Project Management by Elvet Chartered Surveyors

Case Study: Lynwood House

Derwentside Homes Ltd34 two-bedroom
apartments, a community centre and GP surgery
March 2013September 2014£6m


Lynwood House is a brand new sheltered housing development designed specifically for people aged 55 and over. Also onsite is Lanchester Medical Centre which relocated from within the village. Assura Medical Centres Limited, who manage the surgery, worked with Derwentside Homes to provide a modern, sustainable building that meets the needs of the short and long term requirements of the smaller surgery that was located in the village.

The development consists of 34 two bedroom apartments and includes community facilities such as a laundry, multi-therapy room and cinema room. Also available is a communal area for meetings, training and similar activities and an office, which is occupied by the local Parish Council.

The whole scheme was designed and co-ordinated using Building Information Modelling (BIM) consistent with level 2 and is one of the only social housing developments nationally that has utilised full BIM.


Following the closure of the former council-run care home on the site, a local Community Investment Company (CIC) called the Lynwood House Partnership group was formed in 2006 to represent local residents and stakeholders in shaping any future development. Stakeholder engagement in the community was a priority from the outset and as part of the planning process; local residents and groups were invited to a planning consultation day. The proposals were presented and the feedback received used to shape the development. Another innovation was the use of BIM technology throughout the development, which sets Lynwood House apart from similar schemes as being one of the only social housing developments nationally that has utilised full BIM. This led to increased efficiency, benefitting the client and end-users, and will enable Derwentside Homes to apply the experience gained during this development to future schemes.

Our Approach

Elvet Construction Consultants were invited to provide standard project management advice and prepare financial appraisals to ensure that the units were viable over a thirty year cycle including any estimated revenue surplus to be reinvested in other projects.

At the beginning of the project, our role was to assess the financial performance of the asset looking at what options were available, for example:

  • Remodelling and modernisation of the accommodation for older residence;
  • Remodelling and modernisation for general residential;
  • Demolition and redeveloping the site with new modern housing.

The initial financial appraisal considered the above scenarios taking into account the following key information to assess the sustainability of the proposals:

  • Revenue – rents, affordable rents, service charges
  • Management costs
  • Capital investment
  • Demand
  • Voids
  • Repairs and maintenance (responsive and planned)

Our role throughout the whole project included:

  • Cost management – financial appraisals / development cost plans / feasibility studies;
  • Procurement process – advising on the most appropriate route, co-ordination and management of tender documents, tender evaluation and preparing the contract documents;
  • HCA compliance – ensuring that the scheme was delivered in accordance with the HCA contract to maximise the allocated funding for the project;
  • Financial control – ensuring the scheme offered value for money, within the client’s budget. Agreement of interim valuations, variations and the final account;
  • Project Management – monitoring the programme, liaising with the contractor to ensure key milestones were achieved. Reporting progress to the client;
  • Contract Management – liaising with the project delivery team to ensure that the client’s requirements were delivered;
  • Stakeholder Management – our client built the GP Surgery and Community Centre for other funders requiring delicate management between all parties to ensure each parties key requirements were met;
  • Negotiations – with the County Council to acquire the land;
  • Legal – liaising with the legal team to agree development agreements, lease agreements etc.


Lynwood House was previously used as assisted sheltered accommodation, however, due to the amount of work required to modernise the asset coupled with budget constraints, a decision was made to sell the asset to the CIC. Part of the financial appraisal was to determine whether the existing asset was suitable for conversion but due to the amount of work and the need to increase the overall height of the development it was proven to be too restrictive in terms of space. It was deemed that this would not represent value for money compared to demolition and redevelopment of the site.

The project required the demolition of an existing care home and construction of 34 two-bedroom apartments, a community centre and a GP surgery.

The scheme was delivered using BIM Stage 2 design delivery. The client decided to use the scheme as a pilot to determine the long-term benefits of adopting BIM especially with the Governments’ eagerness to adopt the methodology for publicly funded schemes.

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