Kings Norton Recycling Centre

For many of us, taking a shower after a long day of work is one of life’s little pleasures. For workers at the Kings Norton Recycling Centre on Lifford Lane, it’s nothing short of a necessity. This is why, when Balfour Beatty was undertaking a range of redevelopment works on the site, staff welfare facilities were given a priority.

“Both the council and the worker’s union were keen to get new welfare provision on site as soon as possible,” commented Andrew Fage, Project Manager for Balfour Beatty. This was understandable; the existing facilities were in a building constructed in the 1960’s which was struggling to accommodate the increased number of staff on site.

Speed would be of the essence then, but Balfour Beatty was also keen to provide a solution that did not impact the running of the centre. This meant contending with a tight site, as well as continuous operation throughout the day. Needing a method of construction that minimised disruption and could deliver buildings quickly, Balfour Beatty began investigating a modular solution.

Andrew told us. “Wernick gave us a comprehensive quote including not only the end product but also in communicating how the modular process would fit into what we were doing on site.”

So as not to impact the operations on the site, the 28 bays of the building were installed over three nights, with the added challenge of needing to be craned over power lines.

The ground floor features a reception area, lockers, toilets and shower facilities for both male and female staff. Hard wearing and easy to maintain, fully coved vinyl flooring was used throughout the building to ensure it will survive the use of the numerous operatives on site.

The first floor, accessed by one of two internal staircases or a platform lift, is dominated by a large open plan canteen on one side of the building, and an open plan office on the other. Glazed partitioning was used on the separate, smaller offices and meeting room to improve access to natural light. Combined with the high spec fixtures and fittings and the exposed services on the ceiling, the finish is comparable to any modern city centre work space. Open kitchen areas and male, female and disables toilets round off this huge improvement to staff welfare on site.

“Everyone is pleased with the new facilities,” Andrew told us. “Feedback from the users and the depot manager has been good.”

The use of modular buildings on the project can be seen as a step towards Balfour Beatty’s 25% by 2025 strategy. Balfour Beatty has committed to reducing activity on site by 25% by the year 2025, with the aim of reducing costs and emissions, as well as improving overall efficiency.