Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Early Works

Playfords were appointed as the M&E contractor to carry out the element of the main project known as the “Early Works”. This element of the project involved converting the existing Trust Supper Rooms into primarily a new female toilet facility, temporary male toilets and new learning and participation digital rooms.

The first elements of the works were to carry out M&E service validations and check against existing as built information and original design & commissioning data. Also identification of services passing through the area, requiring diversion during the construction period to allow the remainder of the Opera House to function without interruption.

Temporary LTHW, CHW, supply & extract ventilation and domestic water services were installed through the construction area in carefully coordinated locations that did not affect the construction programme. All systems were subject to strict BSRIA flushing, treating and testing regimes prior to opening up onto the house system. Fire detection and voice alarm loops were modified and diverted and a temporary wireless system was installed and maintained within the construction area. This system was connected into the main house fire alarm system. Following identification and diversion activities, isolations were carried out, dead services highlighted on site and on drawings to allow the safe removal of redundant services by the demolition contractor.

Playfords provided the full M&E package including PA systems, CCTV & access control, small power, fire alarm, lighting, emergency lighting and lighting control systems, data, sub mains, bus-bar alterations, drainage, domestic hot and cold water, LTHW, CHW, supply & extract air, air conditioning, sprinkler systems, leak detection, water sampling and treatment.

This was a challenging project due to the number of existing services that had to be reinstated and new services to be installed, all of which had to happen in an area which was architecturally extremely sensitive. The only way this was going to be achievable was to carry out detailed 3D modelling of the existing architecture, new structural alteration, joinery and all existing and new services.

Playfords had to take all of the available design information and demonstrate on drawings and on a 3D Revit model that everything could be coordinated and installed without clashes. To give an idea of complexity we had 7no primary trunking routes side by side, drainage, LTHW & CHW, supply and extract air, domestic water services, life safety systems, existing services passing through, steel vanity pedestals, partitions, fire breaks, all installed within a 500mm false floor void with a 600mm square pedestal fixing system. Having demonstrated that our model worked, we had to install all systems and test in the first phase to allow for the stone floor to be laid on top of the false floor system.

Attention to every detail was critical as there was very limited access to rectify any issues once the flooring was complete. It was a success!

Being a CM project, close coordination with all parties was key to a successful project. This was a reasonably new approach for our project management but the idea was grasped at a very early stage. Given that there was no main contractor it was down to ourselves to liaise directly with the CM team, client, FM team, architect, M&E consultant, lighting consultant, builder and joinery / fit-out contractor, collate and share all information, develop and maintain the project programme etc.

Our successful delivery of this project has played an instrumental part in us being awarded the main phase of the project which is currently in progress. Repeat business is our key target when delivering every project.

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