Blog: Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Adur Civic Centre

11 June 2020

sponsored by Waterloo Air Products

Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Adur Civic Centre (submitted by HNW Architects)

Adur Civic Centre, a modern new office development in Shoreham, shows how integration and effective collaborative working can produce a product that goes beyond fulfilling the clients initial brief. 

The completed project represents a fully collaborative effort from all parties, client/customer-side, design side and construction/contractor side. The procurement route enabled all parties to sit around the table from the outset and ensure that the brief be defined to meet the needs,  that the design met the brief and evolved as necessary to accommodate any changes, and that the project could be both built and delivered on time and on budget.

Further to initial discussions with the client, an overall understanding of their objectives was built up, including their wider vision and aspirations. It was evident from inception that achieving a successful outcome required a fully collaborative working approach through one team working. That one team ethos then guided every aspect of how each organisation engaged and communicated with each other, the values and expertise they shared, and how they put the client at the centre of everything - throughout the process.     

From this starting point, the team - consisting of HNW Architects, Willmott Dixon, Lyons O’Neill Structural Engineers and Mott MacDonald M&E Engineers - started to assist the client and develop the formal detailed brief, which would then be used to both assess and guide the project moving forwards.

Utilising the detailed brief, the project was developed into a full RIBA Stage 3 design and then a planning submission, which dealt with the concerns of residents and overcame the challenges of the site (including a railway line boundary condition and numerous existing site services). These areas were overcome by ensuring that all the technical aspects were fully understood, all existing information obtained, properly adopting a listening approach, and fully engaging with all relevant stakeholders, including all the affected residents and the local representatives.

These key aspects were maintained and strengthened moving forwards into RIBA Stages 4/5 and beyond. It was identified that a key element to the project's wider success was to have completed the technical information stages of the project before site works commenced. In order to achieve that the team held detailed early engagement meetings with all the key supply chain partners of Willmott Dixons. That early engagement and collaborative working approach enabled the relevant technical expertise to inform decision making early enough in the process to drive the final outcomes and the completed project.     

In order to ensure that this was then maintained and not lost through the process on site, regular and detailed focused workshops were held, to maintain the drive. They ensured that the technical solutions were still fit for purpose and that when any site challenges emerged they were met proactively as all of the specialist and supply chain had enough time to deal with them.  

The completed project fully meets the client's aspirations, key criteria for the job, and the incoming tenant's needs - providing a modern/ flexible office environment.

Digital tools in more detail

Due to the project complexities and number of stakeholders involved, the project team adopted the use of the information storage extranet called Viewpoint for Projects, i.e. 4 Projects.  This extranet allows all consultant, contractor and supply chain partners to upload the latest information for all members of the team to access, understand, comment, and coordinate with.

Notifications of information uploads can be sent to all interested parties. Comments can be requested and actioned within the extranet allowing speedy, accurate revisions to be fed directly where needed. The database can be accessed from any mobile reading equipment, ensuring that accurate and current information can be obtained instantaneously ‘out on site’ so any details can be seen and understood in the real world.

The project embraced BIM and technology in the drawing/modelling, the construction, the project management and the wider stakeholder communication. The complex 3D models by each of the design consultants were regularly checked for clashes to remove potential issues that may otherwise have occurred at a time where change would have a cost/quality impact. Videos and flythroughs were shared with the stakeholder team and used in the wider communication and celebration of the scheme prior to completion. And the BIM EIRs were developed alongside the client to ensure that this new technology output met their needs and requirements.


  • First phase of wider regeneration of the former Civic Centre area, providing new office accommodation for local businesses.
  • The design of the Cat-A fit-out presents Adur and Worthing with the ability to use the building for a single occupier yet also accommodate numerous occupiers/companies if future needs demand.
  • The project was delivered on time and on budget and maximised both the development (commercial) value of the land whilst achieving suitable car parking levels through the use of the under croft-design.

About the Integration & Collaborative Working Award: 

Collaborative working is central to the core values of Constructing Excellence and its drive for positive change in construction.  It is most likely to manifest in the delivery of specific projects, however those who can demonstrate a culture across a series or programme of projects show leadership in a sustained approach. Integration of the supply chain, the client and end users will normally lead to a better outcome satisfying all stakeholders.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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