We are Considerate Constructors

December 15th, 2014 | 6 min read

Wave Bottom

One of the biggest challenges with any large-scale public attraction is reducing the impact of a busy construction site whilst it takes shape. The i360 is in the heart of the city, right on the seafront, and we could very easily impact on the local businesses and communities that surround us. That is why, from the very start of the project, we have been thinking of ways in which we can reduce this impact. We are absolutely thrilled that we can now call ourselves Considerate Constructors.

What is the Considerate Constructors Scheme?

i360 tower on seafront

The construction industry has a huge impact on all our lives. As the population grows and our wants and needs get bigger and more intricate, we rely heavily on the construction industry to facilitate our plans. Huge amounts of skill and complex machinery are essential to deliver some of the buildings we need, and the industry itself requires a high level of professionalism. Despite that, builders and contractors can easily get a poor reputation because of the impact they have on the community surrounding them.

Sidewalk Closed: Cross Into Danger

Experienced industry professionals recognised that much of the negative press was due to lack of awareness, bad signage, poor structure and planning, failure to communicate and the impact of a site – dust, noise, vibrations, mud and debris. They set up the Considerate Construction Scheme in 1997 with an idea to improve the image of the construction industry, offering a voluntary code of practice that construction sites can follow in order to exceed standards.

What exactly does the Voluntary Code of Practice say?

The code is split into different areas:

  1. Appearance: Constructors should ensure sites appear professional and well managed; stay organised, clean and tidy; enhance the appearance of facilities and raise the image of the workforce.
  2. Respecting the community: Constructors should give utmost consideration to their impact on neighbours and the public, informing, respecting and showing courtesy to those affected by the work; minimise the impact of deliveries, parking and work on the public highway as well as contribute to and support the local community and economy.
  3. Protecting the environment: Constructors should identify, manage and promote environmental issues, seeking sustainable solutions and minimising waste; minimise the impact of vibration, and air, light and noise pollution as well as protecting the ecology, landscape, wildlife, vegetation and water courses.
  4. Safety: Constructors should attain the highest levels of safety performance and have systems that care for the safety of the public, visitors and the workforce; minimise security risks to neighbours and have initiatives for continuous safety improvement.
  5. Workforce: Constructors should provide a supportive and caring working environment, providing a workplace where everyone is respected, treated fairly, encouraged and supported.

Who supports it?

It has the support of some of the largest contractors, clients and industry bodies in the country.

Nick Boles talks about CCSNick Boles, Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said:

“The scheme has enabled people to benefit greatly from construction projects that not only respect and support their communities whilst in operation but leave behind lasting legacies.”

Who funds it?

CCS is a non-profit-making, independent organisation founded by the industry.

How is it monitored?

There are official monitors that assess the site, but CCS also place posters up around the site so that the general public can comment on anything specific.

If it is voluntary, do people stick to it?

Although the CCS cannot enforce the rules, the values set out have become a benchmark across the industry. Clients now choose CCS contractors because they can be confident they will have a good understanding of community awareness; contractors use the CCS scores to get an indication of performance on different sites – a good CCS score suggests an efficient team; members of the public engage with the projects more readily because they feel as if the constructor is aware of their needs and construction workers are reassured that they are joining a site that employs good working conditions for staff. It has become so important to the industry, everybody sticks to it.

Why have the i360 signed up now – have we changed our working practice?

The Code of Considerate Practice openly shows that we care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment, secure everyone’s safety and value our workforce.

Community meeting i360

i360 community meeting

We have not had to change how we operate. From the very beginning we have worked hard to reduce the impact of our site on the local community. Communication and neighbourliness is key and our Public Liaison Officer runs regular community meetings, as well as sending out newsletters. We also regularly update social media with information about our build and give presentations across the city so that we can make sure everybody feels informed and excited about the project. We have also just finished work on a CCTV time lapse camera so that people can look directly into the site and watch the tower take shape. This should be live in the new year.

We take on board what people think and feel: adapting our access road so that it looks more like a beach boardwalk than a construction road; coinciding our first spade in the ground with the launch of the new Arches businesses to help generate PR and public footfall; designing our hoardings to reflect the key information and artwork that people wanted; timing working hours so that we local wedding venues do not get concrete trucks driving past during their ‘I do’ moment…we even helped dig a hole for the Christmas tree on Regency Square!

Toll booth

The West Pier toll booths will be resurrected

We take our environmental credentials very seriously – the completed tower and base building will incorporate a number of sustainable measures that reduce the impact on the environment, as well as reuse elements of the old West Pier. We are also doing as much as we can to reduce landfill during the build, recycling on-site and salvaging shingle to be reused to top up the beach at Shoreham. Once we are up and running we hope to work closely with Brighton and Lewes new Biosphere to champion sustainable measures across the city.

Thinking of the future

Ivor Goodsite visits Bromsgrove School's pre-preparatory pupils

We are building a family attraction and one thing that we love about the CCS scheme is their Industry mascot – Ivor Goodsite. We hope to run school tours in the New Year and CCS use Ivor to help teach about site safety, something that is incredibly important to any attraction providing tours. The Ivor Goodsite website has all sorts of fun games and projects to help engage children with the industry as a whole – we will have to look to him for some tips!