Focus of the project turns to internal finishes

With the main structure of the hotel nearing completion, the focus of the project now turns to internal finishes, external landscaping and utilities infrastructure. Over 220 workers are currently on site for this phase of the construction programme. This newsletter focuses on the start of the internal finishing work, utility services and skills development of the local artisans.

Internal finishes

Our main Contractor has engaged Inventure, a Dubai based glazing company, as the subcontractor for all glazing works. Having completed the installation of the glazed units on the eight guestroom floors of the West Wing (see photo above) and most of the East Wing, Inventure are now installing glazed units and doors on the two guestroom floors of the East Wing (as above) and glass wall panels in the public areas.

The public areas include the Lobby Areas, the All-Day Dining Restaurant, the Specialty Restaurant, the Destination Bar, the Executive Lounge, the Ballroom, and the Business and Meeting Areas.

The Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Subcontractor, Sterling & Wilson (S&W), have commenced the installation of the bathroom fittings, starting with the toilets. They had previously completed and tested all electrical wiring in the guest rooms on the West Wing.

Swimming Pool

Construction of the hotel’s super-sized “Infinity-Edge” Swimming Pool is also underway. Measuring 32m long by 11m wide and 1.2m deep, the pool looks out on the Atlantic Ocean’s side of the hotel. From within the pool the ocean-facing edge of the pool appears to merge with the ocean, hence the description of an “Infinity-Edge” Pool.

Hard Landscaping

Hard Landscaping is the use of hard materials in landscaping. As the Upper Ground Level sits above the original ground level, the area at the front of the hotel is being filled with earth and compacted in advance of construction of the new roadway providing a smooth approach to the Hotel entrance. There is minimal earth filling at the back of the hotel.

Soft Landscaping

Soft Landscaping involves working with trees, plants and grass to improve the outside space of the hotel. The Landscaping Subcontractor is Hughes Franco, a local horticultural company. Hughes Franco continue to nurture over a thousand plants in the on-site nursery in readiness for the time when they will be transplanted to their final location. The transplanting activities will commence when the hard landscaping activities in that area have been completed.

Central Utility Complex (CUC)

The CUC comprises Diesel Generators, Water Treatment Facility (WTF), Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and the Chiller Plant. Construction of this complex, which will occupy an area equivalent to 13 tennis courts, commenced in October.

Water Treatment Facility (WTF)

Construction of the Water Treatment Facility is underway. The WTF has two parts – the Desalination Plant and the Water Treatment Plant.

The Desalination Plant receives sea water that is pumped from the ocean and converts it into fresh water which is then fed into the Water Treatment Plant.

The Water Treatment Plant converts the fresh water into potable water for use in the hotel. The hotel has a water storage capacity of 540,000 litres, sufficient for normal operational requirements as well as the fire sprinkler system.

Sewage Treatment Plant (STP)

The STP receives all the waste effluent from the hotel for treatment. The main output of the plant is uncontaminated and odourless water that can be used for maintaining the gardens of the hotel grounds or discharged into the sea.

The solids that are produced from the treatment is also odourless and can be used as a fertiliser.
The hotel will set unparalleled standards for the treatment of waste in the Sierra Leone hospitality sector.

Jetty

The Contractor has finalised an agreement with a local company to construct a jetty for the use of boats ferrying guests to and from the airport and for boat excursions.

Guests will be transferred from the boats to the hotel entrance using dedicated ”golf buggies” along a pathway between the swimming pool and the ocean.

Stakeholder Visits

Members of the Hilton Development Team based in South Africa and Shapoorji Design and Planning Teams based in Dubai paid a visit to the project and met with the IDEA team to discuss the procurement of the materials for the fit-out phase of the hotel that will start early in 2020.

The Main Contractor

The Main Contractor for the construction of the hotel, Shapoorji Pallonji Mideast LLC (Shapoorji), is a 155-year family-owned Indian Company. Shapoorji have established a reputation for constructing iconic buildings, including the National Assembly in Banjul and Flagstaff House in Accra in the sub-region.

Shapoorji Skills Development

Shapoorji are also breaking new ground in the level of skills transfer to the local artisans they employ. The skills transfer has been so successful that since the start of construction over 250 Sierra Leoneans have been retained by Shapoorji and posted to other Shapoorji projects in the Gambia and Niger.

According to Mr. Sirtaj Bedi, Shapoorji Country Manager for Sierra Leone and the Gambia, the Sierra Leonean workers are willing to learn, hardworking and adaptable. This is a commendable example of adherence to and even exceeding the requirements of the Local Content Policy.

Local Skills Development

The Client has engaged McKenzie Studd, a local Quantity Surveying Company to administer the contract with the Main Contractor, McKenzie Studd have been able to receive xx recent engineering graduates from Fourah Bay College for work experience. The project is therefore providing invaluable training and experience of construction planning, monitoring and methodologies for these graduates.

Programme to Hotel Opening

We are looking to engage the Hotel’s General Manager during the first quarter of 2020. The General Manager will then work with us to employ all the other hotel staff during the course of the year. Shapoorji advise that they expect to complete construction and handover the hotel to Hilton Worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2020. Then after a period of staff training, the hotel is expected to be open to the public in the first quarter of 2021.

For further information:

IDEA (SL)
8 Kosie Williams Drive Freetown [email protected]

IDEA (UK),
55 Old Broad St London EC2M 1RX [email protected]

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