Inspired by Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, The Defence National Rehabilitation Centre was a huge undertaking to produce a large scale medical facility to deal with injuries to British service men and women sustained in combat. Designed by John Simpson Architects (JSA), it is the largest collection of classical style buildings constructed as a single project since the era of Lutyens.
As masonry is the core architectural feature of the scheme Interserve chose to work exclusively with Lee Marley at tender stage. Having worked with JSA, at Eton College and Lady Margaret Hall, Lee Marley was in a position to offer extensive advice to Interserve’s team to ensure that they were able to demonstrate that the quality required and design intent of the Architect could be delivered. This collaboration was an integral to the award of the project to Interserve.
The exclusive nature of the collaboration meant that Interserve was able to reduce the design risk with plans significantly more developed than would otherwise have been the case. Lee Marley was also able to bring its supply chain to the process to overcome key issues. One good example of this was the procurement of brick and stone corbelling. In order to meet the construction schedule Interserve needed the rooves to be installed before the completion of the shell of the building. This however presented problems with the installation of corbelling which was a key feature of the design throughout the project. Lee Marley’s in house team worked closely with design engineers at IG Masonry Support to produce off-site manufactured light weight corbelled units that could be installed after the rooves were installed and prior to completion of the brick façade. Lee Marley also worked extensively with Shire Cast Stone to facilitate Interserve’s procurement and installation schedule. During construction over 1.4 million bricks were laid traditionally, 1,200 IG Masonry Support items and 4000 natural and pre-cast stone units were installed onsite by skilled LMB operatives.
In addition to our procurement and design skills there was an extensive requirement for highly skilled labour on the project. An extensive project management team was selected by LMB to ensure sufficient labour was sourced, logistics were communicated and build details were completed to the highest standard. The team focussed on securing the right labour for the project and at its height Lee Marley had 167 operatives onsite, including bricklayers, stone masons and steel fixers, of which 95% were sourced locally.
The DNRC’s mission to improve care for those injured in combat and its recognition that quality facilities and an inspiring environment are key to that goal was a long term motivator to all those involved:
“As Project Manager for Lee Marley Brickwork this has to be one of the most rewarding and unique projects I have ever worked on. Architecturally beautiful and set in amazing countryside, with a final use to be proud of. Interesting challenges were faced throughout, with various materials and components which came in all shapes and sizes and installed throughout the project. Looking back the rewards are there for all to see, and I’m proud to be associated with this whole project”
Lead Project Manager – Lee Marley