Here at Quicksilver, we’re very proud of every project we undertake for our customers.
Our case studies and positive feedback are testimony to the hard work and planning we place on every job, large or small.
Newcastle High School for Girls
The new Jesmond school was formed in 2014 when two neighbouring schools – Central Newcastle High and Church High Schools – merged to create Newcastle High School for Girls with an impressive £11m new campus.
We worked with the new school from the beginning of the project to relocate furniture, equipment and a vast number of files to temporary accommodation while the building work commenced.
Prior to beginning the project, we completed a number of site visits to establish the scale and requirements of the project with the client. This formed the foundation of our detailed move plan that included numerous challenges and indicated timeframes of work being carried out by other contractors so we could fit around various schedules. The move plan allowed us to cost up the resources required against the rate card submitted during the bid. Final client approval was gained before work commenced.
The project was won by mini completion with three organisations requested to prepare detailed move plans and outline costs. Even though we have vast experience in large scale moves, the plan was rather difficult to accommodate all the requirements however our skilled team were able to overcome the challenges with their tenacious approach.
Once the new campus was finished in September 2016, a rebidding process ensued to win the work for the return leg of the project, which we were successfully awarded.
Communication is vital for us to maintain dialogue with the client throughout large projects and this was no different. As the complexity of the project required a rather hands-on approach, we held a number of preparation meetings before commencing work to develop the move plan in more detail. Proposals were made to the client to fine tune our schedules to meet their requirements in advance of the project start date which were received with gratitude as we identified a handful of areas that required additional resource than initially planned. This saved the client time and money; if we didn’t amend our plan it could have proved costly, mid-project.
Team sizes and appropriate vehicles were pre-planned during the initial site visits so resources were assigned to specific parts of the project to increase efficiency. Our detailed schedule outlined exactly which teams were allocated each part of the project and by working in an agile manner, we were able to be as effective as possible with our resources.
To co-ordinate the collection and delivery points, we allocated a team leader at each point to oversee the work and keep to a tight timeframe. It was essential we knew when specialist equipment was needed on site as timescales were so tight we couldn’t afford to lose time waiting for vehicles or equipment to come available from other jobs.
A bespoke risk assessment was completed by our in-house Health and Safety Manager to maintain compliance at every stage of the project including PPE requirements and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our staff on site.
Health and safety is a priority for us and we conduct a health and safety induction with each contractor prior to our teams accessing the site. While on site we maintain PPE standards which includes the team wearing hard hats, protective gloves, full length trousers and safety boots, as standard.
The heavy task of using a three-day Bank Holiday weekend to distribute school equipment was tight but manageable.
- 2000 pre-packed crates were allocated locations and unpacked
- A 500kg kiln was relocated to its new home
- Laboratory chemicals which were specially wrapped, pre-move, were unpacked and distributed to their new work spaces with the help of school technicians
- We packed and wrapped two full library’s with books in sequence which resulted in an extra 500 crates
- Six pianos were safely rehomed
As a result of us packing the items, we knew exactly what furniture and equipment had to be moved into the new building so the plan was structured and gave us time to understand the logistics of the project.
As we only had a limited time to move the items, it was decided to complete a series of pre-moves at the collection point to bring all the items to the ground floor. This was due to the building being over four floors with no lift.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, we loaded from the ground level to minimise the number of men required on site due to the large number of contractors we had to work around. We didn’t want to disrupt other workmen and our plan successfully helped all parties meet their timescales over that weekend.
The plan consisted of numerous 15 minute delivery slots to unload the vehicles at the new site to ensure we did not hinder the construction company who were racing against time to complete the build.
A number of issues were managed by project manager Jo Ball and resolved onsite. This included the moving of safes that were full of IT equipment such as laptops and PC’s. The client couldn’t find the key so we quickly realised we couldn’t empty the safes to take down several flights of stairs to the ground floor, therefore our skilled team of six men used a stair lift balanced with lifting straps. All the safes- and the contents- remained undamaged during the move and we didn’t lose time by waiting for the key to be located.
We successfully delivered our move and relocate plan within budget and 1.5 days ahead of schedule. This was all down to the meticulous planning and organisation of the project by Jo Ball and Mark Robertson – who both had visibility on site with constant dialogue with the client.
We’re delighted with the outcome of both projects and the client was very happy with the professionalism of our team as well as the project management from start to finish.
Sunderland College New City Campus
The new £29 million flagship City Campus has now been completed in the heart of Sunderland accommodating up to 2000 students and more than 120 staff.
Spanning 12,500 square metres the new campus features state of the art manufacturing, engineering, barbering and bakery facilities alongside the more traditional services in the college.
Prior to the project commencing, we completed several onsite visits with the client to establish a better understanding of the challenges and resources required to complete the project. We developed a detailed move plan with extensive dialogue with the client to include them in the process as much as possible as we knew this was going to be a very complex project.
Preparation visits and meetings were in place for final changes to be made to the plan just before work started, this helped us immensely as some timescales had changed with the main contractor. This allowed for the plan to be flexible, working alongside the client and accommodating any changes as necessary.
We won the contract of the relocation and resale of equipment from the Hylton Campus to the new City Campus which was part of a tender exercise. We were contacted in the first instance as we are members of the CPC Framework.
They were seeking an organisation with a strong customer focus, delivery of excellent service and quality as well as value for money and an ethos of getting things right first time. We’re proud of our service and it was fantastic to be recognised for it through winning this contract.
Using the move plan as a basis for allocating teams, we were able to distribute teams and materials to specific parts of the project depending on their individual skills. This resulted in tasks being completed earlier than expected through their expertise in certain areas.
This project required 20 days of project management built into the contract which enabled Jo Ball to be visible on site to liaise with various contractors and ensure teams were complying with the agreed timescales and tasks. During these 20 days, Jo had a great impact on driving the team forward through some onsite challenges and successfully completing tasks within the timescales agreed.
There was a lot of downtime on the project due to being unable to access the site for other contractors behind on their timescales which greatly impacted our schedule. Our teams were waiting to deliver items but losing time to make way for other vehicles and contractors to vacate the area. Our teams successfully made up lost time through working efficiently and being highly skilled at their job. We’re proud we can rely on our team to deliver results through challenging times.
Up until the last day of our moving schedule, groundwork and landscaping was still to be completed however we were thankful that we were ahead of schedule due to the build falling behind meaning we couldn’t get access because of a variety of issues. As we factored in such challenges, it meant we didn’t fall behind and we completed ahead of schedule and on budget with no damages.
- We moved heavy machinery and equipment to the new teaching facilities for manufacturing, engineering and the new bakery.
- We relocated 3500 packed crates
- We packed, wrapped and moved 521 sets of IT
- Moved 7 motor vehicles and a Fork Lift Truck
- Moved 45 pallets of bricks and stone
- We moved commercial sized bakery ovens
- 10 Engines
- 15 Joinery machines
- 300 desks and chairs were moved
- 350 sets of student lockers were moved
- 60,000 Cubic ft of additional furniture and equipment
…and the list could continue
With a lot of heavy lifting involved, our in-house Health and Safety Manager ensured all teams were fully briefed on the usage of equipment prior to arriving on site to maintain a safe working environment for everyone. A bespoke risk assessment was completed to comply with all relevant regulations and as we had a close working relationship with the client, this meant that any issues could be resolved quickly and easily.
Our standard safety measures also met the PPE requirements of the contractor to include hard hats, hi-vis jackets, long trousers and safety boots. Our teams are well versed in working onsite and understand the regulations involved and are fully compliant knowing the risks involved in working on an live building site.
The move was planned over a 28 day period with close liaisons with the main construction contractor. Due to the nature of the build, we could only access certain areas of the college at specific times to work around wet paint, floor being laid and plastering.
Post move we arranged an auction on behalf of the college to sell off items of equipment which were still in working condition. They were able to offset the monies raised against the cost of the moves.
On completion of the auction our teams were required to return to the old college site and decant all remaining items and load for recycling. This was completed by a team of 4 men over 5 days, loading and stripping approximately 500 cu ft of furniture each per day.
Three trucks were on site at all times and we loaded one with wood, one with metal and one with general waste. All metal legs were removed and separated from wooden desk tops and fabric and plastic seating.
We offered a rebate on all metal which was weighed in as well, allowing the college to further recoup some of the project costs.
Hospital Move Success
Working closely with the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne at the beginning of 2016, we successfully moved staff, furniture, medical equipment and crates of documents to their new Clinical office block within a very short time frame, and within budget.
To give an idea of the scale of the project, here are a few statistics-
4500 crates of desk contents, administration files and equipment relocated
967 IT desks all packed, wrapped and moved
35,420 cubic feet of furniture relocated
40 microscopes and associated equipment all packed, wrapped and relocated
121.5 tonnes of redundant furniture recycled
8.5 tonnes of redundant furniture reused and re purposed
The RVI in Newcastle has been providing healthcare to communities in Newcastle and the North East for over 250 years and is amongst the safest in the country. With several of the RVI’s departments officially recognised as regional centres of expertise, they enjoy an international reputation for pioneering successful treatments.
The challenge the RVI faced was to successfully move from an older building to their new clinical office block with as little disruption to routine work as possible. Due to constraints of the time frames being so tight as well as a 24/7 operation in some departments, the RVI required an enormous amount of future planning and strategy consultation prior to anything being relocated.
Our specialist move teams have worked within the NHS for a number of years as well as our Commercial Manager having an abundance of experience planning and coordinating highly sensitive moves; this was by no means an easy project, however our knowledge and logical approach overcame a lot of anticipated issues.
From several site visits we created an intricate, realistic and structured move plan, and we worked with the internal departments at the RVI to manage the project to achieve their goal of relocating their departments within minimal disruption. Working through the night, sometimes 12 hours a day, our team tirelessly packed, moved and unwrapped thousands of crates, boxes and files to meet the deadlines.
Old or damaged furniture was brought back to Quicksilver HQ to strip down to component parts and recycled via wood and metal specialists. We’re far more than just a removal firm and the Trust were impressed with our wide range of services that complemented this project from start to finish.
Due to the hard work our committed team delivered to meet the deadline of the project, the RVI successfully moved departments with no disruption to day to day tasks and with no issues following the move. Every item of furniture, IT desk and boxes of personal possessions were transferred to their exact new locations and work could continue as normal following the move. Staff were overwhelmed with the efficiency of our team and the dedication to work longer hours just to get the project complete on time.
Our collaboration with the Trust on this project highlights the success of our services to the NHS through our flexibility, expertise and commitment to deliver the best service possible. We shall continue to work with various NHS trusts to ensure they receive the same level of service on every project.
Post project we were able to donate redundant NHS furniture to The National Trust to support them with the refurbishment of some of their offices. The Trust were delighted that they were able to upgrade their office furniture and gain added storage space for staff with the install of second hand tambour cupboards.