The Broadway shopping centre in the centre of Bradford was a high profile project for developer Westfield and its construction team. Pitts Wilson was honoured to be involved with transforming the decade-old plans for 570,000 sq ft of retail space into a modern shopping centre that the tenants, the city and its residents could be proud of. With the eyes of the region, the media and the construction world upon the stalled project, Pitts Wilson’s professional team rose to the challenge of updating the original specification to design and build mechanical and electrical schemes fit for the future, as well delivering the project on time and to budget.
Planning permission for the shopping centre was originally approved in 2003, with the city centre site cleared and made ready for the build by 2006. But well-publicised delays to the project due mainly to the recession meant that over a decade passed before Westfield announced construction was to be re-started in January 2014.
Shortly afterwards, Pitts Wilson was awarded the £7m mechanical and electrical contract in a joint tender with another Bradford firm Mitton Mechanical Services.
This was Pitts Wilson’s first contract for Westfield, one of the world’s largest shopping centre developers with UK schemes in London and Stratford. The team worked from the original consultant’s drawings and specifications and further developed them with up-to-date components, most notably energy-saving LED lighting. Every amendment was approved by the developer, and the resulting schemes achieved reductions in load, cable sizes and running costs as well as reduced maintenance.
The main challenge was the lighting the original consultant had specified for the public areas as this had become obsolete. Pitts Wilson designed new energy efficient schemes using LED for all the public spaces, including the mall, as well as some external areas. The schemes offer multiple benefits in terms of lower running costs, improved quality of light and less maintenance for components located in the high mall ceilings.
The scale of the project – over 88,000 man hours and more than 280 miles of cabling – meant that at pinch points the issues were resolved by the Pitts Wilson design team utilising Building Information Modelling (BIM) to design layouts for the containment and cabling where all the services converged in small areas.
A document management portal ensured any new designs could be viewed and approved by all the relevant parties, and site personnel used specially designed software (SiteWorks) on iPads to manage the quality of installation from start to handover.
The team’s highly professional standards were regularly noted by the developer’s on-site team who carried out frequent inspections and benchmarking during the course of the project.
Despite significant challenges including a 10-year old specification and a very tight timescale, the Pitts Wilson team completed the contract on time and to budget, meaning the Broadway Centre could meet its highly anticipated November opening deadline with fully functioning services.