Nationwide Building Society, Wigan

Initially, Graham + Sibbald were instructed to undertake a defect analysis inspection following a report of leaning chimneys. The inspection found the chimneys had suffered a sulphate attack and were in need of urgent remedial attention. Additionally, a number of external fabric repairs were also noted, which included flat roof defects, pitched roof defects and façade redecoration.

All of our recommendations were accepted by the client and we were asked to provide project management/ contract administration services for the undertaking of the works once a suitable contractor had been identified.

As contract administrator we ensured the smooth running of the project from start to finish by managing the expectations of all parties involved, ensuring communication was strong throughout and finances were managed accordingly. A number of issues threatened to stall the project which related to scaffolding designs and CDM responsibilities but our proactive approach and attention to detail ensured all issues were resolved in good time and did not impact on the overall programme.


As the central consultant in the scheme, we had to ensure all parties were well informed and updated on a daily basis. This would include parties from the Client, their CDM consultant, the Principal Contractor, the Sub-Contractor, the Conservation Officer, Branch Staff and neighbouring businesses to name a few.

The project was inspected on a weekly basis and progress meetings were arranged on a fortnightly basis, however communication between all of the aforementioned parties was required several times a day.

In addition to the above, we had to involve structural engineers and specialist sub-contractors to deliver a project that was very technical and one which was respectful of the buildings character at all times.

Key Challenges

Firstly, the building is Grade II listed which therefore required careful consideration of the buildings existing character throughout the project. This included appropriate material specifications, full cooperation with the local conservation officer and all repair methods were in-keeping with a building which was constructed in 1905.

Nationwide Building Society owned the freehold interest to the property in question, but this also included two neighbouring businesses which were rented out on separate leasehold terms.

The project was located in the heart of Wigan town centre which was a logistical and safety challenge in the first instance, but was further exacerbated by the hosting of seasonal events / markets directly outside the branch during the festive programme.

Moreover, the project itself was entirely weather dependent as the repair works could not be undertaken during inclement weather, and some of the materials had minimum temperature application rates of >5⁰.

Due to a collection of the above noted issues, a very technical and intricate scaffold was required to facilitate the works which required a number of alterations, re-designs and complex support features to ensure contractor and public safety throughout the project.


The project we delivered was to a very high standard and commended by the Client. The project completed within budget, but whilst the project suffered some delays due to inclement weather and unrelated variations, the end result was well received by the Client with no items of concern from the Conservation Officer either.

Key Message

In addition to the good communication provided throughout the project, we often attended at short notice to investigate issues which related storm damage and public safety concerns regarding neighbouring developments. The client was extremely pleased with our timely response on each occasion, always making sure any reports were investigated thoroughly and to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

Additionally, a number of variations were added to contract which related to the leasehold interests of the building, all of which were undertaken to the satisfaction of the Client.

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  • 2020
    project completed in January
  • 1905
    the year the building was originally constructed
“Emtec enjoy a longstanding business relationship with Graham + Sibbald spanning over 10 years. We have been enjoying reciprocal business by hiring their Surveyor’s to carry out work ranging from day-to-day defect analysis reports right through to large value project management and projects administration on external building fabric works for a very prestigious high street client of ours. The service from Kyle Hargreaves, David Ross and Neil McFarlane has been excellent and they have delivered to the highest of standards with fantastic communication and proactive solutions.” David Hogg, Regional Manager, Emtec FS