Brad Hales, Site Manager at Keepers Chase
With Dandara build teams returning to action, under new social distancing guidelines, we caught up with Brad Hales, Site Manager at Keepers Chase and a vital part of the development, to find out about his role and how it has changed since the property market was able to reopen.
Can you explain the role of a site manager?
The commercial team hands over to the Site Manager at the pre-start meeting, you could describe me as the site choreographer. We are working on five different house styles at Keepers Chase from The Ermine with two bedrooms to The Lincoln with three bedrooms up to The Hampton with four bedrooms. I manage the overall programme of getting all those homes built and ready for occupation by our purchasers by breaking it down into manageable stages. I break it down into weekly and daily activities to take a home from sub-structure to superstructure to envelope works and finally the internals, which is the stage at which, when a purchaser reserves a home “off plan” as they can currently, we incorporate their choices, before the finish stage.
At each stage I make contact with the trades and coordinate start dates, site resources like plant, equipment, labour and materials, conduct safety briefings, manage the weekly scope of works, monitor the progress and control the quality according to the specifications.
At any one time we will have a variety of all those activities going on. So, from the bare bones of the brickwork and getting the roof on to the energy efficient heating and hot water systems and insulation, high quality joinery, finishes like light sockets and switches, recessed LED down lighting, to the fully fitted kitchens with integral appliances, contemporary bathroom fitting with Porcelanosa tiles and finally getting the beautiful landscaped surroundings finished, I pull it all together. The challenge is coordinating it all, ensuring we complete each stage on time and each home is ready for our purchasers to move in to on time.
Ultimately, it’s about building practical, stylish, and comfortable houses that our customers will want to call home and of course all the homes come with a 10 year structural warranty. It is a dynamic and rewarding role, we are building someone’s dream home at Keeper’s Chase, providing the sort of quality and value that today’s home buyers demand.
How has the site been able to get back up and running safely following the lockdown?
Following the government lockdown announcement, Keepers Chase closed on 31 March. Dandara returned to work on 11 May based on strict adherence to the government’s Covid-19 Guidance. Initially we had to get work back up and running, we already had a number of reservations, so I was contacting all related supply chains and sub-contractors to effectively restart site activities. Dandara was one of the first contractors to return to work, which helped to secure sufficient resources to restart the build process.
What measures are you taking on site to ensure safety?
Safety is on-going and when operations restarted on the 11 May we re-inducted all operatives and conducted Risk Assessment briefings on preventing the spread of Covid-19 off-site, travelling to site, working at site and reducing the risks associated with the disease. We have also implemented a ‘colour tag’ system at site whereby operatives of a particular trade, are authorised to work within that tag zone colour only. Other trades have their own designated colour in that particular colour zone.
Social distancing is managed by preventing operatives working in close proximity within a zone. Given the current status of the works, those working on the same activity outdoors in the fresh air can follow government guidelines more easily. Where we are working indoors, such as in the case of the Show Home, we are only allowing one trade at a time or single operatives in the house to maintain distancing.
Can you give an update on construction progress at Keepers Chase, what is the latest?
There are currently a selection of two, three and four bedroom homes available, an ideal mix of properties to create a community feel for all residents. We are close to completing the Show Home, The Hampton, a spacious four bedroom detached home ideal for growing families.
The Lincoln Plus style has sold out but we are currently working on The Lincoln which is also a fantastic three bedroom starter home. The Deane is another of the three bedroom styles we are working on and a fantastic family oriented home. They are all taking shape each day. Our sales centres are open again, by appointment only and we have introduced virtual tours of The Deane and The Lincoln so come and take a look. We expect the first homes will be occupied at Keepers Chase in Autumn 2020.
Homes at Keepers Chase
Learn more about the homes at Keepers Chase, Buntingford
The Keepers Chase development will offer excellent transport links to London and Cambridge. Buntingford has plenty of independent cafes, restaurants, and shops to give a real sense of community and a weekly market. Added to which, there are “Outstanding” Ofsted rated schools within the catchment area.
Prices for a two bedroom home at Keepers Chase start at £380,000. Find out more about Keepers Chase