Leisure – RAF Wattisham

Client: MOD

Architect: Charter Consultant Architects

Contractor: Laing Limited

Value: £4 million

This integrated design and construction project was one of two pilot projects under the Building Down Barriers initiative used to develop the MOD’s new procurement method ‘prime contracting’. Facilities include a 25 metre swimming pool, sports hall, four squash courts, fitness suite and a climbing wall.

The design pool shell, structural steel framework, foundations, floors and walls. Five specialist design groups were set up. These were called ‘Clusters’ and included members of the supply chain. Many economies were found when working in these clusters. This project was also a M4I (Movement for Innovation) demonstration project.

Analysis by the Tavistock Institute, who have worked on the development of the new procurement programme, have shown that although the capital cost of the project was 6% higher than expected by conventional procurement, savings based on whole life cost exceed 10%.

As the specialist subcontractors and suppliers contributed in the design process, their knowledge of the project was very thorough, thus reducing wastage and construction time by an estimated 20%.