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Thu December 07 2023

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Competitors collaborate to speed up military housing

27 Jun 19 Competing manufacturers of timber frames for houses have been persuaded to work together in collaboration to speed up delivery of military accommodation.

The Larkhill site on Salisbury Plain
The Larkhill site on Salisbury Plain

Morgan Sindall subsidiary Lovell is the main contractor for a Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) scheme to build 917 homes on Salisbury Plain for forces personnel returning from bases in Germany.  Three separate sites are being built out – Ludgershall, Bulford and Larkhill – on land that had been used for military training exercises since late Victorian times.

Lovell is sourcing timber frames from Stewart Milne Timber Systems, whose factory is in Oxfordshire, and Hereford-based Taylor Lane Timber Frame.

Each timber frame supplier initially worked on separate sites, with Stewart Milne at Ludgershall and Taylor Lane at Bulford.  But for the remaining 450 homes on the Larkhill residential scheme they have agreed to collaborate in what they are describing as ‘a unique partnership’.

They are working across a site of almost 30 hectares, with 225 plots each, delivering around 16 units per week.

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Stewart Milne Timber Systems managing director Alex Goodfellow said: “Larkhill on Salisbury Plain is an exemplar project highlighting what can be achieved through collaboration within the industry. It is rare for two competing firms to work together on such a project, but through sound communication and clear direction by Lovell from the outset, we are working well together to deliver on Lovell’s largest ever pure contracting scheme.”

He said: “In response to the required speed of delivery, Lovell identified the need to adopt modern methods of construction, specifically timber frame. The speed of build is phenomenal compared to construction via more traditional masonry methods, allowing for completion by May 2020.

“Both firms are collaborating, sharing best practice and value engineering across all levels of the operations to make the process efficient and the end product as high quality as it can be. It is a fantastic project to be part of and working with both Lovell and Taylor Lane highlights the success that can be achieved through collaboration.”

Taylor Lane Timber Frame managing director Barrie Lane added: “The success of this project to date is directly attributable to the professionalism, focus and dedication of the project teams. Everyone played equal parts in making this job work. The relationship with the client is key and their understanding of our requirements and collaborative attitude helped make this joint development an outstanding success.”

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