Speed and Innovation
While the facility set a new standard for sustainable development, the time constraints meant it was a particularly complex challenge. We worked closely with our supply chain and developed a meticulously planned and integrated programme, devising some innovative ways of working. The rail tunnel under the A5 trunk road, linking the new phase of DIRFT with the original site, is a good example.
We built a 20 metre concrete box tunnel beside the A5. When this was complete, the road was closed for 58 hours over a weekend so that we could move the box tunnel into place. We excavated the A5 down to the tunnel base level and lifted the structure – which weighs approximately 600 tonnes – into its final position. We then backfilled and resurfaced the road so that it could be opened to traffic in time for the Monday morning rush hour.
It was a dramatic weekend, but the tunnel was just one of many interesting moments during this project. One of my abiding memories is of snow blowing in at one end of the building while racking was being assembled at the other.
The new NDC has been a great success. Construction was complete and the clocks were on the walls by the agreed deadline. On hand-over day, the Tesco team walked into their new carbon efficient facility and started work straightaway.