How four new eco-excellent buildings in half a mile have powered the Birmingham economy

20 August 2021 11:46 - BAM Construct UK Ltd
BAM's John McCarthy with the developers and financers of 103 Colmore Row.

Hemel Hempstead, 20 August 2021 - The social value of developing the four newest major commercial buildings in the centre of Birmingham has been revealed by BAM, the contractor that has built them all.

BAM is coming towards the end of its programme at 103 Colmore Row for Sterling Property Ventures, having also completed Three Snowhill for developer Ballymore, and numbers One and Two Chamberlain Square, for Argent. The four buildings are separated by a mere half-mile walk along the famous business district of Colmore Row.

By the time BAM gives the keys to Sterling Property Ventures for 103 Colmore Row, the schemes will collectively have generated some 40,000 weeks of work for locally employed people, having admitted almost 9,000 people through the biometrically controlled turnstiles already.

That has meant around £60 million pounds of orders for central Birmingham companies alone, that have been engaged as sub-contractors and suppliers – a number that grows if the wider Midlands economy is taken into account.

BAM’s Midlands Regional Director, said: ‘The role construction plays in feeding the economy through employment, training, and local economic benefits is abundantly clear from this half-mile of private sector development in the city centre. The green credentials of these developments, all being BREEAM Excellent, make them enviable locations for modern employers. This demonstrates the role construction has supporting our partners in Government bodies. It helps them to deliver their social and environmental commitments to keep our country Building Back Better. For example, at 103 Colmore Row, the heating and hot water will be supplied by the District Energy Scheme, removing the need for on-site fossil fuel burning boilers. What I’m very proud of too, is that our people, and our supply chain, have delivered almost £50,000 of community and charitable benefits alongside at the same time as adding these four impressive structures to the central Birmingham landscape.’

Over 190 apprentices have been engaged on the four new office buildings alone – providing two and a half thousand weeks of training time.

Josef Losinski, who worked as an apprentice on 103 Colmore Row, said: ‘I want to go into quantity surveying. I work every day with people who are very experienced in their field: site engineers, planners, site managers and service engineers. I’ve taken packages from the start all the way to commercial management. I can learn about a system then see how it works and fits together. This experience goes alongside my studies and means I will come out with a degree and many years of experience which will help my future career.’

The four huge schemes reflect a combined investment by the developers of over one third of a billion pounds.

Mr Ellis added: ‘It is widely known that for every pound spent on construction, some three pounds of further economic activity is generated. A simple example would be the number of small sandwich shops that have supplied our lunches. If one took that multiplier, these four office schemes are worth one billion pounds of value to the Birmingham economy, even throughout this terrible pandemic. It’s quite an achievement.’

Earlier this month BAM-built premises for the UK Hydrographic Office won the British Council of Offices (BCO’s) ‘Best of the Best’ National Award, also taking home its ‘corporate workplace’ award.

Occupiers for the highly modern offices already include some of Britain’s best-known corporate names: PwC, BT, KPMG, Barclays, Mazars, HS2, DLA Piper, Knights Plc, BDO and Gowlings – with more to come.

‘Great buildings draw great occupiers’, Mr Ellis added. BAM itself occupies self-designed and built premises in Solihull, next to which it created the headquarters for I M Properties.

The BAM team’s charitable activities along the half mile from Chamberlain Square to the end of Colmore Row included supporting an abseil down the Holiday Inn Express for the benefit of homelessness charity, SIDA Fireside.