Having already completed two earlier phases of development of OneSubsea’s Leeds office, which was originally a manufacturing site employing over 900 blue and white collar staff, this final phase of refurbishment included the design and construction of the left hand wing of the building.
The original brief was to transform a workplace rooted in the traditions of the industrial past into an efficient and engaging 21st century environment supportive of its occupants and conducive to productivity. This phase required Area to rollout similar work settings to the previous phases, as well as execute a design solution which would provide synergy with the other parts of the building while providing a point of difference through an alternative colour palette.
The resulting scheme uses the building much more effectively. Excessive space has essentially been mothballed, with the working areas rationalised to bring people and teams closer together. Old-style offices and personal ownership of space have given way to a task-based, multifunctional layout which promotes communication and collaboration. Presenteeism has been replaced by two new watchwords: visibility and accessibility.
The main challenge was having to deliver this project during the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the project was delivered through lockdown with minimal disruption to the overall programme, but most importantly delivered while ensuring everyone on site remained safe and well, additional strict health and safety measures were put in place.
Electronic inductions were undertaken prior to arriving at site, temperature testing was undertaken by the site supervisor upon arrival, designated one-way systems were clearly signposted, wearing of masks was compulsory when working closer than 2m, hand sanitiser was made available and regular use was encouraged, and additional cleaning of WC, welfare areas and site offices was carried out.
“Health and safety are of paramount importance to Area; being awarded Gold status by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for the third consecutive year is testament to that. In response to the ongoing pandemic, we at Area have been working tirelessly to review and revise our site procedures to ensure our clients, employees and contractors are protected to the highest standards possible. We’re pleased that our client at OneSubsea was complimentary about our health and safety approach and processes during the construction phase and commented on how safe everyone on site felt.” Construction Director, Area