very client orientated and non-contractual, open to advice and ideas from outside of their structure with a very flexible and progressive attitude to construction delivery, more akin to the partnering arrangements suggested by Latham as the ideal methodology with which to approach construction, as opposed to the more common adversarial method”.

Allan Hill C.Eng., MCIBSE, MSLL, A.G. Hill Chartered Building Services Engineers
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