UCML goes underground to help slice £88,500 from cost of new care home in Sale

UCML staff at Sale care home site

Contractors building a new care home in Greater Manchester have saved more than £88,500 on the total cost thanks to Utilities Connections Management Ltd (UCML).

The need to divert underground gas and power mains were also eliminated after UCML stepped in to support construction company Hargreaves Contracting.

Bolton-based Hargreaves is building the 10-bedroom residential home for the Caritas Care organization and asked UCML tohandle services connections to the site in Northenden Road, Sale.

Hargreaves Contracting managing director Michael Moorhouse warmly praised the UCML team for their efforts in saving £88,500 in potential costs at the Sale site, which is due to be handed over to Caritas in autumn 2017.

He said: "We previously worked with UCML on a 25-unit housing development in Lancashire and were very satisfied with what they did for us there, getting the best possible deal on the procurement of services to the site.

"They’re very efficient and know exactly what they’re doing. Dealing with the various statutory undertakers can be a nightmare but UCML know the process like the back of their hand.

"It’s also very useful that they provide a single point of contact with the service providers, which takes away all the stress for us.

"I can’t speak highly enough of them. They provide a highly professional and competitive service, and I would have no hesitation in using them again."

Utility service disconnections had already taken place when UCML was called into Northenden Road, explained UCML project manager Andy Stephens.

He said:"First of all, we arranged for a temporary water supply to the site, for use by the builders during the work.

"Then we sought quotations from utilities providers for new connections and that’s when we discovered National Grid wanted to divert the gas main, where it passed beneath the new site entrance.

"National Grid engineers thought that the main was lying too close to the surface, so Hargreaves Contracting faced a bill of £88,000 for lowering the pipework.

UCML staff at completed care home in Sale

"However, once we had meetings with National Grid on site, we worked out that the gas main didn’t actually need lowering.

"We’d pointed out that traffic using the four-metre-wide entrance would be limited, as it is a small care home and not a housing estate. National Grid accepted this and agreed that the main could stay at the same depth, which is about 600mm."

Andy added: "We were also making savings of £5,500 for Hargreaves Contracting, when it came to the electricity supply to the site.

"Electricity North West - which owns, operates and maintains the electricity distribution network and provides electricity connection services in the area - also insisted that the existing power cable was not at the required depth.

"However, during negotiations with the company we again pointed out that a diversion wouldn’t be necessary as the amount of traffic passing over the site entrance would not be the same as that for a housing estate. In fact, we told them that the heaviest thing using it would be a bin wagon once a week.

"We also suggested fitting warning tiles above the existing cable, so that anyone excavating it in the future would be able to tell that it was there.

"Altogether we made some substantial savings on behalf of the client - if we hadn’t been able to help, they would have faced paying the extra amounts required to make the requested diversions.

"Diverting the gas and electricity supplies would also have meant extra time spent on the construction of the care home, and possibly affected the hand-over date."