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Como charge on with SSE fit-out in Reading

Como has delivered an 185,000 sq ft. fit out for one of the UK’s leading energy suppliers, SSE, at 1 Forbury Place in Reading. Taking place over 26 weeks, the £8.4m project was delivered under a traditional design & build contract.

The project was completed on time, on budget and exceeded all of SSE’s health and safety expectations. 

The scheme followed SSE’s decision to consolidate multiple offices into one flagship office for the South, reducing operational costs. Within the energy-efficient 10-storey building including basement and roof, Mace has provided a multifunctional open-plan office space, with executive meeting rooms, a floor of highly-finished conference space, a staff restaurant, food stations and coffee bars. The space also includes extensive data suites and a Microsoft hub/bespoke audio visual system. 

One of the key challenges on the project was absorbing the volume of change throughout the programme and additional works. Working closely with SSE, the team managed to incorporate all changes with only a minor extension to the programme. To address the key challenges, the Como team worked to meet with key stakeholders in different departments of SSE to ensure functionality and suitability with the client’s own network systems and AV interfacing. The catering space, including a fully operational restaurant with a capacity to serve 400 people, was particularly challenging and as a result, the design was confirmed only later on in the process. 

An additional benefit that Como brought to the project was the proposal to relocate the 20-tonne generator from the roof to the basement car park. This saved on programme, logistics and CDM and gave the client options to easily update and maintain the facility in the future.

As an energy supplier, health and safety was a huge priority for the client, so the SSE H&S representative conducted daily site tours and weekly senior visits to ensure the exacting SSE standards were being met. Over 115, 000 hours of work were delivered incident free. The SSE team congratulated Como on their approach to health and safety and the way they reported on it. 

Andrew Sims, Senior Project Manager for Como, said: 

“It was a real team effort to deliver this project for SSE. With the amount of change, it was important to adopt the right kinds of attitudes and behaviours to deliver an outstanding project safely, on time and on budget. The end result is one we are very proud of.” 

Michelle Hynd, Director of Corporate Infrastructure & Development for SSE, said: 

“We appreciate the professionalism Mace showed and its commitment to deliver the project to the highest possible standard. Our SHE team were on site at regular intervals during the construction phase and have commented on the excellence in site safety that was consistently demonstrated by MACE … I would like to congratulate them on this achievement.”

The project team consisted of Lambert Smith Hampton, HKS, WPP, Diverse and Long & Partners. 

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