AELTC, Somerset Road

Careys were initially appointed as Principal Contractor for an enabling works package, before receiving a second package from Wilmott Dixon to to transform a pre-existing covered court facility into a brand-new complex that comprises six indoor and six external courts and a single-storey underground car park


All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC)


Wimbledon, London

Principal Contractor

Willmott Dixon

Careys was appointed principal contractor for enabling works at this AELTC location. These included: the diversion of Thames Water sewers; construction of a TX14 substation and housing; and the construction of a private drainage network, comprising an attenuation tank, harvesting tank and flow control structure that allowed water to be discharged into the Thames Water sewers in a controlled outflow.

A second contract for £24.6m followed, under Wilmott Dixon, to transform a pre-existing covered court facility into a brand-new complex that comprises six indoor and six external courts and a single-storey underground car park, with associated service installation and hard landscaping. This entailed the excavation/construction of a basement with significant temporary works and elements of a future tunnel connection underneath an adjoining road, plus the construction of a three-storey concrete frame. Infrastructure works included: utility trenches for LV electricity and chiller pipe works; drainage installation; S278 works; and hard landscaping, comprising granite, porcelain, green schist and porphyry fan-pattern paving. For this last, we facilitated visits to the quarry in Italy to ensure the best quality stone was selected and our specialist paving team then installed it to the layouts specified by the landscape architect.

Early engagement with all stakeholders

Careys always engages early in the preconstruction stages with the client and all stakeholders - including interfacing contractors - to ensure optimal programme and cost efficiency. On this package, this led to cost savings for the client on the car park works in particular.

We also understand the importance of managing stakeholder and neighbour relations and we worked hard to minimise disruption to the surrounding residents throughout. On this project, we achieved a particularly good working relationship with the interfacing demolition contractor and we won a Considerate Constructors award for the enabling works.


The management of the existing trees on the site was a particular challenge as the majority were subject to protection orders. Early engagement with the client’s tree consultant was key to ensuring that the appropriate level of protection was in place. Our operatives continually inspected the protection zones, working to a set of approved methods to ensure that no damage occurred during adjacent works.

Careys’ meticulous advance planning aimed to reuse as many materials as possible to minimise waste. Given the constraints of the ground profile and the location of existing trees, we developed a sheet piling solution to facilitate the installation of the deep attenuation tanks whilst minimising the need for propping and the removal of excess material. On completion of the tank, we then used specialist piling plant to extract the piles for reuse.

Our site installation, as far as possible, used the location of existing hoardings and fence posts to minimise new excavation. We also reused crane mats. These measures significantly reduced the use of new materials and vehicle movements both on and off site.

Just one example of Careys’ operative training is that all staff responsible for issuing permits to pump water are sent on our SEAT (Site Environmental Awareness Training) to drive awareness of the potential harm of construction sites contaminating the surface water course. This project was no exception.

Seeking continuous improvement

Careys is always looking for sector innovations that will improve both the safety and efficiency of our projects.

Around the time this project was starting, EZE had launched a new trench support system, designed to replace timber close board sheeting, steel sheets, props and walers and we trialled it successfully on the project.

We also decided to purchase and trial a diamond tipped hydraulic chainsaw for cutting concrete. Everyone who attended its demonstration at Somerset Road was impressed by the smoothness of the cutting action and the clean cut line, as well as the ability to cut straight through pipe without twisting and turning it. Finally, the fact the saw can be plunged into the concrete reduces any over-cutting of the pipes or rings. We immediately saw the potential benefit for all Careys’ demolition, remodelling works, concrete coring and cutting works. An added bonus is that vibration and noise levels are lower than with a petrol saw. We immediately set up a programme of operative training, not only in how to use the saw safely and efficiently but in maintaining it properly on site.

Health and safety at the forefront

Willmott Dixon rated our health and safety as excellent throughout, complimenting Careys’ work ethic and how we consistently aligned ourselves to their standards.

The Covid-19 situation was a key health risk that we successfully managed on site, with Somerset Road one of the first Careys sites to re-mobilise following the first lockdown. Our very many safety guidance measures, outlined in the Careys HSSQ team’s ‘Five Pillars of Mobilisation’, were supplemented by measures specific to the locality. These included a new access way to and from site through the Wimbledon complex to distance our staff from local residents and ensuring residents were aware that blue safety helmets signified Careys workers who shared accommodation and therefore did not need to stay two metres apart on site.

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