Following the launch of the on-site ‘Future of Construction’ Training Centre at Mercia Park, Winvic Construction Ltd – a leading main contractor that specialises in the design and delivery of multi-sector construction and civil engineering projects – and its client, IM Properties (IMP), has unveiled a Sustainability and Innovation Hub (SIH) at the same Leicestershire site.
The Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC), Richard Blunt, Deputy Leader, Richard Ashman, and Chief Executive, Bev Smith, visited the site to see first-hand the progress of the 238-acre employment park, and experience some of the training taking place as part of the scheme’s employment and skills commitments. The visit included the impressive civils and infrastructure works that Winvic has delivered, the recently handed-over 550,000 sq ft facility for DSV and the progress of Jaguar Land Rover’s 2.94 million sq ft global parts logistics centre, as well as Winvic and IM Properties’ commitment to sustainability and innovation that has culminated in the opening of the first satellite Sustainability and Innovation Hub.
The Hub comprises three zones – Sustainability, Innovation and Learning – which provide areas to showcase Mercia Park’s sustainability credentials, demonstrate Winvic’s digital advancements, train Winvic’s staff and supply chain more creatively than ever and inspire young people through educational visits. Its proximity to the ‘Future of Construction’ also means both facilities can be used for linked training activities. One key feature of the SIH is a 360-degree BIM CAVE area, which will aid the BIM design process in a real-time scenario by facilitating design team meetings and workshops and help develop VR imagery for health and safety training. Unlike the BIM CAVE located at Winvic’s Centre for Innovative Construction, it is a 360-degree resource where Virtual Reality (VR) 3D design models can be viewed as an immersive room experience, without a headset.
Members of Winvic’s supply chain have partnered with the main contractor to bring the SIH to life, while IMP has provided the land. Carter Accommodation has supplied the cabins, Bespoke Construction the internal partitions and glazing; the PV and battery storage has been provided by Ivegate and the interactive screens by Walter Miles Electrical, while A & L Paving has undertaken all works to the external areas. Winvic has also sourced all the internal and external wall graphics and signage for the Hub through local social enterprise Nuneaton Signs.
Also found within the SIH, there is an interactive meeting room, training and learning space and an area with a 3D printer. Visitors, such as school, college and university students, can also get hands on with Winvic’s digital Operation and Maintenance Manuals, whereby they can access sections of a design manual, maintenance guidance or 360-degree photos by using QR codes, in the same way end-users can within their finished building.
Not only did the visiting party from NWLDC enjoy a demonstration of the BIM CAVE and see the facilities, but they also witnessed PGL Midlands delivering Face-fit training for Bespoke Construction, onsite and classroom IPAF Training being delivered onsite by Nationwide. Activities also included an interactive demonstration at the Sika Concrete Mobile Training Laboratory and a tour of the on-site concrete batching plant as part of Hanson’s concrete sustainability CPD training. To end the visit, Winvic and IMP took the NWLDC Leader, Deputy Leader and Chief Executive on a Mercia Park site tour where they saw the progress of the Jaguar Land Rover project.
Winvic’s Technical Director, Tim Reeve, who sits on the company’s Sustainability Leadership Team, commented: “The Sustainability and Innovation Hub – the second facility we have launched with IM Properties at Mercia Park in a matter of weeks – is testament to both company’s commitment to the future of construction, which has sustainability and innovation at its very heart. We can’t thank IM Properties – and our suppliers – enough for their willingness to drive this initiative in partnership with us.
“Mercia Park’s green and state-of-the-art digital credentials make it the ideal location for the facility. It’s not only an operational digital design centre for Winvic, IM Properties, consultants and suppliers to utilise, but it also showcases the scheme and our team’s innovative initiatives and acts as an education and training centre for young people in the community. The value of such a facility and the broader was clearly seen by the visitors from North West Leicestershire District Council who were enthused all day, and we’re now looking forward to welcoming schools, college and universities, as well as more companies in our supply chain, to the Hub.”
David Smith, planning director for IM Properties added: “It is great to see the commitments we made at the planning stage of the project, being turned into reality. It has been an incredibly difficult period in which to mobilise these activities, however our creative thinking, partnership approach, persistence and passion to maximise the employment and skills outcomes associated with the project, is beginning to yield some very positive outcomes.
“Winvic is particularly proactive and we are delighted to be able to host their first Sustainability and Innovation Hub to showcase our joint ambitions to deliver net zero in construction on site as part of our overall commitments as a business to achieve new targets for improving our carbon footprint over the next decade.”
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council said it was great to see first-hand the approach to zero carbon and sustainable development Mercia Park was championing.
“Mercia Park is an example of how a development can make a range of significant contributions to an area, both in terms of employment and community infrastructure. The green credentials of the development are very positive. As a council we are committed to being Zero Carbon by 2030 and we want others to follow our lead. To see the sustainability at Mercia Park is very inspiring.”