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Aldingbourne Trust

The project was very much about making sure the project was value for money but with everything being non-standard on this project this was a challenge we were happy to take on.

Value £4.5m
Completed May
Location Chichester
West Sussex

A 3-storey conference facility that was funded by their own tireless fundraising efforts, matched by the Local Enterprise Partnership, and includes; a conference centre for 100 people comprising a new entrance, reception, shop, WCs and changing facilities, a new café for visitors and staff offices. The centre is dedicated to helping local businesses, communities and people with learning disabilities and / or autism to enjoy life, together.

This project was won in competitive tender, but we knew the professional team well having worked with them on previous schemes and this helped build confidence that we could deliver the extensive value engineering (VE) required whilst not compromising the client’s vision.

The project was £1 million over budget at tender stage and it soon became clear that the Amiri pre-construction team had undertaken a lot of research and were commercially minded enough to tackle the required VE exercise so were selected as the preferred contractor for the project.

We provided the client with a very long list of VE options. Some options they were not prepared to compromise on – having lived this scheme for over 10 years from idea to extensive fundraising, end-user engagement and design – this needed to be appreciated.

Therewasabout £400,000 savings that we were able to implement on agreement with the client. Fundraising continued into the build so that the client could deliver on their vision – the Amiri team even took part in the charities Dragon Boat race to raise money – and won.

This meant the management of changes and variations throughout the life of the construction project. Sue and Peter (client) were always looking to raise money so they needed to raise the profile of the build. This meant that we had a lot of visitors to site. A lot of them were either the end users or potential donors who wanted to see how they could help. This was often arranged at short notice. The site had a clear plan for this engagement – particularly large groups of end-users.

To help manage the risk of cost escalation we agreed with the client that they would take on some of the subcontractor packages themselves. This meant that they benefitted from our overview, but saved on our overhead costs. At each stage we agreed what would be best to move the project forward without expending unnecessary money.

The build was complex so to assist in the VE required we treated the project as a Design & Build even though it wasn’t. The professional team and client needed guidance as there were so many provisional sums applied on aspects that could not be quantified at pre-construction stage that management of expectation and understanding of what that meant to the build moving forward was important.

As part of our client engagement we used the Community Wood Recycling facility which is based at the centre, we have since used this on other projects like Project Linseed.


The project was very much about making sure the project was value for money. We identified a lot of material muck-away that needed moved from site. Instead of removing it to another site we retained it on site through forming bunds in areas on the client’s land and adding it to the landscape. This saved money as well as reducing truck movements.

Environmental considerations included rainwater harvesting, photovoltaics, solar panels and air source heat system and now the facility uses brown water for the toilets.

Everything was non-standard on this project and this in itself was a challenge. An example of this being the three external bridges. The bridges were pre-fabricated off-site with each being one long unit, about 3 metres wide and 12 metres long. We needed to set-up a crane somewhere on site but it would not fit due to the logistics and size of the bridges so we had to bring in a bigger crane that would operate from the road and lift the bridges over the building and into place.

The whole building was clad like a standard industrial unit with normal composite and then we put a façade of some 40,000 painted shingle tiles over it, this saved both time and money but achieved the aesthetic effect the client was looking for.

Responsiveness of logistics was a key consideration for this scheme built on a very tight site reached via a narrow dead-end road, and fronting onto one of the South Coast arterial roads, the A27. The entire site was surrounded by Heras open mesh type fencing, which gives high visibility to the works, particularly at the rear which was overlooked by the client offices and had a time-lapse camera.

We implemented a site-specific traffic plan and special measures for large vehicle movements for consideration of rush hour congestion and co-ordination of delivery times to ease site impact on the road usage. Mobile barriers and additional marshals were appointed when loading across the public footpath or during temporary road closures as the Centre had a high number of visitors during the working day.

In recognition of our successful collaboration the client offered Amiri corporate membership of The Friends of the Aldingbourne Trust, which was gratefully accepted.

"Your ability to respond to our timescales and operate on a working site, whilst also meeting important stakeholders who helped fund the building really helped us to a achieve our targets. The Amiri team were flexible and professional and should be proud of the quality of the Quarry Building. We really feel Amiri were looking out for us and were as committed to the project as we have been". Sue Livett, Managing Director, Aldingbourne Trust.

We really feel Amiri were looking out for us and were as committed to the project as we have been
Sue Livett. Managing Director, Aldingbourne Trust