Improving the image of Coventry City centre with the guidance of the Scheme – Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group which finances, develops, builds and maintains innovative and efficient infrastructures that underpin daily life, support communities and enable economic growth.

Situated at the heart of Coventry City centre, Balfour Beatty’s Gosford Street Public Realm project on behalf of client, Coventry City Council, scooped a CCS National Site Award in 2016.

With its site offices located in Gosford Street car park, adjacent to the Coventry University campus, the Balfour Beatty project team improved the Broadgate and Gosford Street pedestrian link by delivering high quality landscaping, paving and lighting. This created an enhanced modern campus which now gives the Coventry University buildings access to Whitefriars Monastery.

These works complement the existing design works at Gosford Gate that Balfour Beatty previously carried out in 2012. With a duration of 45 weeks, the £4.2m Gosford Street Public Realm development completed in November 2015.

Here are some examples of best practice initiatives carried out by Balfour Beatty on this site to comply with the Considerate Constructors Scheme:

  • The elevated city ringroad runs above a section of disused car park which was being used as the site compound, housing the temporary facilities. This structure provided a sheltered parking area for the site-related vehicles and plant, as well as a dry area for tidy material storage.
  • The workforce projected a positive impression, with clean PPE and branding for firms working on site.
  • The whole site was swept as required and the compound fencing and access gates were checked and litter picked. Daily arrangements for site waste collection were in place.
  • To inform the public about this high profile development, Balfour Beatty held a three-day public exhibition in a vacant city centre shop over three days, presenting the project to over 200 members of the public. This proved a highly effective way of communicating with those directly affected, as well as the wider general public. It also helped to build awareness of the project and the profile of the company, improving relations with the local community.
  • Throughout the project, dedicated public liaison officer Lorraine Kelly played a key role in liaising with all parties to keep them informed of activities which could potentially impact upon the public, or those close to the area of work. Lorraine’s friendly and approachable manner presented a positive and approachable image for the project.
  • Lorraine engaged with local schools and in various charity events in Coventry, including a Careers Apprenticeship exhibition which highlighted construction industry opportunities to students aged between 16 and 19. It provided useful information to help them understand the construction industry and discover ways in which they can become more employable. This proved very encouraging and resulted in positive feedback from students and tutors.
  • In consideration of the community, the Gosford Street team welcomed around 175 secondary school pupils to the site for a tour and explanation of the work taking place. This was organised with the aim of presenting young people with a positive image of the construction industry and to consider construction as their career.
  • Balfour Charity gives monthly assistance to deserving causes, and the site team held a children’s Fun Day, giving toys as presents.
  • The site had a comprehensive landscaping plan in place; evacuated spoil and construction waste was removed to a licensed transfer station and 98% of all site waste was diverted from landfill.
  • The site manager was aware of local sensitivities and noise from site activities was monitored. A super silent generator was in place and diesel usage was monitored.
  • Site-specific environmental issues included respecting and enhancing the natural environment and a landscaping scheme was in place.
  • Toolbox talks regarding harassment, racism, ageism and ensuring a positive attitude towards physical disability were also given.
  • Subcontractors undertook a commitment to offer training and apprenticeships wherever possible.

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