As TWO FRIARGATE’s construction nears completion, we sat down with Paul Kelly – the building’s Project Manager at Bowmer + Kirkland, to find out why he is so proud to have worked on this project, and to hear his thoughts on the Friargate development.
Tell us about your role at TWO FRIARGATE?
I work for Bowmer + Kirkland as the Project Manager for the construction phase of the project. However, I’ve been involved with the Friargate project for a lot longer and oversaw the demolition of buildings around Coventry Railway Station and the construction of One Friargate.
What has been the most enjoyable part of working on TWO FRIARGATE?
We were fortunate that we could re-assemble the same team that worked so successfully to deliver One Friargate, the first office building within the Friargate Masterplan.
The best part of my job is working with talented colleagues – and TWO FRIARGATE has been no exception.
As well as those working on site, it also includes colleagues across Coventry City Council and our local suppliers who have been so supportive in helping deliver this fantastic commercial office space.
What has been the biggest challenge during construction?
Construction coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, the programme has been very tight. Alongside the entire construction industry, we’ve also seen huge inflationary pressure on materials and other costs. However, I’m proud of how we’ve managed to deliver TWO FRIARGATE to such a high standard despite these massive challenges, which have been totally outside our control.
How have you embedded sustainability during the development process?
We are targeting a BREEAM Excellent accreditation, which will put TWO FRIARGATE within the top 10% of commercial buildings for sustainability.
To help achieve this, there are several things we’ve tried to embed that are associated with the design, procurement and management of the project. The BREEAM assessment will also look at the type of construction materials and their performance, so we’ve tried to source the most efficient options possible.
These have reduced the environmental impact of the building, during both construction and operation.
What do you think is the most impressive thing about TWO FRIARGATE? What are you most proud of?
TWO FRIARGATE is, of course, a fantastic looking building and will really add value to Coventry’s skyline. The façade is one of the most impressive things. It was constructed entirely off-site in North Lincolnshire and transported to Coventry. This meant it could be constructed in a more cost-effective way and be delivered more quickly and efficiently.
How have you worked with local suppliers?
Where appropriate, we like to work with local supply chains. TWO FRIARGATE is a great example where we’ve been able to employ over 450 people from across the region during construction. This has included apprenticeships and opportunities for students from Coventry University to come and learn more about construction.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the city since working on the Friargate development?
I started working in Coventry in 2015, with the demolition of the buildings around Coventry Railway Station to make way for the Friargate scheme. At the time, there were only a handful of high-rise buildings in Coventry.
Now in 2023, the volume of taller buildings that form the city’s skyline is quite staggering and a testament to the success and growth of Coventry in that time. With the Friargate development, there is even more to come in this city.
What is your favourite thing about working in Coventry?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in Coventry for many years and the local people we engage and work with are always friendly and very down to earth. It makes a project so much more enjoyable, working in a city that really makes you feel welcome.
To find out more about TWO FRIARGATE’s new Coventry offices, contact Cushman & Wakefield – Scott Rutherford on 07824 436439 or email email@example.com, or David Rigby on 07730 735889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.