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Brighton, Hove & Sussex College

We redecorated the existing ceramic wall tiling and replaced the carpet floor coverings to all required areas with barrier matting and redecorated two staircases. Contemporary frameless glazed doors between reception and principal ground floor corridor were added and feature acoustic ceiling panels and the replacement of light fittings to existing locations. 

Our reputation was supported by the professional team and the client was happy to negotiate the project on the back of a previous project having found a small sum of money to tidy up the reception area and corridors of a rather old building that was still in full use. 

Trust was there from the word go. The only concern the client had was that it was a different style of project than what Amiri were known for and they thought it might be too small to interest us and our new Interiors brand – we built their confidence by demonstrating our ability in early engagement. 

Value £182k
Location Hove, East Sussex

We worked with the supply chain on an open-book basis regarding specification changes and cost of materials so that the client saw the total value they were getting. We engaged the same electrical subcontractor that had worked with us on the previous project for the client through competitive tender - they knew the site which was good as we had no time for a learning curve and this established trust. 

There were a lot of informal conversations with the facilities team to keep things on track. The main entrance that was having a major refurb backed onto the staff room – that was also being redecorated - and whilst we were told the building would be unoccupied in the summer holidays it was occupied quite regularly. We liaised with the staff and worked out other rooms for them to use.

Design is always a tricky area with a limited budget but by the client engaging with us early we were able to bring our know-how and knowledge to the development of the design and propose alternative solutions that created the same aesthetic they were trying to achieve but at a greatly reduced cost. 

For example, they originally wanted to completely replace the staircase handrail for a contemporary stainless steel one which would be very expensive as a bespoke mould would have to be created then a lot of handwork to achieve the finished product as well as challenges installing a single piece of that size. The lead time was also more than the 6 weeks summer break that we had to complete the whole job in! We came up with options to reuse the original handrail and spray paint it on site. Not only did this save time but we reduced the cost of this single item by nearly £30,000.

We used the existing conduit runs for the M&E rewiring, this was more sympathetic to the building and ensured minimal disruption. We wanted to retain as many of the old features including the vaulted ceilings, tiles in the foyer and the rewiring into old light switches so they could be used. 

We put acoustic panels in the corridors because of the vaulted ceilings and integrated the light fittings into this. It was practical and looked good. 

The brick walls that lined the corridors were old and brown and made the corridors quite dark and cold. They were going to be completely boarded up and plastered but we agreed that we would spray paint the old bricks white instead. This brightened up the corridors and also complimented the industrial feel to the building.  

We built flexibility into the scheduling of trades to accommodate end-user movements as we foresaw rescheduling requirements of college staff often wanting to use the facility to catch-up on work during breaks. 

On a Wednesday afternoon, near the end of the project, we happened to overhear a conversation about a wedding taking place on the campus that Saturday (second to last weekend of the project). We were doing work on the main reception and corridor at the time and people were talking about having wedding photos taken there! To make sure the happy couple didn’t have a building site as a backdrop to their wedding photos the site team completely striped all the site back so it looked as if we were not there for the Saturday and then by Monday morning we had put the building site back together again.

By listening to what was important and offering options we built an understanding of what would delight them - we completed the project a week early which meant they had more time before the students returned to settle in, but we didn’t compromise on materials that were important to them like the designer ‘Halo’ lighting and we didn’t compromise on quality – we have not had one defect in the twelve-month defect period.