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London Pride

28 October 2009

Swathes of sheeting and scaffolding currently cover it, but the building under construction by Costain in Gracechurch Street, in the City of London, is shaping up to cut a prestigious figure in the capital's cityscape.

The high quality nine-storey office block, with retail units on the ground and lower ground floors, will be clad in Portland stone to blend in with a retained facade on part of the site.

The £31million development, close to Monument Tube station, is the fourth project Costain has handled for Arab Investments. The Gresham Street project, completed in March 2009, was the third.

"In Gracechurch Street, two banks were demolished to create one building," explains Senior Project Manager Mark Sowerby.

The usual tight site problems in Central London - the building occupies the entire site footprint - are compounded by the presence outside of a 'no stopping' Red Route and months of negotiations with Transport for London were required to agree temporary suspensions of a nearby bus stop, which is used as a loading bay, he adds.

To minimise traffic problems, Costain has constructed a steel platform inside the site boundary on to which delivery vehicles can drive and unload. Concrete trucks, for example, park there and discharge their loads into a static pump, the material is then directed to wherever on site it is required.

The client set up noise and vibration monitors on adjoining party walls (including the historic St Clements church) to ensure disturbance to neighbours was minimised.

The project is two-thirds complete and is expected to finish on schedule next June.