READ Construction

Chester Zoo
Main Entrance

Innovative | Sustainable | CollaborativeOptimised Construction Solutions


Project name: Chester Zoo Main Entrance

Location: Chester Zoo, Caughall Rd, Upton, Chester, CH2 1EU

Contract: JCT Design and Build

Value: £1,300,000

Duration: 25 Weeks


Completed to coincide with a royal visit, this re-development of the main entrance plaza, ticket offices, turnstiles and gift shop now forms the aptly named Diamond Jubilee Quarter. Despite a challenging programme, the project was handed over ahead of schedule in time for the official opening.

DESIGN – Read have long standing relationships with many local design practices, resulting in a favourable service to ensure a robust, sustainable and efficient (both in terms of buildability and operational cost). By rationalising the design and understanding the brief for the new ticket sales area, a structural solution for the roof was developed which generated a programme and cost saving to the client.

PUBLIC INTERFACE – Having delivered many schemes in live campuses, Read have a wealth of expertise in managing the interface and segregation requirements of any scheme. By agreeing a strategy with the client team in advance, routes, segregation and public protection measures, communication approach and emergency preparedness are all considerations which were effectively managed on site. Clear demarcation and signage ensured the works were physically segregated from visitors and staff at all times.

CONSIDERATE – Read staff respect client sites and understand that their undertakings reflect on our client’s image, managing all projects in accordance with the principles of the Considerate Constructor Scheme. Having worked adjacent to the public and animals at Chester Zoo on high profile projects for over a decade, Read maintain a record of ZERO complaints, accidents or injuries.

What was said ...
  • Simon Mann - Development Director - Chester Zoo

    Chester Zoo has worked with Read Construction for over 14 years as the client on a number of high value schemes. As Development Director, I have had a close association with them for the last 5 years.

    The 2012 Main Entrance project was a highly pressurised £2 million construction scheme requiring a large number of trades on site for a concentrated period to deliver a unique retail and admissions building and entrance plaza for the zoo, whilst the surrounding area remained fully open to the public. It was critical that the project came together before our main season and also that the highest level of quality be delivered throughout as this was a flagship development scheduled to be opened by HM the Queen.

    Read rose to the challenge and collaborated very well with our team and other contractors, displaying a commendable sensitivity to our operational and organisational requirements and running the site extremely efficiently. Their consistent, intelligent deployment of resources ensured there was minimal impact on our day-to-day business and we benefited greatly as a result.

    As a company, I have been impressed with their innovative approach and the will to find solutions when working in challenging environments to deliver projects on time, on budget and to the highest quality.

    As a consequence of appointing other main contractors during the same period, we have first hand client experience of Read’s competition, and confirm that in our experience Read never fail to deliver.

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