We explain the significance of One Portsoken Street.
On-site work began at One Portsoken Street on the 30th of September, 2019. Weighing in at over 230,000 sq ft, it’s the largest design and build (D&B) project in the UK. We’re upgrading the building’s infrastructure to provide both BREEAM and BCO design standards, and have managed to add 30,000 sq ft of floor space by re-optimising the interior.
Projects of this size and complexity are usually reserved for more traditional companies, so the impact of Oktra’s involvement is far-reaching across the construction industry as a whole. In expanding our offering, we’re changing what is expected from design and build firms by providing a turn-key solution to what has been considered, up to this point, a more traditional project.
In order to deliver Portsoken, we reviewed our typical management and procurement processes across the business, creating a hybrid delivery process that combines the core elements of design and build with comparatively traditional methods. By fusing the strengths of both traditions, Oktra’s operational culture is evolving to embody the best of D&B and traditional procurement. Our strong delivery team from Assistant Management through to Director Level, along with dedicated Commercial Management and Design teams, have made the project possible; the scale and complexity of Portsoken, delivering over 230,000 sq ft of commercial and retail units, is something the UK’s D&B market has never seen.
Our design teams are changing Portsoken from the inside out. The project includes a 9-storey atrium infill, complete with the installation of 27 piles within the atrium at a depth of 20m. There are extensive ground works associated with piling, not to mention the scale of the complex steel frame of the building. It’s a construction process the likes of which Oktra has never attempted but, having built a project-specific team of managers with the right experience, we are excited to deliver.
The intricate structural refurbishment within the atrium of the building is undoubtedly the most challenging aspect of the project. It includes a detailed scaffold design to aid the large-scale demolition of the existing concrete panels and terraces to the atrium, complex piling within the atrium and the steel frame infill across all 9 floors of the building to create 230,000 sq ft of prime commercial space. The planning and sequencing of these works require a collective team approach, with both consultants and our supply chain working together. Health and Safety are at the forefront of each planned work stream to ensure the coordination of work and safety is at the highest level.
Fully aware of how central the construction will be to the surrounding area, our teams are making a concerted effort to generate a positive impact. We have built a clothing collection unit from repurposed site materials that will benefit local charities for the homeless, including Whitechapel Mission. The on-site team are also volunteering at Streetlytes, serving meals to the homeless community in Shepherds Bush, and will be leading a clean-up in Aldgate, clearing litter from the surrounding area.