Conversion and Extension of existing 1980’s Office block into 148 student bedrooms.

Project overview

Torsion were recruited by Cross Lane as the lead contractor on the refurbishment of St James’s House Newcastle, converting a 3-storey office block into single studio student accommodation.

Completion to time and budget
The 120-bed, £4.4m project was originally due to start on 5th October ‘15 with a target completion date end of August ’16. Due to site purchasing delays, construction commenced January ’16 significantly restricting Torsion’s project duration to achieve a 9th September student intake deadline.

Additionally, during construction phase, Cross Lane asked Torsion to identify opportunities to value engineer the existing building. Torsion rose to the challenge, delivering an additional 27 bedrooms, 30 mezzanine studios and communal area increasing the total GDV. The project was completed on time by 5th September, hitting the agreed final account value of £6.75m.

Project excellence/ client satisfaction
Torsion’s expertise, technical knowledge and close working relationship with the client delivered 50% additional construction value within 30% less construction time.

“Torsion Group provided excellent service from concept to completion” said David Worsley, Abacus associate who managed the project for Cross Lane “their flexible approach and staff willingness to succeed meant the project was delivered to a high standard, on time. It had many twists and obstacles such as the discovery of open space underground which ended up accommodating additional bedrooms, a cinema room, gym and HUB (all delivered for PC). An awarding project for all involved.”

Innovation and sustainability
Energy consumption of the existing building was dramatically reduced; window u-values improved by replacement and insulation thickness provided greater thermal efficiencies. An overall air tightness test of 6.2 was a significantly low score for a renovated structure and demonstrated high-quality craftsmanship.

Supply chain best practice
Integration and collaboration of Torsion and the supply chain enabled them to deliver more in less time. Regular stakeholder meetings and communication were fundamental in delivering added value within a shorter timeframe. 85% of site labour was locally sourced, with several becoming direct Torsion employees.

Health and Safety
An external agency validated H&S regulations, which were 100% adhered to. No reported accidents despite the city centre location and site restraints reflected commitment to best practice.

Every project we deliver is an opportunity for us to bring our unique thinking to solve problems, innovate and collaborate with our clients and beyond.