The Winvic Construction site team who are constructing a 484 apartment Build-to-rent (BTR) scheme in the centre of Birmingham – which incorporates new headquarters for Girlguiding Birmingham – have given the group of Guides a taste of their new premises as well as an inspiring careers talk. Winvic is delivering the project for Invesco Real Estate, the global real estate investment manager.
Over 80 girls aged between 10 and 15 were excited to be taken around the Holloway Head site and inside the semi-completed new building by members of the Winvic team. They listened to explanations of how it has been constructed, signed a concrete wall inside the new facility and made a number of their own special design ideas – such as the addition of a swimming pool, trampoline and pet store! Winvic facilitated a PPE free ‘green zone’ on the day to allow the Guides access without the requirement for full PPE – but they all very much enjoyed wearing it.
Inside the current Girlguide meeting hall, other members of the Winvic team explained to the girls about the increasing numbers of women in construction, spoke about the varied careers that are on offer within the industry and presented CGIs of the whole Holloway Head scheme.
The leading main contractor that specialises in the design and delivery of multi-sector construction and civil engineering projects began the Holloway Head project – located in between the B4127 Holloway Head and Gough Street – in November 2021, starting with enabling works. The south side of the site will be handed over in Spring 2024 and the north site will reach practical completion in late Winter 2025.
Girlguiding Birmingham is set to relocate to the ground floor of the south site building – comprising a double height hall, activity rooms, a shop, kitchen and self-contained three-bedroom apartment – in January 2023. The organisation is currently based in an existing building on the north side of the site, which is divided from the south side by Brownsea Drive. Winvic’s construction programme prioritises the creation of two reinforced concrete-framed, 14-storey towers on the south site, and the fit out of the Girlguide’s headquarters. At the time of relocation, the building will have been constructed up to the seventh floor. The old Girlguiding Birmingham building will next be demolished, and the north site vertical build can begin, reaching 8 and 10 storeys.
The concrete superstructure on the south site has been progressing rapidly. The slip formed cores are completed to their full heights of 14 storeys and the concrete floor installation is currently at levels three and four. Internal partitions, blockwork, and the first fix mechanical and electrical works are in progress inside the new Girlguiding Birmingham premises. External works to the perimeter of the buildings are being undertaken to allow facade access equipment to be moved into position so the SFS and curtain walling installation can begin. On the north site, Winvic is mobilising for the demolition of an existing workshop building, which will lead into the enabling works for piling.
Winvic’s Head of Marketing, Communications and Social Responsibility, Heidi Salmons, said: “We regularly visit schools and organisations located close to our sites, to speak to them about the varied roles on offer within construction. Engaging with young women is particularly important for the future of the industry so we couldn’t wait for the right time in the programme to get Girlguiding Birmingham on site at Holloway Head to see their new premises take shape and learn about some exciting careers. There were some big smiles and wowed faces on the site tour and during the careers talks, so hopefully we have inspired some of them to consider construction in the future.”
Janice Price, Country Commissioner at Girlguiding Birmingham, added: “The visit to the new building was the highlight of the weekend for the Guides, they were very excited about being the first girls to have the chance and particularly liked leaving their mark on the building for the future, even though it will be covered up. They enjoyed hearing about all of the opportunities that could be available to them as they consider what aspirations they have for future education and careers. For Girlguiding Birmingham, the move to a new and vibrant building will ensure our headquarters is a place which will be used for the girls and volunteers in the future, to give them opportunities to develop, to enjoy activities and experiences for fun and friendship whilst preserving a heritage of Girlguiding in Birmingham which is over 100 years old.”
Invesco Real Estate’s Holloway Head scheme has ESG at the heart of its development and the opportunity to partner and welcome a group like Girlguiding Birmingham to the site is central to the firm’s philosophy of developing and building communities, and creating spaces where people want to live, work and play. Holloway Head will comprise 132 one-bedroom, 344 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments, as well as shared meeting and workspaces, a residents’ lounge and dining area and a gym. There will be car parking for 56 cars and storage for 112 bicycles. The towers have a mixture of red, yellow and grey brick slip cladding and aluminium powder coated panels will feature horizontally across each floor on all structures.