HAKI's contract to supply temporary buildings to the National Construction College means that their products have had to pass the closest scrutiny, not just prior to the contract being awarded, but twice a week ever since.
The much publicised skills shortage affecting the building trade is creating pressure across the industry, some of it more obvious than others.
The NCC is currently hoping to reduce the waiting list for its scaffolders qualification by doubling capacity on its courses in Birmingham and Erith, and provide a plant storage area in Stratford. But that meant finding an effective short-term way of increasing the size of its premises.
The solution was to erect temporary buildings on each of the sites – but if you're the National Construction College, there's perhaps more pressure than ever to make sure that you make the right choice.
Following a competitive tender, Tamworth based HAKI were awarded the contract, their design's ability to cost effectively provide a 24 metre clear span being one of the deciding factors as Gary Derrick of the NCC explains: “HAKI have a proven ability to deliver a quality product on time and on budget and their team certainly filled us with a lot of confidence, but it was their ability to overcome two specific technical requirements which really won the day.
“Firstly, the fact that the ground was not level didn't provide any obstacle at all to HAKI. While some of their competitors' products demanded a level base or required a ring beam to create a foundation, HAKI overcame the problem by the simple expedient of adjusting the jacks, which support the temporary building.
“Secondly, we required a 24 metre clear span inside the temporary building and HAKI achieved this using their standard 305mm centres on roof trusses, whereas other products would have had to close the centres down on the beams to achieve the span which would have meant using more truss lines adding to the erection time and adding to the cost.”
In fact, the HAKI Temporary Buildings at Birmingham and Erith have each taken only approximately 5 weeks build time, with the Stratford building being erected in only 3 days.
The HAKI Temporary Buildings may have undergone severe scrutiny prior to the award of the contract, but that is nothing compared to the examination that they are experiencing week in and week out now that they have been erected. Staff and students at the college are so intrigued by their innovative approach that HAKI has agreed to attend the college to talk students through the erection procedure as part of their course, providing the opportunity for them to have their first introduction to temporary buildings and to system scaffold in addition to the more traditional course syllabus.