Technical team help to keep Stonewood’s standards high!
Our technical team are adding a layer of scrutiny and excellence to Stonewood’s house-building process to ensure all of our new homes are of the very highest standard.
James Adams joined the company in February and Joe Phillips came aboard in April. Both arrived from large national housebuilders and had heard about Stonewood’s exacting standards from former colleagues who now work at the company’s Tormarton base.
“The ethos here is about building good quality homes. You can see the houses are built to a higher standard, which results in a product that is higher end,” says James. Adds Joe: “Everyone here is passionate about delivering a high quality product and that aligns with my own ideals.”
They describe themselves as ‘the necessary evil’ of the construction process. They make sure project designs are buildable and cost-effective before any details reach the team on site.
Their involvement begins before even a spade has hit the ground. Once a site is identified they use their experience to identify unexpected costs and project costs that might make the site unfeasible to develop.
James has a civil engineering background, which means his expertise lies within everything underneath a development. “The earlier we get involved the better,” he says. “If a site doesn’t drain, whether it is foul or surface water, you are on the back foot from the offset due to the limited options and the high costs that result.”
Joe has previously worked as a site inspector, site manager and technical manager which gives him more expert knowledge of matters above the ground. Their two areas of expertise mesh together to ensure there is strong quality assurance across the company’s sites.
Once a new site is acquired, they work closely with the consultant team – including architects, landscape architects, engineers, ecologists and arboriculturists – to ensure the development is technically feasible while still closely adhering to Stonewood’s ethos of space, light and quality finish.
James says: “Once a site has planning permission, we assemble a consultant team, tailored to the needs of the project.
“We then manage this team through the detailed design of the roads, drainage, structures, ground conditions and foundations. Our consultant teams are vital to the fulfilment of our planning and building control obligations.”
Joe adds: “We make sure the contractors are appointed at the right time and the information they produce is comprehensive enough to satisfy whatever conditions that need to be met and is released in time for the company to buy materials so that it can start building on time.
“We are also there to make sure the consultants are aware of Stonewood Partnerships’ expectations. The drawings they produce go back with lots and lots of comments to make sure they are changed and updated so get exactly what we want.”
Both are excited about working on Orchard Field, Stonewood’s sustainable development of 88 homes at Siddington, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.
The one, two, three, four and five bedroomed timber-framed homes will have integrated solar panels, 45cm thick walls filled with eco-friendly insulation, triple glazing and airtight interiors to eliminate draughts and allow the energy-efficient heating system to cut bills by up to 70 per cent compared to standard -new-built houses.
“It’s very exciting because there are elements to the site that I’ve never worked on, particularly the heat re-circulation systems we are using and the level of underfloor heating,” says James. “I have touched on these technologies in my previous projects, but not to the extent we are using them here. The work can be stressful but very enjoyable too.”
Despite the challenges of the role, neither has any regrets about joining Stonewood. “We are not pigeon-holed here, we get involved at the start and we continue right through until the end. It will be very satisfying to see people moving in to the homes that we have been involved in building,” says Joe.
James adds: “These projects are inspiring because they are resulting in beautiful environments that will generate really friendly, neighbourly communities that we have helped to create.
“The great thing about this company is there is a willingness here to spend the money in the right places to result in the right product for us, but most importantly the right home for someone.”
To find more details regarding Orchard Field and our other developments please follow the below link;