Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Case Studies

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

New Centre Build

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Case Study

New Centre Build

This challenging and exciting scheme made the best possible use of a difficult site.  BDCH had purchased a larger plot of land in a neighbouring field, which was level and perfect for a new building, however, we were unable to obtain permission to build in this field as it generally moved the Centre closer to the nearby built up area in the village. With the reluctance and resignation to build at the top of the hill, new plans were designed and priced. Inevitably to build on the heavily sloping site meant much larger construction costs for BDCH. One large building at the top of the hill presented far too many problems with regard to split levels, so the final design of two ‘L’ shaped buildings placed on top of the hill enabled at least the under-croft of Block One to be used as the cattery.

To enable the Centre to remain operational during construction, temporary kennelling facilities were installed for the duration of the works and the Contractor had a separate point of access for deliveries, plant and workmen to remove potential disturbance and conflict of use.  Once completed, the existing staff accommodation building was refurbished and the temporary kennelling sold on to help another animal welfare charity, thereby allowing the full extent of the car park to be finished.

General local opposition increased with thoughts of an increase in dog numbers and a lot of the hostility was, as is often the case, due to a lack of information and knowledge about modern dog kennelling. Local residents felt that there may be a rise in dog numbers, which would in turn increase activity, noise, offensive smells etc. but this is not necessarily the case if a building is well designed. Ease of cleaning, better sewage facilities, better acoustic materials used and a higher specification of building materials greatly improves a building.

The use of temporary kennelling kept disruption to a minimum and the proactive approach to seek a purchaser for the modular kennels once redundant ensured that a valuable resource was re-used.  This also proved to be a very cost effective method and needs to be considered wherever existing facilities may impede upon new building works.

Apart from the difficulty in building on very heavily sloping site and the need to create another construction access for the contractor so as to avoid a conflict of contractors vehicles and clients visiting the site, the whole project progressed fairly quickly once planning had been approved. However, planning itself had proven to be the biggest task over a three-year period. There are a number of complexities in planning restrictions these days relating to sewage, building materials, acoustics, and water and flood risk assessments.
Therefore, in the early stages a majority of delays were caused by the Local Authority planning officials insisting to take extraordinary amounts of time to make fairly small decisions.  Frustrating as it is, inevitably when there is one delay in a projects gestation others appear through either change in policy or a general change of mind by the client. Often for the good it does cause delay with additional drawing and then sometimes returning to the Planners for official approval of any changes.

However, once final approval of the drawings from the client and the Local Authority had been received the Project Manager and his team progressed to tender. Using local contractors this became fairly straightforward; however, the last minute changes added additional costs to the contract, which needed sanctioning. The comment was raised regarding how the construction works would affect the general running of the Centre and whether BDCH would need to shutdown the Centre during the construction works. It is always beneficial to have close discussion and a good working relationship between the Client, Project Manager and the Design Team.
On this particular project close co-operation between all parties produced a good workable programme to provide temporary kennelling, construction access and a closing programme to reinstate all temporary works to reduce costs to the Client.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Concept Watercolour

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Completed Build