• Life at Station Place with Sean McCallister of Hall Construction.

    Life at Station Place with Sean McCallister of Hall Construction.

    Station Place is a brand new 55,000 sq ft, £4.8m industrial development at Merchant Park in Newton Aycliffe. The scheme will deliver nine units in total: seven 5,000 sq ft units and two at 10,000 sq ft units providing new industrial stock off J59 of the A1(M).

    County Durham-based Hall Construction is developing the scheme. In this blog site manager, Sean McCallister discusses what it takes to deliver a project like Station Place.

    Who are Hall Construction and what is your role in the development of Station Place?

    Hall Construction Services has over 30 years of experience in construction and civil engineering. Founded in County Durham by brothers Stephen and Neville Hall in 1986, the company now works on projects throughout the UK.

    I’m one of two site managers for Station Place, working with Dave Alderson who has been with the business for over 20 years. Dave manages the operational side of the project on-site, whereas my role is more office-based.

    In a nutshell, my role is to make sure everything runs on time, on spec, and on budget. Tasks include managing deliveries, subcontractors, quality, and of course health and safety.

    On a typical day, I might induct any new guys on-site, make sure they have all the right cards for the job and are suitable for the work. I make sure there are no clashes in the work schedule such as drainage and cladding taking place simultaneously. I manage deliveries making sure materials arrive on time, and that workers aren’t waiting for anything to keep the project on track.

    What tradespeople do you have on-site at the moment?

    Now we have cladders working on the external walls, the roofing is going on and groundworkers are completing the drainage works. The concrete will soon be poured allowing us to lay slabs enabling the bricklayers to complete the blockwork. Once this work is done we’ll complete mechanical and electrical work. Finishing touches include plaster-boarding and internal brickwork.

    How easy is it to keep a project like Station Place on track?

    It can be difficult. We are working outdoors, and are subject to the elements, extreme weather can hinder the progress of a project. Also, we can work with up to 25 subcontractors on a project like Station Place. If one subcontractor is delayed that can push back the delivery of other elements of the project. But, that’s part and parcel of project management. It’s my job to identify when the timing may have slipped and put measures in place to get the job back on track. This may involve considering measures such as overtime or bringing in extra workers to meet deadlines.

    How has the development of Station Place gone so far and when will the project be complete?

    So far, the build has gone well. We’ve been lucky with the weather, for example, there’s been very little snow this winter. Work so far includes earthworks, foundations, steelwork and we’ve laid a new access road. Now, the team is working on cladding, roofing, and drainage.

    Once these works are complete, we’ll move towards the final stages of the build such as installing services such as gas and water. Other jobs still in the pipeline include concrete pours, internal slab work, blockwork, and dividing walls. When starting with the tiling and paintwork we know that the finish line is in sight.

    I’m delighted to say that we are on track to finish Station Place in Q2 of 2022. Businesses located here can expect a very high standard of industrial unit. It’s well known that there is a shortage of quality industrial stock across the North East and indeed the UK. I’m sure Station Place will be in very high demand.