9yards Property Ltd

9yards Property Ltd is a multi-disciplinary Chartered Building Consultancy focusing on construction expertise, design and fire safety. We are an award-winning, progressive, local company offering a full range of design and construction consultancy services to a wide Client base, from residential to commercial, in both the private and public sectors. From feasibility to completion 9yards, with its expert professional management team and close network of associates is ideally placed to guide you through the full construction processes whatever the size or nature of your project.

9yards’ expertise is relied upon by such corporate Clients as Abbey Insurance Brokers, Prestige Underwriting, Sandra Pyper Property Management, JEM Investments, Woodland Trust, AVX Ltd and a multitude of private and corporate builders, property developers, solicitors and charitable organisations.
Our extensive experience in helping individuals, businesses and developers to realise their design and construction aspirations is your reassurance of success with 9yards.

Contact Details
Colin Logan
9yards Property Ltd
Victoria House . 72 Albert Road . Carrickfergus . County Antrim . BT38 8AE
02893 365999
www.9yards.co.uk

PHARMACEUTICAL ROBOT & REFURBISHMENT
THE BRIEF
The client on this project owns a group of pharmacies across N Ireland, with one of the busiest being at the junction of Falls Road and Donegal Road in Belfast. Constant restocking was becoming a time-consuming process and so in order to increase efficiency they asked us to look at the potential for redesigning their building to accommodate a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical robot.
THE CHALLENGES
The premises, whilst in a prime location for their business, are on a very tight corner site in a building which would originally have been a Victorian 3-storey terraced house. The building structure had already been altered over the years, with walls removed, extensions added and accommodation reconfigured, leaving considerable uncertainty regarding the integrity of the remaining building fabric.
Physical workspace for building on one of Belfast’s main thoroughfares also needed to be factored in, as did an uncompromising schedule necessitated by the licensing regime of the pharmacy governing body, the Pharmaceutical Society.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Our first consideration was to determine the physical size of the robotic enclosure required and the additional services necessary for this. Consulting with the preferred supplier we determined the dimensions required and also that the efficiency could be enhanced further by the installation of a goods lift and loading hopper – meaning that drugs need only be emptied into the hopper from where the robot automatically sorts them onto shelves for later ‘picking’.
A number of design options were presented and priced, including complete demolition & reconstruction, before the optimum solution was decided upon.
THE SOLUTION
The chosen solution was a complete internal refurbishment including a new structural frame and lift shaft, with the robot accommodated in a bespoke compartment which spanned the 1st & 2nd floors. One of the main advantages of this solution was that no Planning application would be required therefore saving approximately 6 months in the design & construction schedule.
Use of a lift and a separate compartment for the robot freed up considerable storage space on the ground floor enabling a larger shop floor and a private consulting room, as well as a much more modern, open-plan shop-fit to be achieved.
Regular site meetings, full contract administration and consistent liaison between all trades and professions resulted in the project completing on time and on budget giving the client what is undoubtedly one of the most efficient and contemporary pharmacies in the UK.

'MAYUR' LICENSED RESTAURANT
THE BRIEF
The ‘Mayur’ is an award-winning Indian Restaurant situated directly opposite Carrickfergus Castle, enjoying a fantastic location and undoubtedly one of the finest views on the Causeway Coast.
We were originally engaged on this project by a local solicitors practice requiring our advice and Expert Witness services for an application to the courts for a Liquor Licence. The premises had previously been a fish & chip shop and the new owner was re-opening as an Indian Restaurant.
THE CHALLENGES
The client had been correctly advised that no Planning application was required as the works remained within the same Planning ‘Use Class’. At the time of our first site visit, however, it was apparent that the extent of the refurbishment was such as would require an application to Building Control. We discussed this with the owner and his contractor and they immediately appointed us to this design role in addition to our Liquor Licensing services.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
The most pressing challenge faced was the time constraint imposed by the upcoming court date for the Liquor Licence. Without plans approved by Building Control and works on site signed off the court wouldn’t issue the much needed Liquor Licence and the opening would be delayed.
At 9yards we pride ourselves on our fast response times and customer focus so diaries were quickly reorganised to enable the building to be dimensionally surveyed the next day and detailed design commenced immediately. As it was important that works could continue apace on site we liaised daily with the contractor to ensure that what was going on our drawings for Building Regulation compliance was also happening on site.
THE SOLUTION
Deadline-focused design work, continual liaison with the client, contractor and Building Control Officer, and dedication of the full project team enabled a full Building Control application to be lodged with the local Council within just 10 days of our first site visit and appointment. 9yards’ expertise within the commercial design sector is well established and the designs were approved first time without any amendments.
Issues common to older buildings in historic towns, such as level changes, fire escapes and disabled toilet provision were all overcome in the most efficient manner, including a bespoke fire safety strategy which clearly set out how compliance was to be achieved, meaning that the plans could be assessed and approved in the fastest possible time.
Our court attendance at the Liquor Licensing session was well received by the Judge and the process went smoothly, with the Licence granted the same day, enabling the restaurant to open on schedule.

FAST-TRACK OFFICE FIT-OUT
THE BRIEF
These commercial clients identified an opportunity to expand their business in the busy Boucher Retail area in Belfast, one of the most successful mixed-use commercial districts in N Ireland. Being at the centre of all of the premium-branded car dealerships it was important that their new office should meet the high-end expectations of customers in this area such that when walking out of a BMW, Audi or Porsche showroom they would know they were in the same quality of business walking through the doors of our client’s new office.
THE CHALLENGES
The trend for sharp, minimalist detailing which would be required to match the premium car brands was quite a departure for the clients who had a previously well-established style of office decor. Additionally, it was essential to agree a lease on premises, refurbish, fit out and open the new office in the shortest possible timescale – all at a time when the local building industry was traditionally closed for the annual construction holiday period.
THE SOLUTION
Once a potential building was identified, 9yards conducted a full dimensional survey and produced preliminary layout proposals to show how the required number of staff and customers could be accommodated and how the premises could be brought up to current Building Regulation standards. This would include a full strip-out of existing partitions, finishes, etc and installation of disabled toilet and kitchen facilities. The extent of these works would also require landlord approval and so we liaised simultaneously with the landlord’s agent and the local Building Control department.
When agreement was reached among all parties that the proposals were commercially and physically feasible lease terms were agreed and detailed work began in earnest. With no time for a tender process 9yards were further engaged to Project Manage the building process and works commenced on site immediately – on the day the local construction industry usually closed down! While building work commenced on drainage, plastering, electrical services, etc there were many decisions still to be made in terms of finishes, furniture, etc. maintaining tight control of the overall construction and fit-out programmes became essential, along with on-going budgetary control.
Regular meetings with the client, trades and suppliers, and determined perseverance on time and monetary constraints kept the project constantly on target – at times running right to the wire such as in accommodating the continental European holiday periods of the Portuguese furniture suppliers.
 
Commitment to the project’s success from the entire team culminated in the new office being complete a full week before staff were ready to move in – a mere 11 weeks after commencement and well within budget. This office is now the flagship of the client’s 14 offices in the province and is set to become the blueprint for further future expansion.