Back in February 2015, we put out a tender for the STEPS build. Amongst those invited were Northern Construction Solutions (NCS), recommended by our architects, Alston Murphy Associates. After a month of detailed and careful inspection of the field, we met Sean Anderson, the company’s Director, at a post tender meeting to explore a bit more about them and most importantly, their operating style. As always, it is our guiding philosophy to choose partners who share our strong values.

For NCS, that first meeting wasn’t typical for an ambitious project like STEPS – it took place in the kitchen of Jules’s house - our office for the past six months.

But it was memorable for another reason. NCS got a real understanding of the drive and passion behind the proposed development and in turn, we learned about how Sean and his partner set up NCS back in 2002.

As both companies work within large professions where customer expectations are sadly not always met, we discovered we were both motivated by the need, not only to claim we were different but to actually deliver that difference through collaboration and trust.

For STEPS, the key is the highest quality care producing the best possible outcomes and similarly, NCS claims client focussed, reliable, innovative and forward-looking, delivering what we promised, and a company that its clients could entrust with even their most complex of projects”. We knew then that we could work together.

Sean felt it too, “The team from STEPS were not the normal type of client for a project of this size we usually experienced in the construction industry. There was something different- maybe it was the “family” aspect or the dynamic of Ray and his two daughters? Not sure, but I came away from the meeting with an increased desire to work with STEPS, based upon a belief that there was some serious synergy between STEPS, their professional team and NCS ”.

The Stage 2 Tender and subsequent Contract Sum was established in January 2016 and NCS officially came on site at the beginning of February 2016.

As is expected, there have been bumps along the way. Almost immediately it became apparent that the ground conditions and structural design assumptions were different. We were forced to change our Structural Engineer and revise the structural design. Jules Shiel-Boulger, our Founder & Business Development Director has praised the NCS team’s “supportive care over and above expectations” and the project has remained on track, albeit a little later than originally planned. NCS have lived up to their promise to “think outside of the box’ on jobs and come up with innovative solutions to complex challenges”.

And the project is progressing well and working relationships have strengthened with the completion of the project now in sight for the end of the year.

Sean Anderson’s instinctive feel about STEPS, derived at the meeting in Jules’ kitchen would appear not to have been misplaced – “despite all the problems that the construction industry has managed to throw at STEPS so far, they continue to pursue their objectives in a calm, measured and cooperative way”

We are now having monthly site meetings with the NCS team with bacon sandwiches and tea thrown in.

But for now, the STEPS office remains in the kitchen.

Go to our services page for a full menu of therapies we will be offering at STEPS.