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HS2 Align Chiltern Tunnels

Project name: HS2 Align

Sector: Construction

Location: Rickmansworth, London

Client name: Align (a joint venture formed of three international infrastructure companies: Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick)

Supplied by: Wernick Buildings on behalf of Wernick Hire

Accommodation type: 3 PMflex® modular buildings

Size: 213 modules in total

Features: Glass partitioned offices, open plan offices, exposed ceilings, breakout/coffee areas, air-con ventilation, canteen, toilets, changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms, lift, viewing deck.

Requirement

HS2’s Main Works Civils Contractor Align is establishing its main construction site near to the M25 from which it will launch two tunnel boring machines to the north and construct the component parts for a 3.4km viaduct to the south.

On that site, the client required temporary accommodation for their staff for five years. Structures for the provision of office space and welfare, therefore, needed to be of a high standard; offering durability and dependability.

They specified a range of amenities to ensure the well-being of up to 300 office staff and 550 site operatives: including air-con ventilation, open-plan offices, light and spacious meeting rooms, locker rooms and individual showers.

In addition to the comfort of staff, providing a welcoming environment and a professional appearance for visitors were important considerations for the client.

Solution

Align procured three buildings – one for inductions (16 modules), one for the canteen and viewing deck (41 modules) and one for general welfare and offices (156 modules). Each one was purpose-built at the Wernick Buildings factory in Port Talbot, Wales.

Delivery of the modules commenced in February, with the installation team working around two storms and later, a temporary closure of the site due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to social distancing, the client requested an extra floor for both the main building and the canteen – the modules for which were manufactured during the summer months and delivered before the end of September.

The Align Office Manager defined the look for the interiors – each of the companies in the joint venture is represented in the colour scheme.

Double-height windows, exposed ceilings and spacious break-out areas give the buildings a slick, modern feel. Visitors are greeted in the welcoming reception area and members of the local community can interact with the project in the dedicated exhibition space.

Nicolas Gay, Senior Civil Works Engineer at Align commented: “Everyone is very pleased with the accommodation which is of a much higher specification than you’d usually find on smaller construction sites. We have a great relationship with Wernick – and this allowed us to perform well together including through the difficulties relating to the Covid crisis”

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