An innovative approach to systems supply has supported Acorn Aluminium in effectively managing project inflationary costs.
Acorn was awarded for windows, curtain walling and doors, on Torsion Group’s £65million Saxton Lane development in the centre of Leeds last year.
With significant inflationary pressures looming on the horizon, Acorn took the decision to place the order for materials up front, guaranteeing supply but also supporting the main contractor in managing inflationary pressures.
Paul Stevens, Commercial Director, Acorn Aluminium said: “Saxton Lane is a massive project. You only need a small increase in your material costs and cost of delivery can rocket.
“Given the inflationary pressures that were already on the horizon in summer last year, we took the unprecedented step of placing our order as soon as the agreement was signed in order to secure product at July 2021 prices.
“That clearly comes with risk, prices could have gone down as well as up and its required a significant up front capital investment on our part but on balance its worked, and it’s allowed us and the main contractor to side-step some very significant inflationary pressures.”
Aimed at the private rented sector and designed by Den Architecture, the two 18 and 22 storey tower blocks will house 349 contemporary apartments and will be built within a stone’s throw of the city centre and university campuses.
Acorn Aluminium will supply almost 1,300 ultra-energy efficient aluminium windows in Senior Architectural Systems SPW600 system. Doors in the SPW501 and 150m2 curtain walling in the Senior SF52 system.
Construction is taking place offsite at MMC specialist FP McCann’s Cheshire facility, with Acorn Aluminium’s fitting teams working as an extension of FP McCann’s manufacturing lines.
This also includes the embedding of one of Acorn Aluminium’s non-working supervisors, whose sole responsibility it is to liaise with and manage the client relationship on site.
“It’s worked and it’s an example of how in coming together and working closely at the start of a project, contractors and sub-contractors can mitigate the impact of inflationary costs without having to value engineer projects”, Paul said.
He continued: “With that stock here in our factory it’s also given us a greater level of flexibility in our operation, manufacturing product to a slightly longer lead time, by starting earlier, rather than condensing manufacture into a shorter lead time.”
Torsion Group’s development of Saxton Lane is scheduled for completion in early 2023.