GOLD MEDALLIST IN 2021 Public & Leisure

Shaun Burrows MCIOB
Willmott Dixon
All Finalists2021 Winners

Willmott Dixon

Delamere Forest Visitors Centre, Northwich, Cheshire

Shaun Burrows led a sustainability-conscious and client-focused project to build a visitor welcome hub in all that remains of an 11th-century hunting forest. He planned all site activities carefully and delivered regular on-site watching briefs. He incorporated all site spoil into the wider landscape, and changed from a traditional slab to a raft foundation to downsize the substructure works. And when client-side difficulties emerged with the kitchen and water installations, he made it his business to help solve them.

About the Project

Construction of welcome hub, completed in 75 weeks.

Client: Forestry England

Contract: NEC, option A

Value: £9.6m

On this huge, 100,000sqm site, Shaun Burrows did extensive research into the landscape and ground conditions to minimise the project’s environmental impact. With protected badgers, bats, birds and newts in the area, he planned all site-related activities carefully and delivered regular on-site watching briefs and collaborative toolbox talks.

To deal with the flooding potential created by poor ground conditions, Shaun installed a rainwater harvesting tank to collect surface water run-off from the building’s roof and surrounding landscape and reuse it for toilet flushing. He value-engineered the cut and fill to incorporate all site spoil into the larger landscaping, and changed from a traditional slab to a raft foundation that downsized the substructure works along with the overall foundation depth.

Shaun changed the original tarmac specification to a more durable, hardwearing product for heavily trafficked areas. By working closely with the subcontractor, he kept this quality uplift cost-neutral for the project.

Although the new kitchen was designed, manufactured and installed by others, he did not simply sit back and watch the client’s subcontractor struggle after noticing that key elements – ventilation duct layouts, weight loading details to the timber structure and clashes with previously installed M&E containment – had been overlooked. He highlighted the issues with the client and stepped in to assist with the design and programming.

And when at the very late stages of procuring the installation of a new water main and hydrant, the water utility announced it couldn’t guarantee the pressure required for fire-fighting, Shaun researched numerous companies in search of a solution. He found a temporary static water tank with the capacity to meet building regulations and prevent handover delay until he eventually secured a permanent system from a specialist supplier.