The Assembly development is a flagship commercial regeneration scheme located on the Floating Harbour in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone of central Bristol, one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration areas.
The development is centred around a best-in-class flexible and smart workspace offering, being developed by AXA Investment Management and Bell Hammer.
The masterplan comprises three separate new-build office buildings, providing a variety of flexible commercial floorplates over a combined net lettable area of 320,000ft2, with an assortment of retail, restaurant and flexible units at ground level. A new pedestrian connection reinstates a historic route through the site, complemented by a new public realm space on the riverside location.
Significant emphasis has been placed on sustainability and occupier wellness, with the buildings targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’, WELL enabled and WiredScore Platinum accreditations and connection into Bristol City’s district heat network. This translated into design solutions that are based on passive design measures, future-proofing the building and limiting dependency on ‘add-on’ solutions. The building was designed with higher floor-to-ceiling heights, internal circulation staircases, a high proportion of amenity and outdoor space, and opening windows to improve personal control over the working environment.
The first of the three buildings to be delivered on site, Building A, reached practical completion in mid-2021. AXA secured a pre-let agreement for the whole of the building with the multinational telecommunications company BT, representing the largest ever letting in Bristol. Building B and Building C are currently under construction and are due for completion in the first quarter of 2023.
Currie & Brown is providing full cost consultancy and CDM advisory services on this project from inception to completion.
We provided specialist cost planning advice to inform the client’s development appraisal. Working closely with the design team at an early stage enabled consideration of structural concepts and site-specific challenges resulting from proximity to the Floating Harbour, the location of utilities within the Temple Way boundary, unexploded ordnance and Section 278 off-site highways issues.
We were also pivotal to procurement discussions throughout the pre-construction stages to ensure adoption of a robust strategy to facilitate the programme and budgetary constraints for the scheme. We developed a hybrid two-stage procurement strategy for Building A, whereby a contractor was selected competitively in the first stage followed by open-book tendering of the shell and core works packages, with the fit-out packages negotiated during the construction works based on fully defined provisional sums. This approach brought the procurement programme forward by eight weeks, enabling an earlier start date on site. Buildings B and C were successfully negotiated with the incumbent main contractor Galliford Try.