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Project management case studies

Whether you are relatively new to using stone in your projects, or are considering using Stone Masters for the first time, this article is designed to set your expectations or indicate protocol when it comes to our involvement in stone projects.

Westfield Shopping Centre

Design stage: We were approached by Ruddy Joinery, having worked on projects with them previously, to give our thoughts to the stone design for the public bathrooms in this major project. We were issued design stage, pre-approval drawings of the bathroom vanity layouts, and asked to comment on the practicality of their proposal.

We suggested a few changes to the edge design, and advised our client as to the best positions for the joints. Our client forwarded these suggestions to the architects, they were incorporated into the final design, and within 3 months, we were given tender issues of the drawings on which we had to price for supply, manufacture and installation of the vanity units in French marble.

Quotation: We requested a site visit before submitting our quote because of the sprawling nature of the site, and the massive logistical challenge of reaching goods to site. The Westfield project really was a monster project, with thousands of site personnel at any one time, and a myriad of bureaucratic measures to simply enter the site.

We submitted our quotation within a week of receiving the drawings, and we also submitted our sample of the specified marble.

Order received: Our quotation was accepted and we were awarded the order for the works 2 months after submitting our quote. The order allowed for a 6 week lead time to pre-manufacture some of the goods according to agreed architectural dimensions.

Goods installed: We had to tightly coordinate a site fixing schedule with the principal contractor in terms of several aspects: deliveries of goods to site, Stone Masters site operatives, coordination in subsequent trades such as plumbers. We eventually completed all works as per our agreed schedule over a period of 6 weeks, just in time for the grand opening of the Shopping Centre.

St. Paul’s Girls School

Scope: We were approached by a developer for this project who was finding it difficult to source a particular quartz surface that had been specified by the project designer. Having established the availability of the stone in the right quantity, we requested CAD drawings from the developer allowing us to quote for the works.

Quotation: The job involved complicated CNC machining over numerous pieces that all had to be matched and jointed on site. Some unique tooling had to be purchased specifically for this job. A quotation was submitted to the developer taking all these aspects into account.

Order: The developer visited our workshop to see our operations as part of their due diligence. Having passed this process without any problems, we were awarded the order with a delivery date 4 weeks from the order date.

Manufacturing and Delivery: The slabs took 9 days to arrive; the goods took a further 9 days to manufacture. Finally, we installed and finished the worktops with 4 days to spare. This included two extra pieces plus a late stage design change which we were able to accommodate.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Scope: Our client was heavily reliant on our expertise in this project as it involved matching new stone to existing stone in this venerable building. It was up to Stone Masters to help our client to identify and source the aged Italian marble that is such a prominent backdrop for the museum interior. Our client had to refurbish the ladies public toilet, and they would be destroying the existing marble in the process.

Quotation: After two separate consultation trips as part of the sourcing exercise, a matching marble was found, though it was impossible to replicate the ageing and discolouration process that the existing marble had endured and displayed. Ageing chemicals would be applied, but with limited effect. Stone Masters was able to provide a cost estimate based on expected damage to the existing marble once our client started their works. This quote was accepted and the order issued prior to demolition works by the client so that we could reserve the stone in anticipation.

Works: It turned out that much of the marble surrounding the works by our client had deteriorated over time, particularly the cement bond between the stone and the brickwork behind it. Thus, numerous large stone slabs came loose during the demolition works which had not been anticipated. Stone Masters was asked to rescue these pieces and re-bond them to the wall to the same quality as before the demolition. Other works were carried out as per normal.

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