Belushi’s Bar and Christopher Inn Hostel

Client: Beds & Bars Limited

Location: Market Street, Edinburgh

Value: £2m

Project Outline: Beds & Bars is an award winning, leading operator of tourist accommodation and entertainment venues in Europe. With backpacker hostels, bars and traditional British pubs, in 10 cities and seven countries. With a desire to expand their presence in Edinburgh City Centre, Beds & Bars identified a former office building in Market Street for conversion.

This project comprises the conversion of an existing office building into a new modern hostel and public bar. The hostel comprises of 18 individual bedrooms, from private two-bed en suites to dorms shared by up to 12 people and will offer 140 affordable beds. The site is situated in the heart of Edinburgh City Centre and is surrounded by existing occupied commercial and domestic properties with a live taxi rank directly outside the building entrance. The rear elevation of the building is also directly above a live railway line within Edinburgh Waverley train station.

The works included: Strip out of the existing office building; Asbestos strip out and remedial works; Forming new structural openings; New staircases and mezzanine floors; New raised floors to the ground floor; Installation of a new ceilings throughout; New partitioning and doors; Secondary glazing and refurbishment of existing sash and case windows; New mechanical systems throughout; New sanitary installations including pods; New electrical and data systems throughout; New fire alarm and security systems throughout; Fitting out and finishing works throughout.

Services: Following a competitive tender process, at the invitation of the Project Architect, Leask Architects, Summers-Inman were appointed by the Client to provide full pre and post contract quantity surveying services. Our role pre-contract included the preparation of cost plans, creating the bill of quantities, drafting the formal contract documents, checking and evaluating returned tenders and preparing a tender report. We managed three extensive value engineering exercises that were carried out in partnership with the preferred main contractor to ultimately agree a contract sum that was within the Client’s budget.

Post contract services have included the assessment of interim valuation applications, preparation of regular financial statements to ensure that the Client is fully aware of the likely final account amount, attending regular progress meetings, attending commercial review meetings with the contractor and architect, negotiating and agreeing the cost of variations with the main contractor as the works proceed and negotiation and agreement of the final account.

How Summers-Inman managed the variation process as the project progressed:

During the pre-construction stage, Summers-Inman worked in partnership with the design team to provide cost advice on the initial proposed design. As the design developed, we regularly updated the cost plan, highlighting where variations had been made and advised on the overall impact this had on the construction budget.

Once the project commenced on site in May 2019, Summers-Inman closely monitored all variations to the contract. In order to closely monitor variations, any verbal instructions were immediately followed up with a written confirmation of the verbal instructions and issued it to all parties. All architect’s instructions were issued to us at the same time as they were issued to the Main Contractor to enable effective reporting.

To ensure the client was always kept up to date with overall project costs, we provided them with a regular monthly cost report. This report includes the cost of all instructed variations, anticipated variations, an update on the amount expended against each provisional sum.

Through the introduction of additional regular commercial review meetings with the contractor, actual cost of variations were agreed as early as possible. This has allowed us to report actual costs rather than estimated costs in our monthly cost reports, which has in-turn allowed us to provide the Client with an accurate anticipated final account figure.

How Summers-Inman managed risk and contingency during the Project:

Throughout this project we have managed and minimised risk to the Client by:

  • Advising on overall construction cost from the outset of the project and by regularly updating the cost plan as the design developed;
  • Taking a proactive approach by seeking to influence issues with cost implications;
  • Advising on alternative products that could generate savings;
  • Ensured tender documentation was accurate and comprehensive;
  • Monitor closely cost expenditure and provided regular cost reports.

As part of the value engineering process, the Client’s contingency was omitted from the project as the design team felt that the design was sufficiently developed. However, we advised the Client that they should have a separate contingency out-with the project which was managed directly by the Client.

Description of lessons learnt, and experience gained (stating relevance to this procurement):

  • Early engagement with the design team is essential to ensure costs are considered and addressed as part of the design process at as early a stage in the project as possible;
  • Regular cost meetings with the contractor post contract to review variations allowed us to accurately monitor costs;
  • A stringent change control procedure would have benefited all parties.
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