Breckland Council decided to build new headquarters at Walpole Lake in Dereham, following a Best Value audit of its previous offices at the Guildhall in Dereham and Breckland House in Thetford.
The audit concluded that the Council could vastly improve working practices and save between £500,000 and £750,000 per year by building a new head office that would bring all departments under one roof - making better use of space and improving internal communications.Solution :
The Council looked at a number of building options, including traditional build. After exploring the options, it became clear that modular construction was the most effective solution, as it could be designed to meet the Council's exact specifications and completed in a much shorter timescale than a traditional building.
Following a competitive tender process, the Ultima building system from Portakabin proved to be the most impressive by far. It meets all permanent building requirements and delivers cost efficiency through its energy efficient attributes.
The new building, named Elizabeth House, has also been designed to meet the Disability Discrimination Act requirements, with low level switches, lifts, and a contrasting colour scheme to assist the visually impaired.
"Portakabin provided a turnkey building solution, working with us to design a building that met our exact requirements and doing everything from laying the foundations to landscaping the car park, gardens and central courtyard.
"190 staff have now moved into the building and we have had a fantastic response from them as they are all very impressed with the high-quality working environment it provides. The new head office has helped us to save a great deal of money and it has already had a very positive impact on internal communication."
Steve Harris, Head of Facilities Management