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Open Doors Week: Only Way is Essex meets Willmott Dixon

Summit House is a refurbishment project for the Low Carbon Workplace – a consortium of Stanhope, Columbia Threadneedle Investments and The Carbon Trust.

An old office block that was used as a computing backup to the stock exchange, by the time Willmott Dixon arrived on site it had been stripped back to the two stair cores, the lift shafts and the façade.

Jon Clark of The Only Way is Essex is a former construction worker

Open doors 2016 willmott dixon summit house 2

Jon Clark of The Only Way is Essex is a former construction worker

Since Construction News last visited the site at the back end of 2015, the roof has been erected and the façade removed, with another added featuring a clever bespoke curtain walling system that will add precious square metres to the usable internal space.

Adding some wider appeal to the Open Doors visit was The Only Way is Essex star Jon Clarke, who used to work for his father in the construction industry.

Mr Clark was eager to back the Open Doors initiative and urged his army of Twitter followers to get involved.

Willmott Dixon trainee quantity surveyor Rebecca Walsh helped facilitate the tour and is a portrait of an enthusiastic young person that became attracted to the industry partly through spending time with a contractor.

“Initially I did two weeks’ work experience with Wates and following on from that I decided that quantity surveying was the job for me,” she says.

“So I spent two years at Leeds Metropolitan University and did my HND in quantity surveying, before joining Willmott, and then did three years part time doing a degree at London Southbank University, which I finished last month.

“I knew I didn’t want to be based solely in an office. While I do work from an office, I’m based on a working construction site,” she says.

Project: Summit House, London EC1
Main contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction Hitchin
Engineer: HTS
Cost consultant/project manager: Gleeds
Client: Low Carbon Workplace (a consortium of Stanhope, Columbia Threadneedle Investments and The Carbon Trust)
Value:£21m
Start date: March 2015
Completion date: August 2016

Open another door

Interested in Open Doors Week? Tackling the skills shortage and innovative construction are key themes at this year’s Construction News Summit on 11-12 October.

You can save 10% on your place at the Summit when booking online! Book your place now using promotional code OPENDOORS.

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